Recommended Typeface for a Charity's Publications

L_Tran's picture

Hi, all;
I have been tasked with standardising the format of every publication that the charity for which I work puts out. We are an organization of university student volunteers who teach elementary school students about conflict resolution. The typeface we are looking for is easily read, but not too austere. Because our message is that important subjects can be taught through games, we want our standard typeface to be professional and legible, but also somewhat casual and accessible. And, because we have no money, we'd like it to be in the public domain. The primary documents we produce are:
--Letters to schools interesting in participating in the program (read by teachers and principals; 1-4 pages long with images)
--Letters to local businesses asking for donations (read by professionals; 1 page long with no images)
--Promotional materials for prospective volunteers (read by university students; 1 double-sided brochure with images)
--Annual curriculum (read by university students; 50-80 pages with no images but lots of formatting)
--Student handbook (read by elementary students; 50-80 pages with a few images and lots of formatting)
--Business cards (given to just about everyone)
Ideally one family could be used for all of the above, but I understand that that's asking for a lot. Even a few different typeface families that went nicely together and met the above criteria would be extremely helpful.

Thanks in advance,

Joshua Langman's picture

It's not "in the public domain,"* but I've used Slimbach's Cronos for elementary-school-related things and thought it worked very well. It's highly friendly and legible, a very interesting sans serif. You'd probably want to pair it with a serifed face, though not necessarily.

* In fact, no digital fonts are in the public domain, though some are voluntarily distributed for free, and others are pirated and made available for free against the designer's wishes.

nicolacaleffi's picture

For a free, opensource, quality serif typeface, good for extended text settings, try Gentium:

For a sans serif - good for headlines and smaller portion of texts - you could try Lato:

Hope this helps.

Té Rowan's picture

@Joshua -- It was very common in the BBS world of yore to equate "public domain" and "free". Yes, big "Eww".

@L_Tran -- Fontsquirrel's collection is a nice set of genuinely for-free and freely-available fonts and faces. IIRC, Gentium and Lato are there, though perhaps not the latest versions.

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