Skip navigation
This discussion is archived

This Question is Possibly Answered

1 "correct" answer available (10 pts) 2 "helpful" answers available (5 pts)
326 Views 3 Replies Last post: May 16, 2018 5:12 AM by riasing RSS
Level 0 3 posts since
Apr 5, 2018
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 16, 2018 7:39 AM

Getting Fancy with Font?

I'm currently working on formatting my Memoir.  How fancy with font can I get?  I'd like to change up my chapter headings, dedication page etc. with various fonts and sizes.  Will CreateSpace accept this? 

Level 5 5,668 posts since
Jan 17, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
1. Apr 16, 2018 8:20 AM in response to: Lisakay
Re: Getting Fancy with Font?

If you have the license to use a font and it can be embedded in the PDF you upload to CreateSpace, they'll print it.


That said, it's customary in publishing to use 2-3 fonts in a book: one for main body text and a complementary one for headings (and maybe a third for the title on the title page).


Editor & Book Designer
Find us on Facebook



Learning French? Try our bilingual English-French series

Self-publishing forum

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
2. Apr 16, 2018 11:52 AM in response to: Lisakay
Re: Getting Fancy with Font?

Font: originally, considering metal type, one complete set of characters for a specific member of a type face family at a specific size; for example, Times New Roman, italic, 12 pt.  Today, because text can be resized without requiring separate fonts we tend to use it correctly, for a member of type face; for example, Times New Roman Italic; or less correctly, for the entire type family, Times New Roman (which could include regular, italic, bold, bold italic, etc.).  Some digital type foundries sell a font, that is, a type family, which includes all members.  Other foundries sell each member of a type family (as individual fonts) or the entire family (sometimes, alas, also called a font).


Type face: the complete set of characters/glyphs of a member of a typeface family or type family; for example TNR regular, TNR italic, TNR bold, TNR bold italic.



  • Text could use regular, italic, bold, bold italic.  Bold and bold italic are most often used for subheads, titles, etc. Italics for emphasis of one or another sort.
  • The full title page often uses members of an entirely different type family
  • Chapter headings sometimes are from a different type family
  • Running headers and footers are often a different type family
  • Often the opening drop cap in each chapter could be a swash character, (fancy, with script like features) if the font has them, or a different font.


Sarah is right, however, that we should keep the number of fonts used in text limited, and that gives us the 2 or 3.  But it is not hard, even when being conservative, to have say five or six fonts in a book.  Some type families can have 10-20+ members (regular, italic, bold, bold italic, semibold, light italic, small caps; swash characters; caption regular  italic, light italic, bold, bold italic; semibold, display regular, italic, bold, bold italic, semibold; subhead regular, subhead italic, subhead bold, subhead, bold italic, subhead semibold; titling, etc. etc. etc.)


The problem is that many people think to use different fonts to convey different things.  So far so good, when it's the kinds of things I mentioned above.  But I've seen books where dozens of fonts are used to convey every emotion, inflection, nuance.  This leaves the reader at best confused, at worst angry.  The is similar to emails with multiple punctuation to convey degrees of excitement or doubt, etc. However, does !!!! really mean something different from !!!!!!!!!!!!!! or even !? (And the !? is iself a form of punctuation called a interrobang . . . I was using the question mark to indicate the sentence is a question . . . I should have spelled it out at the end.)


Font usage/embedding: Most loosely, if you can embed the font in your PDF, you can use it.  Fonts can be set up with embedding rights that prevent certain usages, like embedding for commercial use, etc. If you buy a font, the site should have the terms of use (tou), or end user  license agreement (EULA).  Sometimes when you download a font there is a readme file which tells you the rights.  In any case, if commercial use (like printing your book with CS) is permitted, fine, if not, you should not use the fonts. FontSquirrel is a great site for fonts, and 98% are free, commercial use.


Take a look at my free Type and Typography, link below.


Given the spam here, come on over to  selfpublishingforum.  It's free.  Many of us who answer questions here are active there.




Bleeds,  free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary: free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations for  CreateSpace users Type & Typography: free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary, and type specimen pages  Free: list of free PDF downloads; selfpublishingforum: spam free forum. Contact  for graphics, design, and typesetting help.



Level 0 1 posts since
May 16, 2018
Currently Being Moderated
3. May 16, 2018 5:12 AM in response to: walton
Re: Getting Fancy with Font?



More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...