How would you set Dan Brown?

Drudge's picture

So the latest blockbuster action-adventure-conspiracy-archaeology-history-religion-codes novel comes out. And the typography is a little … well, bland. If you want to make it look genuinely beautiful and pleasurable to read, but still in keeping with the genre, which typeface do you first reach for?

charles ellertson's picture

My first though would be to use comic sans.

But then I realized that wouldn't be professional, so then I thought "I'd just turn down the job." But I realized we've set some marginally pornographic texts just because they were "scholarly," so that answer too would be unprofessional.

Finally, I decided if I had to take on the job, I'd just assign it to someone junior to me, and let them have the nightmares.

If I have to say it, my problem with Dan Brown is he just can't write. Actually an insult to comic sans; IIRC, some comic books were better written. Well, that's the best-seller market for you...

Joshua Langman's picture


Actually, I just used Alegreya for a novel of a similar genre and thought it worked very well. A little more personality than the usual text faces, but it seemed to be the right kind of personality for a dark mystical race-against-death adventure. I had thought I was looking for something a bit constructed and artificial, and was actually surprised that something so calligraphic seemed the best fit.

John Hudson's picture

Loose Stool Roman? MT Arse Gravy?

jcrippen's picture

One of those horrible distressed typewriter faces from the grunge era of the ’90s. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read.

Seriously? Minion. As bland as possible, without being Times New Roman. There’s no saving blandity, you might as well embrace it.

If you’re setting the special signed leatherbound edition, use Bembo. It feels old and classy yet very familiar, which is exactly what people want for a classed up version of literary drivel.

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