iBooks Author fonts and typography do not have to be boring. iBooks Author now allow for custom fonts, which means you can use any free font out there to complement your images and design your cover art. You can also deal with typography when putting together your images, via Photoshop or any photo/image editing software.

Here are the two ways I use to introduce more innovative typography in my Travelogue series with iBooks Author.

Great free font resources for your iBook:

  • David Airey has curated a great selection of free fonts that work great for a different look and to establish your identity as an artist. Make sure to check out his review of the Idler font.
  • Douglas Vitkauskas has created several solid and innovative fonts, most of which are free for non commercial use. Commercial licenses are very affordable. I use the VTKS Choice font for my Travelogue series.
  • The font directories such as Dafont and Fontspace offer a massive choice of free / commercial fonts.

Handwritten fonts:

For my Travelogue series I handwrite the fonts. Hand lettering adds an organic dimension to the drawings and watercolors that I simply cannot get any other way.

Hand lettering is time consuming. To minimize the time spent, you need a good lettering guide for use in Photoshop. Here is how I hand letter Travelogue:

  • Pen setting: with the majority of my drawing being watercolors on rough paper from Arches, the best photoshop brush for hand lettering is simply the 2B pencil which I use at a size two for basic lettering, size three for “bold” fonts and size five for emphasis or sub titles.
  • Lettering guide: I designed my own lettering guide by using the standard U.S. comic conventions.

iBooks Author font dashboard for Travelogue:

Here is what my Travelogue dashboard looks like in iBooks Author. You can see below 1) a section title page that uses the VTKS Choice font, including text that has been rasterized and manipulated in Photoshop and exported to iBooks Author as a transparent PNG (“Travelogue”) 2) a page with hand lettered text (all done within Photoshop) 3) the text Inspector that I would use to format the “Big Sur” text box.

ibooks author fonts

iBooks Author dashboard for Travelogue 1