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I'm working on making my own card game, and I'm wondering how to approach picking a particular font. I know that this is partially subjective, however, I also know that from a designer's stand point this can be very technical and methodical.

Anyone have a 'best practice' for this?

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    Graphics Design.SE may be able to give you better answers than we can here.
    – diego
    May 27, 2015 at 20:32
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    There is a tag on Graphics Design Stack Exchange devoted to font recommendations (called font-recommendations), so it seems like a no brainer to migrate this question. You might do some research what fonts popular card games use before you ask your question. Magic: the Gathering and Munchkin are good places to start, as they are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to choosing fonts.
    – Rainbolt
    May 27, 2015 at 21:27
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    I agree that Graphics SE may be helpful. However, I believe this is also on-topic here, so I'm not going to migrate. There is a legitimate perspective here from the point of view of game designers (e.g. what are they aiming for with a font, what resources are available, etc.) which goes beyond the technicalities of choice of font. May 27, 2015 at 22:47
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    I've raised this closure on meta here: Should this question about fonts be closed? May 28, 2015 at 16:54
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    @freekvd - I think you may be missing my point. See Joe's answer below, which is at the level of a font user (specifically a game designer), not a graphics designer. May 28, 2015 at 16:55

2 Answers 2

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When I've put out games in the past, there have usually been two goals in font selection:

  • Fonts that are easy to read at the angle the player will be looking from.
  • Fonts that evoke the setting of the game.

For example, The Golden Wilderness is set in colonial California, so a typeface that was widely used in the 1700s helps evoke the setting. There's basically nothing you need to read during the game that isn't upright and in your hand (and that you have plenty of time to read), so readability isn't the issue.

Igino Marini's DW Pica

Leaving Earth, on the other hand, has many cards sitting all around the table that need to be understood by the players. Readability helps the game play more smoothly, so a clean font that's easy to read from multiple angles is needed.

Liberation Sans

Which particular fonts meet these criteria for your game all depends on the specifics.

Acquiring those fonts is another matter. There are plenty of free fonts out there, but don't be afraid to spend a little money on a good, professional font. The best professional fonts are designed with an eye for many tiny details (like kerning and ligatures) that you (assuming you're not a typographer) shouldn't have to worry about.

If you're just using a font for a bit of flavor, things like kerning might not matter too much (though it pains a typography enthusiast like me to say it). If you're using a font for your main title/logo, or for extended blocks of reading material, those small details matter much more.

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  • That was exactly what I was looking for! Such a good response!
    – Assad Q
    Jul 14, 2015 at 19:20
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Here's a great article by Daniel Solis:

http://danielsolisblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/5-graphic-design-and-typography-tips.html

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    Hi Joseph DR, welcome to the site. It looks like a good article, but link-only answers are discouraged (and attract negative votes), because the link might disappear in the future. Would you summarise the main points of the article here? May 30, 2015 at 16:43

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