Faq : How do I submit a FontStruction to Google Fonts (step-by-step guide)

If you’d like to contribute your FontStruct design to the Google Fonts directory, these are the six simple steps you need to take:

Step 1: Build your FontStruction

Your design needs to include, as a minimum, the 215 characters listed by Google Fonts here.

(With the exception of the last 3 which are not necessary).

To help you design these characters, you will find a new character set in the FontStructor called “Google Fonts Basic”, which covers exactly these glyphs:

Google Fonts Character Set

Your design needs to be original, and of “good quality”. It doesn't need to complex, or to try and hide its modular nature. It can be a simple 5x5 pixel font or a crude, geometric oddity, but you do need build it entirely yourself, and it should be a coherent, usable design.

As Google’s own contribution guidelines suggest, it’s a good idea to ask others, certainly on FontStruct, but also on other inline forums such as the google fonts discussion group, for advice and feedback on your work before offering it to Google Fonts.

Step 2: Name your FontStruction

This step requires thought, care and imagination. You need to come up with a unique and simple name – something that nobody else has used for a font before – and unfortunately you can’t just add your initials, or an abbreviation as a prefix or suffix to make it unique. You can use a search engine to try and check whether anyone has already used a name, or your can try this free lookup tool: namecheck.fontdata.com

Step 3: Choose the OFL

To submit to Google Fonts, your FontStruction must be licensed under the OFL (SIL Open Font License).

Step 4: Join Github

While not absolutely necessary, this is strongly recommended.

Google Fonts uses github.com to manage all its fonts and new font contributions. In simple terms, Github is a website where developers store and manage their code and other resources, such as fonts, as they change over time. It’s an established and well-trusted home for countless open-source projects such as Google Fonts. 

Joining Github is a quick and painless process, and importantly, as long as you’re using it for open source, it’s completely free.

Step 5: Contribute

If you’re a technically-minded person, a coder perhaps, who’s already familiar with Github, you may wish to manage the contribution process entirely yourself. You should find most of the information you need for this on Google Fonts’ own pages.

But FontStruct also provides a much easier option and can manage the initial submission process for you.

After you’ve selected the SIL Open Font License for your FontStruction, you should see the “Contribute to Google Fonts” button appear on your FontStruction homepage:

Google Fonts Contribute Button

Once all the requisite glyph slots are filled, the button will change colour, and you’re ready to go:

Google Fonts Contribute Button Active

Clicking on this button will take you to the contribution form.

Enter a description of your contribution in the form. Describe your design as fully as possible – for example, talking about its purpose, its current state, the inspiration behind it, and/or your plans for its future development. Once you’re done, click on the “Submit” button.

Google Fonts Contribution Form

When you click “Submit”, your font file, license text and a “readme” file will all be automatically sent to Github and will be publicly available so that Google staff can review your contribution. 

A kind of public discussion thread called an “issue” will also be opened automatically on Github where you can monitor and discuss progress on your contribution. You’ll be provided with a link to this “issue”. You can take a look at the current issues related to adding fonts to the Google Fonts repository here.

Step 6: Update your work

Whenever you improve and update your font, simply click on the button again, fill out the form describing the changes that you’ve made and submit it. Your changes will be sent to Github and the “issue” will also be automatically updated.

That’s it!
 

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