Tips request: no profit newspaper, which fonts?

reggie_t's picture

Good morning everyone.

I'm going to design a 12 pages newspaper – compact, 24*34cm, 9.4"*13" – for a not for profit organization. The association is devoted to the promotion of its territory: from conscious tourism to the preservation and valorisation of their local artistic and environmental heritage.

Being an organization funded by its own members, I have been asked to use only free or cheap typefaces.

I think I need a good sans serif, with a regular and condensed family, and a serif for body text. I'd like to have some personality on the pages, starting from typography, but I understand their budget issues.

Have you got any idea to spare with me? Thank you very much.

Si_Daniels's picture

Seems strange that you'd equate non-for-profit with free or cheap fonts.

If the purpose of the publication is to raise money it might be worth doing a cost/benefit analysis of professionally producing the publication, vs saving a few $'s by scouring DaFont for hours on end.

Cheers, si

oldnick's picture

Which program are you going to use to design the publication? Bundled fonts may seem trite, but they are generally first-rate products and are included in the cost of the layout program.

nina's picture

"…to the preservation and valorisation of their local artistic … heritage"

That there might just be an excellent reason to make it a point to support, and work with, a local type designer. Rather than skimp on the formal side of the production, make it a meta-statement on what you're trying to achieve… let the client lead by good example.

sofaman's picture

^Nina, brilliant.

jabez's picture

Seems strange that you'd equate non-for-profit with free or cheap fonts.

Sounds like it was the client who did that.

"I have been asked to use only free or cheap typefaces."

reggie_t's picture

Exactly, Jabez. I will work pro bono too.

They are nice people, no more than a private committee, doing things for free like organising small fairs with local vegetables producers and photographers, lobbying the local authorities for the establishment of a county museum, inventing things to do in the countryside with kids and parents as an alternative to the malls of the nearby big city. I do not even think they are a registered NGO. Actually, I'd bet they are not.

The newspaper will hardly work to raise funds, Si. As they are really a "bunch of hippies" – I use the term in an affectionate, warm way – their main goal is to spread the word: more a newsletter in a newspaper shape than a newspaper in itself, as in Italy you need a registered journalist as editor and a tribunal authorization to publish any single thing. So much for the freedom of press and expression.
However, their events that I attended to were completely free: I suspect they haven't even had the idea to ask for money. Anyone was bringing own food and beverages et voilà, kids were playing, people singing or staring at the photographs on the medieval walls of the villages, picking small cubes of chees offered by local farmers. Yes, the more I talk about them, the more I like them – naiveté comprised.

Old Nick, I work with Quark XPress 7.

Nina, yours is truly a great idea. I will pass onto them.

So far, thanks to each of you for the time spent.

Queneau's picture

There are some good Open Source typefaces you could have a look at: Gentium, Linux Libertine, Liberation. Bundled fonts are certainly a good place to start as well.

I personally like Canada Type, an independent foundry which sells nice and original fonts for a reasonable price. You could also have a look at some fonts by Stone Type Foundry, especially Silica, StonePrint or ITC Stone.

Some other good quality freefonts are PT Sans, Aller and League Gothic (all available at

Hope this helps

Queneau's picture

Here is a list of Open Source Fonts, most on a SIL Open Font Licence.

Si_Daniels's picture

Sergio, your explanation sheds a lot of light on the publication, I can see the appeal of using amateur/rustic/folk fonts in the paper. Also agree with Nina, in that this might be a great opportunity to work with local designers.

Randy's picture

SIL Charis is basically Charter, if not exactly. That would be worth exploring for free body text.
Droid Sans & Serif are worth a look too.

Si_Daniels's picture

>Nina, yours is truly a great idea. I will pass onto them.

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