I am working on a multilingual book about some European Union countries. The selected are: Poland, Greece, Spain, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, Austria, Turkey and Estonia.

I wish to write a chapter about each country using a font in some way specific for it. The Polish (free) fonts are, e.g., Antykwa Toruńska or Antykwa Półtawskiego.

I would be grateful for any suggestion concerning the remaining countries or the general approach.

  • 7
    Conceptually, there's something there, but aesthetically, this might end up not working so well. That said, to select the typefaces, I'd maybe look for some known type designers from each country as a way to select the typefaces.
    – DA01
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 7:14

5 Answers 5


For designers there a some straightforward choices, like Bodoni for Italia.

Maybe you want to see what typefaces are used in certain very famous works, e.g. from Mozart for Austria, Gaudi for Spain, maybe Plato for Greece, etc. For GReece, Lithos Pro from Adobe might be an option.

Another option is to look for fonts created for special events, like Olympic games, or World exhibitions etc.

Finally, you could look for names of cities, as designers often choose a name to a certain mood the want to represent their font. For Spain you could use the Madrid fonts for instance, , for Italia Torino Modern


Some submissions from the respective closed question in TeX.SE:

  • Mario S.E. suggested in his answer and a comment below for Spanish the Universitas Studii Salamantini Font, what has only uppercase letters, or “the font of ‘El Quijote’”.

  • Michal.h21 suggested regarding Czech to search for fonts made by “some famous typemakers in the 20th century, like Oldřich Menhart and Vojtěch Preissig. They created some original typefaces, some information can be found in this article, or in another article.”. Alas, there does not seem to exist “any free digitalised version of their typefaces, there is only lot of commercial versions, like Maiola, Menhart. … Other fonts inspired with Czech tradition are Skolar and Nara
    the latter with interesting creation history.

    The only good free Czech font Michal knows “is František Storm's Lido, but it is based on Times. Good thing about Lido is that there is also support for traditional TeX, not only XeTeX or LuaTeX.”

  • Thank you for adding this piece of information. I was not sure if I was allowed to do this. Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 18:43
  • Przemysław, well, everything here is under Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0, see also at bottom on the right (it could be additionally relicenced under a second free licence). So, I linked sources, and also I’ve set my answer to “community wiki”, so that I do not earn reputation.
    – Speravir
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 21:26

A book with nine different fonts, not included headings, index etc sounds like a rather bad idea. To paraphrase Vignelli:

You do not need a font that looks like a dog, to make the content bark.

Besides; even if you do manage to find nine fonts, with some regional characteristics, chance are that very few will pick up on it at all, and it will only look messy. Considering, that in addition there will be headings, pagination, flyleaf, introduction, appendices, index, table of content... You will essentially end up with the visual impression of font-soup.

Some fonts are easier to read than others, and even if people do not notice that the fonts are different in different chapters, it will affect the reading.

  • 2
    Of course it would look ugly, but it was for some European Union project. Ugly result fit to an ugly idea. Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 22:23
  • Hahaha! greetings, fellow European - I utterly understand :-D
    – benteh
    Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 22:25
  • I'm going to jump on this European ride of understanding!
    – Jenna
    Commented Dec 1, 2013 at 0:39
  • Eurocrap and the ludicrous blandness of the EU. Delishious.
    – benteh
    Commented Dec 1, 2013 at 0:50

Let others do work for you. Each of these countries most probably has a site, which advertises tourism and which was most probably ordered by government from some larger local company with great designers.

While creating the logo and design for the site, which would represent their country, they would also probably choose the most appropriate font for it.

Here are some suggestions :

Estonia         : http://estonia.eu/
Turkey          : http://www.travelturkey.com/
Austria         : http://www.austria.info/us_b2b
Czech Republic  : http://www.czechtourism.com/home/
Romania         : http://www.romaniatourism.com/
Italy           : http://www.italia.it/en/home.html
Spain           : http://www.spain.info/
Greece          : http://www.visitgreece.gr/
Poland          : http://www.poland.travel/en/

The only thing remaining is to find the font name, which was used. Either do it manually, locating the most similar from a font catalog or write them an e-mail with a question about which font they used.

  • Nice idea - but keep in mind that this will be the fonts that project the type of character the tourism board wants the country to be associated, not necessarily how people actually see the country. Great way to get ideas though. Also maybe try national cultural/heritage organisations, or things that try to cash in on being "of" that country, e.g. merchandise, and signage at tourist traps... don't copy them, they're probably awful, but as cheesy caricatures of national character they could help get ideas of what characteristics people associate with the country... Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 13:05

Is there the potential to select an opentype typeface which has glyphs for all the relevant languages - it may not vary stylistically but would have a consistency throughout the book whilst being culturally accurate and sensitive

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