Good, usable, cheap body copy fonts

mrjono's picture

Hi,

I'm currently redesigning a magazine for a client who has a very low budget (almost non-existent). I'm at the stage of deciding which fonts to use for body copy. I don't think I'll get anywhere with free fonts, hence I chose Museo Sans for display and captioning. I'd like to look into alternatives for similar prices as the Exljbris 'free' fonts ($15-30 per weight).

I like Calluna, but I'd prefer it if the magazine didn't end up looking like an Exljbris specimen.

Has anyone ever worked with a good, usable, cheap serif font for body copy use in a long document like a magazine or book?

Thanks

Jono

Jan's picture

I recently stumbled over this beauty by typophile Andreas Stötzner:

http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/andreas-stotzner/andron-freefont/

mrjono's picture

That is a beauty! No italics or other weights tho!

Thanks for the suggestion tho Jan

Jan's picture

No italics or other weights tho!

It’s free. What do you expect?
It’s quality work tho.

Other free font families:
- Charis (Charter derivate)
- Gentium
- Liberation Serif

I haven’t tried any of these.

Khaled Hosny's picture

Try Linux Libertine, Junicode or Charis SIL, all are free, body copy fonts, with extensive Unicode coverage and OpenType fonts. It is 2010 and people still think free fonts are "cheap"!

You can find more good fonts, if you looked carefully.

mrjono's picture

Hi Guys,

thanks for your suggestions, but I'm not looking for a free font. For precisely the reasons Jan mentioned. I expect italics and other weights as it's for setting an entire magazine with, so I fully expect to pay. The budget is limited tho, so something under $30 a weight would be good.

Khaled Hosny's picture

All of the 5 "free fonts" mentioned here come in four weights at least, but you didn't even bother googling them to check yourself. Is the notion that "free font" == "bad font" that deep into design culture?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Have a look at Cycles by Sumner Stone.

mrjono's picture

Excuse me Khaled, please don't tell me what I didn't do. I did bother to google them. I'm not sure I can be bothered with your tone and your weird rhetorical questions.

Thanks riccard0, Lido looks great!

Khaled Hosny's picture

But what you said earlier contradicts this, all the free fonts (free and open source) mentioned here are quality fonts, much much better than any commercial font you can get for 33$, even on of them were done by a large well known foundry (Liberation by Monotype for Red Hat), still you are comparing them to other poor "free" fonts.

As a free/libre/open source font developer, I feel insulted by such attitude, hence my angry tone.

mrjono's picture

Khaled,

There's a difference between quality and suitable. I looked at the fonts and didn't think any of them were suitable for the look of the magazine I'm working on. Gentium comes closest, and is a good font, just not quite what I feel would suit my content. Lido on the other hand looks much better, and is only $19/weight.

So when you say the open source fonts are 'much much better than any commercial font you can get for 33$' you're wrong. It's all about context, which you and your angry tone seemed to be forgetting.

Do us all a favour and keep your anger to yourself. It's incredibly rude to say to someone 'you didn't even bother googling them to check yourself' when you have no idea about what I did or didn't do. Arrogance and anger will get you and your fonts nowhere.

aluminum's picture

You claim you don't want to use free fonts because you need a full family right after Khaled pointed to free fonts that had a full family.

Assuming you didn't google it was likely a logical assumption.

mrjono's picture

Granted that is a logical assumption, but one that should have not been made with an angry and condescending tone. He should have asked, or not assumed at all. If he had asked the question I would have answered it with the explanation I just gave. I should have explained my full reasons for not using the free fonts, but at least I didn't get angry about things.

Khaled Hosny's picture

You would have said non of these fonts suits your need instead of saying I'm not looking for a free font. For precisely the reasons Jan mentioned., which is insulting.

Most of the paid FOSS font work that I do are usually commissions, so it does not make any difference for me if they get used or not, what irritates me is when some one is trying to help, yet he is met with attitudes like "your work is free crap that is worthless and we are not interested in".

Arno Enslin's picture

@ mrjono

http://new.myfonts.com/person/Dino_dos_Santos/

But if you decide for a DSType font, I would ask here about the quality of the kerning. The quality of the kerning varies from font to font. In case of Capsa (which I like very much) it is good in my opinion, but Capsa is not a magazine font.

I am amateur, but as far as I know, you are not allowed to transfer the fonts to the client. You can transfer the license (at least in Germany), after you have finished the work, but then you are not allowed to use the fonts anymore. As far as I know, it is common practice, that you include the costs or parts of the costs of your license into the bill. But then I would think about investing more money in a font, that you can use later in another project. And in this case I would not let the client pay the complete costs of your license, but maybe the half only. What I want to say is, that you are not allowed to work with fonts of the client. So it is primary you, who decides, if he is willing to invest in your license.

mrjono's picture

Nobody said you're fonts are free crap Khaled, I think it's time you relaxed, it's friday after all.

Deep breaths, calm thoughts, my fonts are good, my fonts are good, my fonts are good...

wongxiao's picture

I should have explained my full reasons for not using the free fonts, but at least I didn't get angry about things.

Be that as it may, your statements struck me as much angrier and more terse than Khaled's. He just made an assumption, and his following remark wasn't even pointed at you specifically. I didn't find his comment condescending or arrogant in the least.

On the other hand, remarks like:

-I'm not sure I can be bothered with your tone and your weird rhetorical questions.
-Do us all a favour and keep your anger to yourself.
- I think it's time you relaxed,

...strike me as very pointedly condescending. As if you're so much better because you know how to "keep your cool" online. Add to that the sarcasm:

-Deep breaths, calm thoughts, my fonts are good, my fonts are good, my fonts are good...

...honestly, I think Khaled is being much more cordial than you.

Just my two cents. Good luck with your magazine.

mrjono's picture

-I'm not sure I can be bothered with your tone and your weird rhetorical questions.

That remark was a response to Khaled telling me what I didn't bother to do.

-Do us all a favour and keep your anger to yourself.

Khaled is the one who said he was angry, before I referred to his anger. Forums really aren't the place to start with anger.

- I think it's time you relaxed,

I think it is time he relaxed, it's just a forum post. My sarcasm was a means to cut the atmosphere in here. It's not a question of keeping it cool, it's about asking questions and not projecting assumptions on people.

Let's stop all the fuss, I've got some good options to progress with now.

Thanks everyone

1996type's picture

I thought typophile was about type. Having said that, I think Arno has a very good point in using a DStype font. They have a lot of text fonts, with complete families, from a well-known foundry, for only 26$ per style. What else do you want! I'd go for this one: http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/dstype/musee/

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