WPA Gothic

This FontStruction was selected by FontStruct staff.This%20FontStruction%20was%20selected%20by%20FontStruct%20staff.

by Stewf
see also WPA Gothic Deco by Stewf, and WPA Gothic Hebrew by JH34, and Alternate Gothic by JH34, and buzzcola by BUZZCOLA


This font is a free download, but some use is prohibited without contacting me first. Please abide by the license! Thanks.

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.

206 characters, 1867 downloads
Thu, 10th April, 10:39 PM 2008
Last Edit:
Tue, 15th October, 9:03 PM 2013
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This work is shared under the FontStruct Non-Commercial License


galo35290 Mon, 12th May, 2008

I love this font. Too bad that support for most extra latin characters is missing. Besides that, it's perfect. :)

Stewf Mon, 12th May, 2008

Thanks, galo. Diacritics are on the way. Check again later this week.

aurrutia Tue, 13th May, 2008

Very pro font, i like it!

anTyp Tue, 13th May, 2008

Gorgeous typeface! Would you mind if i try to add cyrillic alphabet?

Stewf Tue, 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.

anTyp Tue, 13th May, 2008

Thanks, Stewf! I’ll name it as you wish :)

ratherfancy Fri, 16th May, 2008

I like this one lot. Thank you Stewf.

Stewf Sun, 25th May, 2008

Diacritics added. Western language support complete.

SquarePeg Wed, 28th 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!

Stewf Tue, 1st July, 2008

JH34 Tue, 5th August, 2008

I like WPA Gothic with those alternates

JH34 Tue, 5th August, 2008

I like WPA Gothic with those alternates

Axel Leyer
Axel Leyer Fri, 12th September, 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...

Stewf Wed, 13th January, 2010

Heads of State used WPA Gothic on a book cover. Yay.

Heads of State used WPA Gothic on a book cover. Yay.

Stewf Wed, 13th January, 2010

And customized it for the new

And customized it for the new <a href=""></a>?

afrojet Wed, 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.

Stewf Wed, 13th January, 2010

Yes, it's the new paperback edition.

funk_king Fri, 15th 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.

p2pnut Sat, 16th January, 2010

Congratulations Stewf - how satisfying to see one's work in print :)

spencercross Wed, 20th 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.

Stewf Wed, 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.

superfreq Fri, 16th April, 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!

jmarquez Fri, 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!

Stewf Sun, 20th June, 2010

More WPA Gothic in use.

<a href="">More WPA Gothic in use.</a>

Stewf Sun, 20th June, 2010

will.i.ૐ Tue, 22nd 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 : )

Stewf Mon, 15th August, 2011

Probably my favorite WPA Gothic use so far: No Coast Craft-o-rama poster by Aesthetic Apparatus

Probably my favorite WPA Gothic use so far: <a href="">No Coast Craft-o-rama poster by Aesthetic Apparatus</a>

djunglist Sun, 26th February, 2012

Beautifully crafted Stewf... I plan on using this on one of my class assignment if you don't mind.

Stewf Sun, 26th February, 2012

Sure, djunglist. Go ahead. And share what you've done here in this thread!

cojospace Mon, 17th September, 2012

Hi. Beautiful font. How may I contact you about using this font?

Stewf Mon, 17th September, 2012

Hi there. A message here on Fontstruct will work fine. Or contact me via the form at

Wolf Lambert
Wolf Lambert Mon, 11th February, 2013

Beautiful font! Thank you!

Stewf Wed, 10th July, 2013

Another use, for San Francisco tea shop Boba Guys.

Another use, for San Francisco tea shop <a href="">Boba Guys</a>.

Stewf Tue, 15th October, 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.