Typography & Formatting

November 15, 2019

Picking the Perfect Typeface Part 3

Fiction or Non-Fiction? 

A book is either fiction or non-fiction. There is no way for a book to fall into both groups. It can be a narrative non-fiction that follows the shape of a novel, but it’s still non-fiction. A novel can be a historical drama relying on facts and and dates and real people, but that doesn’t mean it’s non-fiction.

Some typefaces do better on the pages of a novel and some shine when used in a technical tome. And then some fit well into both categories. I put together a small list of typefaces that are frequently recommended, frequently used, and recognized as being part of good book design. Just because a typeface is on the fiction list doesn’t mean you can’t use it for non-fiction and the same goes for using typefaces from the non-fiction list in fiction. Think of this list more as a suggestion.

So… Pick your poison.



  • Caslon
  • Utopia
  • FF Scala


  • Minion

Okay, let’s get cracking and narrow this down even more. There are two ways we can break this down more than by fiction or non-fiction. Either by tone or genre. Genre is easier, but I think you’ll find a better fit with tone since it encompasses so much more.

However, for those who just want to get to the answer, use genre. For those who are interested in learning the voice of a typeface can amplify the voice of a book, select tone.

Go to Genre
Go to Tone

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