Given the historical and often fanciful character of so many of our fonts I’ve been surprised not to see more of them showing up on the cover of romance novels, especially those with a historical setting. Well, that changed recently with the discovery of our Ardenwood font used very effectively on the cover of the high-end historical romance No Greater Pleasure by Megan Hart, which is part of a series which uses the font extensively. Unlike the last time I saw Ardenwood in use in a Michael Jackson memorial publication, where it was used very poorly, the use on the cover of No Greater Pleasure is done exactly right, using Ardenwood as an initial in combination with a plainer font for the main text. That type of use showcases the decorative aspects of Ardenwood while not overwhelming the reader. It’s eyecatching rather than bewildering, which is just how it should be.
Another font which showed up on the bookstore shelves recently is Scurlock featured on the cover of a short story collection called Lovecraft Unbound, edited by Ellen Datlow. It’s a good use of the font, which has a bit of an eldritch character to it, and the book includes an excellent selection of Lovecraftian short stories by some outstanding contemporary fantasy and horror writers incliding Caitlin Kiernan, Michael Shea and Brian Evenson.
Scurlock is actually an unusual choice for a Lovecraft book. A much more common choice for use in Cthulhian publications is our very early font Beaumarchais, which has been associated with Lovecraftian publications since it was released in the early 1990s. It is currently featured on the cover of the rather amusing horror novel The Mall of Cthulhu by Seamus Cooper. It’s not a towering work of Lovecraftian literature, but it’s an amusing first novel from a promising writer who seems comfortable poking fun at the genre. The Mall of Cthulhu could be a good set-up for a series, so keep an eye out for more from Seamus Cooper.