An independent archive of typography.

Kindle Paperwhite

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Sep 7th, 2012. Artwork published in .
Kindle Paperwhite
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

The new Kindle Paperwhite, announced today, adds a bundle of font options for an e-ink display device that previously offered only PMN Caecilia. But most welcome to me in that list of options is “Publisher Font”, which lets book designers make their own typographic choices (and embed their own fonts) just like they would in a book’s printed edition. I assume this equivalent to the “Original” option in Apple’s iBooks app. From the product page:

Hand-Tuned Fonts
All six fonts on Kindle Paperwhite have been hand-tuned at the pixel level for maximum readability and comfort. Higher resolution allows for unprecedented sharpness. The new high-resolution display allows for elegant typeface options including Baskerville and Palatino.

These are pretty unimaginative choices, (in contrast to the latest book-friendly fonts added to iBooks), and Futura is an especially odd selection for long reading, but perhaps they are indeed well tuned for this particular display. I’ll write a more detailed report once I see the device in person.


  • PMN Caecilia
  • Baskerville
  • Futura
  • Helvetica
  • Palatino



6 Comments on “Kindle Paperwhite”

  1. Because these fonts have been “hand-tuned” I wonder if they would be open to allowing other, embedded fonts, which can’t all be equally tuned by hand. I wonder if it’s more likely that that setting refers to the publisher’s own choice at which of the six is best for their text.
  2. What I’m most interested in is how well some of these and old book types might perform on this high res screen that more closely emulates paper. It could be that old faces we love that don’t work well on monitors could work well here. But, I don’t think these are those faces :)

  3. What continually amazes and confuses me is the seemingly insatiable compulsion for the developers of e-readers to set type in justified columns, especially with such an apparent lack of interest in implementing any kind of hyphenation & justification algorithms that would make justified type look anywhere near acceptable.

    I could understand if they were gung-ho about justification and worked hard to make it look right, or if they ignored h&j algorithms but left-aligned all the type, but I don’t get why time after time we STILL see e-readers with horribly justified type.

  4. Mark Boyer says:
    Dec 18th, 2012 8:02 pm

    I just got my Paperwhite, and font changing doesn’t appear to work. I can’t change the font. Is it me or Amazon?

  5. Eugene Stakem says:
    Oct 29th, 2014 8:48 pm

    Where do you open publisher fonts from?

  6. The cut of Futura that comes in the Kindle is a unique one, with a tailed t. (And not the same as Futura Next.)

    I like it. When I put my copy of URW Futura in the custom fonts folder for comparison, I liked the Kindle version better, for reading on Kindle at least. The only time I read a lot with it was when I read the book Never Use Futura, as I couldn’t not.

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