Which free fonts are similar to this sans-serif Handel Gothic font?
What is the font in this extract?
(hint: I've already found that it looks very similar to Handel Gothic, but the M is round on top)
and what free (or even open-source if possible) font (to use in a printed book) could I use to replace it?
I actually decided to replace it with Roger White's Newtown: http://www.fontspace.com/roger-white/newtown:
I fixed the small caps by ``thinnering'' the font as explained here. The small caps have been adapted to the height and width of the small "x". The capital "S" is still bigger because that's part of the way it's supposed to look. Here is the result:
It's not strictly the same, but close enough for my needs, and the font is free (GPL actually) :-)
It started out as Handel Gothic Medium (the Linotype version), by the look of it, but the letterforms have been s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d horizontally (I hate that) and the M has been rounded for purposes of creating this wordmark. The stretching is what makes the vertical parts of the S, T and C, and the vertical strokes of the T, H and K too thick, so they're out of proportion.
Note that these are faux small caps, not the real thing (which are rare in sans serif typefaces). That's why the initial caps are thicker than the lower case.
Handel Gothic seems about right. I couldn't find a free font that looked even remotely similar to this (I even passed it through a font identification system, but it found a font that looked nothing like it), but if you can pay the $24.99 or so for Handel Gothic on MyFont, then you should go for it.
Also, if you do end up getting Handel Gothic, I found that doing some erasing from the points of the M work fine. A very rough example:
Photoshop has the crescent-shaped eraser that would work great for this if you manipulate it well. ;)