We are making the first-ever full size book for a minority language in West Africa. I want this not just OK, but a really nice and well done "real" book. I even found a budget for quality binding. So we have page numbers, an index, an introduction, drop caps, the main story of course with many illustrations and captions, we are presenting the author and the illustrator and we are having a glossary.

The book is typeset in the visually simple and tidy Andika font, as this language is just emerging into written form, so by definition all our readers are beginners. http://software.sil.org/andika/

quick readers, here is the request

Now to help the readers to orient in the book, I want to insert something like those centered book ornaments, to say visually: "This part of the book ends here." I am looking for book ornaments which will go naturally with a clear sans serif font (although I guess there are not many out there). Timewise and for practical reasons, I would prefer to use font-based ornaments, but independent vectors are possible in our DTP tool.

end of main request, more context below

I tried googling for what I need, but this is one "where words fail me". I found a single sans font which is tagged for "flourishes" but those flourishes are all on letters (characters), and there are no free ornaments, like there are in famous Windings.

These ones do not fit a sans font in my mind, but they are the basis for my searching:

example ornaments

Please do not write that what I want is wrong. I want to find five different but belonging-together ornaments and try them in a draft print-out. Of course I am also using generous white space, to separate each part of the book. I just want to introduce some of the classical elements of printed books and see how it will be received. If you do not have an answer appart from "I do not like it", then please do not answer. If you have other ideas how to visually divide a book - then I would be interested. Our illustrations were commercially obtained, so I cannot custom-order more for this purpose; since the artist is no longer alive.

Update: I just went ahead and purchased the LiebeOrnament, because its non-changing line-weight and simple style harmonizes very nicely with our Andika font. 20 dollars was a fair price - I consider it a penalty and "learning fee" for not having started this research earlier. Even through this posting and two answers/comments I have been inspired to make our own ornaments/flourishes/swashes for the next book project or whenever I have to structure text in a "non-academic" friendly way. Thanks to you all. Solved.

  • 2
    Draw your own? See graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/71816/… for some guides
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 12:02
  • Yes, I looked at those Ornaments at myFonts and I started, made three different ones and run out of time. I will do more, but not on last few days before a major deadline. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 15:44

3 Answers 3


If you can budget 20-30$ for a font, go to myfonts.com and search 'ornaments'. There will be many results and you can pick what looks best.

Some good options are the Flourishes & Ornaments or Liebe Ornaments fonts previewed below.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Yes, thank you, I was not trying to get anything for free; just did not know what to use for search-key-words or taggs. I read you so, that you do not object radically about such ornaments after a text in sans serif. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 11:42
  • We cannot comment on a design we have not seen, but generally yes, ornaments could work with a sans serif.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 11:46
  • A page in a book, all set in Andika. There is not much "design" appart from healthy margins and a page number, also in Andika; all set in 16pt; because people in Africa do not all have the glasses they need for their eyes. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 14:09
  • I will pick five ornaments and print a sample book and will let you know what the test readers made of them. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 14:09
  • 1
    See my update at the end of my question for my choice of solution. Over and out. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 15:49

Need some ornaments of your own, something that is free from traditional western decorative curlique? Theres' one possiblity:

enter image description here

All these are capital A characters heavily distorted and repeated. Horizontal and vertical flipping or rotation increases the possiblities.

The black and green are made in Inkscape. An A is typed, coverted to path, added path effect Bend and dragged the handles. Actually the distorted A is the same in the black and green, the repeating only differs.

The red one is made in Photoshop. Again an A was typed in BIG size, rasterized, selected the characted area and distorted to polar coordinates. Then repeated.

As a bonus, there's something left from the used font.

  • I will try this - intruiging, sadly figthing with a dealine, later more; thanks! Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 15:13

Have you looked at what comes with Andika? It looks like there are a couple of dingbats, some geometric shapes, some arrows, plus a lot of symbols that you might be able to re-purpose one way or another.

* * *

Asterisks are a traditional way to separate text, either in-line as above or in clusters called an asterism.

You could consider whether some combination of these and/or similar groups of other characters might work.


If you use anything like that last one, just be sure to check with Google Translate or, better yet, someone who uses the alphabet in question (in this case, Cyrillic) to be sure it's not a rude word.

  • 1
    As a Russian speaker, I'd have uninvited connotations on the last ornament. Best to avoid.
    – svavil
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 20:35
  • @svavil Thanks—I wondered if it meant anything! I don't have a Russian-speaker handy, though, and the Google just told me it meant "ѺjѺ" which is completely meaningless to me. Is it the specific combination, or would both those characters be problematic in any context (say, mixed with non-letter symbols)?
    – 1006a
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 20:38
  • to me, it reads like the first syllable of the Russian word for "ass". I thought you were intentional and tongue-in-cheek.
    – svavil
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 5:10
  • Thank you 1006a, I have indeed looked all over Andika and some of my other typefaces before posting my question here. I give you +1 for the helpful reminder that asterisks have been used for structural purposes. And staying in the main font would of course "guarantee" that the style fits. :) Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 9:12
  • 1
    @svavil Alas, I was not so clever. But now I can be in the future :)
    – 1006a
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 12:42

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