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Display advertising

Good business

Advertising in the weekly print version of The Commons not only supports your local, nonprofit news source — it also makes good business sense.

  • Your ad will reach approximately 15,000 readers. Our readership has grown more than 50 percent in recent months, and we now distribute to almost every single town in Windham County.
  • Your ad lasts a long time. The Commons stays around all week. Readers tend to keep the paper around and share it with friends and relatives — your advertising included.
  • Your ad is affordable, putting advertising in reach even in these challenging times. We offer unbeatable advertising prices and special deals when you commit to three or more ads.
  • We automatically link to your website whenever your ad appears in the paper. As of summer 2011, we give our advertisers a big thank you on every page of this website — and that thank-you links to your business.

To advertise or send advertising materials, call Nancy Gauthier at (802) 246-6397 or e-mail her at

Our advertisers make The Commons — and other Vermont Independent Media programs — possible. Please patronize their business and let them know you notice their advertising.

Advertising rates

• Open advertising rate is $16.50 per column inch for black-and-white ads.

• Open advertising rate is $20.50 for color ads.

• A limited number of text-based, black-and-white, front-page box ads are available for $35.

• Discounts for frequency and nonprofit organizations available.


• Space reservations and copy for ads needing composition work: Friday at 5 p.m. before Wednesday publication.

• Final electronic files for ad space reserved: Monday morning before Wednesday publication.

• Deadlines subject to change during weeks with holidays.

For do-it-yourselfers and professional graphic designers submitting ads for their clients ...

Newspaper advertising, particularly in full color, is attention-grabbing and effective.  Given the realities of getting ink on cheap, porous paper flying at high speed through the press, it’s not only a science but also an inexact and imprecise art.

Our desire to keep these guidelines simple is outweighed by our desire for you to be happy with your ad in The Commons. To that end, we have figured out ways to get the highest production quality for your advertising dollar. If you have any technical questions, please call Jeff Potter at (802) 246-6397.

We must reserve the right to hold advertisers responsible for print errors that are a direct consequence of errors in the files submitted — so please don’t hesitate to let us help you create your ad. Of course, we take responsibility for anything we do that adversely affects your ad, and we work hard not to let that happen in the first place.

General guidelines

• We strongly prefer PDF files.  Please generate them with high-resolution (press) settings, set to PDF 1.3 compatibility.

• We can also accept EPS files with all fonts embedded.

• We can also accept Adobe InDesign files packaged for print (including all linked graphics and fonts).

• We can — grudgingly and warily — accept Microsoft Word files with a fax or hard copy printout as a guide. Such ads will need further composition work and are not considered print-ready.

• We cannot accept Microsoft Publisher files. Please provide a high-resolution PDF from those files if you wish, but please also provide original digital graphics, photographs, logos, etc. so we can rebuild your ad if necessary. It usually is necessary.

If you are designing a color ad

• We strongly recommend having your ad professionally designed, either by us or by a graphic designer experienced in preparing publications for print. If you are not familiar with the terminology in these guidelines, please get some help.

• We recommend using colors built from three process inks; two is even better. We do not recommend any color builds that include black.

• We recommend avoiding reversed type in sizes smaller than 14 point or on colors built from more than two process inks.

• Digital photos almost always need a surprising amount of brightening and sharpening to print clearly, and they need to be converted to CMYK color mode with settings that minimize the amount of black ink. We recommend submitting a fresh copy of any digital image that you use along with your ad PDF. That way we can easily adjust the color balance.

• All spot colors must be converted to process colors before exporting to PDF.

• We’ve had trouble with color ads created in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher reproducing even the simplest, smallest black text and shapes as a mixture of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Halos of the other colors will inevitably blur small black text. Printers call this rich black. We guarantee that you will call it terrible.

• No newspaper press can match colors to museum-quality specifications, but if you have very specific expectations for how a certain color in your ad will look, you must supply us with a color proof that we can transmit to our printer and do so no later than the Friday before the Wednesday publication date. We cannot guarantee exact matching, but we — and our printer — will take any reasonable measure (and even one or two unreasonable ones) to keep you happy.

After the ad is printed...

We love to keep our advertisers happy, and we’re proud of our track record for preventing mistakes from reflecting poorly on you and your business.

When examining your ad in the paper, please keep in mind that some color variation will inevitably occur in the printing process. One alarmingly dark or washed-out copy of one page in one paper is most likely an anomaly. Please save any examples of print quality that concern you.

If you or your graphic designer follow the guidelines above — which we use when building ads we design for our customers — your ad will reproduce very nicely in the vast majority of the copies distributed.


We love and appreciate our advertisers!

... and we hope you do, too. This week’s Commons is brought to you by: