Book Covers with Variable Typeface

A multiweight font is one which offers different widths and weights as part of the package.

Typically, a paid font set will include:

  • thin
  • light
  • regular
  • medium
  • standard
  • bold
  • black
  • wide thin
  • wide light
  • wide regular
  • wide standard
  • wide medium
  • wide bold
  • wide black
  • narrow thin
  • narrow light
  • and so on…

Matching typefaces is a rare skill. Multiweight typeface sets are great because designers can make use of a single font set to achieve a variety of effects, and the end result looks great.

Also, design software increasingly offers the variable font functionality. Affinity added it in May 2024 across their software: Photo, Designer and Publisher.

from the update notes version 2.5

Today I want to look specifically at book covers which very clearly utilise different fonts from the same set, sometimes in a way which draws attention to the fact that they’re doing that. (Actually, I’m not familiar with every typeface out there — these book covers appear to do that.)

Technically, ‘typeface’ refers to things like ‘Helvetica’, ‘comic sans’ and so on, whereas ‘font’ refers to size, weight and so on.

It was Apple who changed the meaning of the word ‘font’, which now refers to typeface in most people’s vocabulary. So now you get people talking about Helvetica font, comic sans font, and so on.


On paper, things look fine. Sam Dennon recently inherited significant wealth from his uncle. As a respected architect, Sam spends his days thinking about the family needs and rich lives of his clients. But privately? Even his enduring love of amateur astronomy is on the wane. Sam has built a sustainable-architecture display home for himself but hasn’t yet moved into it, preferring to sleep in his cocoon of a campervan. Although they never announced it publicly, Sam’s wife and business partner ended their marriage years ago due to lack of intimacy, leaving Sam with the sense he is irreparably broken.

Now his beloved uncle has died. An intensifying fear manifests as health anxiety, with night terrors from a half-remembered early childhood event. To assuage the loneliness, Sam embarks on a Personal Happiness Project:

1. Get a pet dog

2. Find a friend. Just one. Not too intense.




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