Thursday, May 28, 2015

Kindle Typography Improvements

John Brownlee:

But today, Amazon is making a big step towards better typography on the Kindle. Not only are they unveiling Bookerly, the first typeface designed for the Kindle for scratch, but they’re finally solving the Kindle’s typesetting problems with an all-new layout engine that introduces better text justification, kerning, drop caps, image positioning, and more.

In appearance, it looks something like if Baskerville, a 225-year-old typeface that has been shown to shape our perception of truth, and Caecilia made a baby. Both of these parent fonts were previously available on the Kindle, but they had issues. On low-res devices, Baskerville’s thin, elegant lines looked crude, where as Caecilia, a slab serif, was just a bizarre choice for Amazon’s previous default font: although it’s highly readable, it’s a type of font best used for headlines, not body text, because slab serifs often look and feel bolded, even when they’re not.

Marco Arment:

It’s great that Amazon’s putting some effort into Kindle typography for the first time in far too long. But this is a small improvement, not a big one.


The new font and hyphenation are also only available on iOS so far. They’re not coming to Kindles until “later this summer”.

Bookerly looks nice to me, and I haven’t had problems with the justification.

Update (2015-05-28): Kirk McElhearn:

The difference is subtle, but if you pull back and look at them, you can see that the page with Bookerly is a bit lighter, which takes away that bulky feel you get when reading with Cecelia. This will be more noticeable on Kindle eink devices, where Cecelia is a bit weightier.

Comments RSS · Twitter

Leave a Comment