I read many books on Android for Kindle, and most of them display in a nice, unobtrusive way. This is a screenshot of my last book:

normal font on kindle

But the book I am currently reading has a very strange typography. It is not just that the justified text gives it bad kerning, and not just the giant line spacing (both screenshots are made with the same setting of "Line spacing: narrow"), the typeface looks unusual on its own. (For me personally, it is enough to distract me from reading).

enter image description here

The i is always somewhat higher than the rest of the letters, giving the whole text an uneven appearance. And then the letters have some unusual shapes. For example here a magnification of the word function, non-interpolated during scaling:

enter image description here

See the left curve of the u's cup: it changes into the straight vertical line at a severe angle. And there is a zit on the upper edge of the c, where the curve should be changing between a mostly oblique part and a mostly horizongal part.

Does anybody recognize the typeface? Was it intentionally created to look this way? Or is this some rendering error in either the application or the tablet's firmware?

Edit This could be Palatino, as BrianC suggested in the comments, but if yes, it is a very poorly displayed Palatino. Here is a picture of a standard LaTeX document set in Palatino. And sadly, I can't change the fonts without a) rooting the device and changing all fonts or b) breaking the book's DRM and reading it in a different application.

enter image description here

  • I'd guess that's a bad typeface. Those characters are bouncing all over the place. If it's just one book... that would confirm it's the typeface.
    – Scott
    May 9, 2014 at 16:14
  • Not sure what you're reading but it looks like the Type you often see in scholarly papers. Ive wondered this myself if its a bad copy job or more likely some grad student that thought using LaTeX gave him/her credibility but didn't really know what s/he was doing.
    – Ryan
    May 9, 2014 at 16:26
  • 1
    @Ryan no, I just compared it to a LaTeX paper which uses no deviation of the standard stale, just a normal \documentclass[a4paper,10pt]{article}, which should be in Computer Modern. It sets nicely, very even and legible.
    – rumtscho
    May 9, 2014 at 16:41
  • i believe what you're showing is Palatino. which was designed for print... not screen. on my kindle fire, it doesn't have the same issue of the baseline shifting around. but it also doesn't look very good. i think the issue is the book itself. try changing the typeface to Georgia, or Helvetica, the publisher or whoever may have tried to embed a font to the book.
    – BrianC
    May 9, 2014 at 16:51
  • I’m curious (read: astonished) that you find the first screenshot to be in any fashion appealing. That sample seems to employ justification by wordspacing alone, something I find worse on the eye than ragged-right text with invariant wordspacing. I believe I might go mad reading a book like that. To be readable, it also needs letterspacing and optimally subtle glyph reshaping as well.
    – tchrist
    Jun 17, 2014 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


The typeface looks to be a Palatino knock-off (there are literally dozens and dozens of them in circulation) "created" by someone who was evidently half drunk half the time and comatose otherwise. The knobby artifacts you're seeing are hinting gone terribly wrong, I would guess.

So, no, it's not intentional, and no, it's not your display.

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