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The Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) was the largest agency of FDR's "New Deal", employing millions of people. Over 2,000 posters were produced by the W.P.A. to raise awareness and support the arts.

I have a lot of admiration for these posters and a style of sign painters' lettering (sometimes called “gas-pipe”) that was common in the U.S. during the 1930s-'40s. WPA Gothic gets much of its inspiration from this poster in particular. This FontStruction stays true to the sample’s simple letterforms, but the FontStruct grid does present a few limitations. For more refined typefaces in this style check out Futura Display, FF Moderne Gothics, Refrigerator, and MVB Solano Gothic by some of my favorite type designers, two of which (Van Bronkhorst and Parkinson) are East Bay natives.

WPA Gothic has a few alternate glyphs hanging out in the Extended Latin slots with more to come.

To get a look at the typeface outside the confines of the FontStruct sampler, here's a sample poster.

May 25, 2008: Released a variation with low-waisted "deco" caps.

Info Created on 10th April 2008 . Last edited on 15th October 2013.
License FontStruct License
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I love this font. Too bad that support for most extra latin characters is missing. Besides that, it's perfect. :)
Comment by galo35290 12th May 2008
Thanks, galo. Diacritics are on the way. Check again later this week.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 12th May 2008
Very pro font, i like it!
Comment by aurrutia 13th May 2008
Gorgeous typeface! Would you mind if i try to add cyrillic alphabet?
Comment by anTyp 13th May 2008
Please do, Anton. You certainly would do a better job than I. All I ask is that you name it WPA Gothic Cyrillic.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 13th May 2008
Thanks, Stewf! I’ll name it as you wish :)
Comment by anTyp 13th May 2008
I like this one lot. Thank you Stewf.
Comment by ratherfancy 16th May 2008
Diacritics added. Western language support complete.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 25th May 2008
Great work, Stewfer! Until now I was only familiar with the results of another New Deal program, the Farm Security Administration (FSA). I love this font and the posters that inspired it! Thanks for all of the links, too!
Comment by SquarePeg 28th May 2008
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 1st July 2008
I like WPA Gothic with those alternates
Comment by JH34 5th August 2008
I like WPA Gothic with those alternates
Comment by JH34 5th August 2008
Just amazing...10 points! (artwork has that WPA "feeling" and its so...funny!)
I´m working on a type from a poster of Jerome Roth (1936 WPA) too...

Comment by Axel Leyer 12th September 2008
Heads of State used WPA Gothic on a book cover. Yay.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 13th January 2010
And customized it for the new
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 13th January 2010
Congratulations Stewf. That's great to see. Is this "State By State" cover for the paperback edition? I own the hard cover version which sports a different design.
Comment by afrojet 13th January 2010
Yes, it's the new paperback edition.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 13th January 2010
Congratulations on the use of your font, WPA Gothic, on the cover of "State by State." This is a wonderful achievement and adds additional legitimacy to fonts created here at Fontstruct; as well as the typographers who continue to passionately and arduously strive to make something significant from these simple little bricks. Salute.
Comment by funk_king 15th January 2010
Congratulations Stewf - how satisfying to see one's work in print :)
Comment by p2pnut 16th January 2010
Love that cover, but isn't that a violation of your CC license? I only because I've avoided using FontStruct faces with similar licenses in the past and if I'm mistaken and can use them I'd love to know.
Comment by spencercross 20th January 2010
You're right, Spencer! I forgot I selected Non-commercial on this one. It would have been nice for the designers to contact me first.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 20th January 2010
Hi stewf - I am a pro musician with a graphic design background. I love this font, the guy I use for design proposed using your font, and it was the only thing close to what I wanted. Now that I understand a little more of the history that informs it, I know we couldn't have chosen a more perfect font!
Comment by superfreq 16th April 2010
I guess Creative Commons Non-Commercial Licenses still mean very little for many "graphic Designers"...
Well at least the client thanks you for it :)
Nice Font by the way!
Comment by jmarquez 16th April 2010
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 20th June 2010
@Stewf: In honor of these cool new editions of “WPA Gothic Gone Wild” (found in the wild, that is), I have made a 2.0-enabled clone to demonstrate some useful qualities of composite bricks. Let me know what you think : )
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 22nd June 2010
Probably my favorite WPA Gothic use so far: No Coast Craft-o-rama poster by Aesthetic Apparatus
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 15th August 2011
Beautifully crafted Stewf... I plan on using this on one of my class assignment if you don't mind.
Comment by djunglist 26th February 2012
Sure, djunglist. Go ahead. And share what you've done here in this thread!
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 26th February 2012
Hi. Beautiful font. How may I contact you about using this font?
Comment by cojospace 17th September 2012
Hi there. A message here on Fontstruct will work fine. Or contact me via the form at
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 17th September 2012
Beautiful font! Thank you!
Comment by Wolf Lambert 11th February 2013
Another use, for San Francisco tea shop Boba Guys.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 10th July 2013
Font Update:
- Loosened overall spacing by 50%. This is better for most uses and helps compensate for the lack of kerning.
- Somehow I missed the sharp corner on the uppercase ‘L’. This is now fixed to a more appropriate rounded corner. Reduced the length of the horizontal stroke.
- Lengthened terminals on ‘C’.
- Rounded corners on upper and lowercase ‘Z’s. They are still crappy.
- Lowercase ‘r’ glyphs are now more narrow with less right side bearing.
- Brought in the side bearings of other glyphs.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 15th October 2013