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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 DDC Hardware, Futura Display, FF Golden Gate Gothic, Refrigerator, and MVB Solano Gothic by some of my favorite type designers, two of which (Parkinson and Van Bronkhorst) 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.
2019: 10 year anniversary update!
– Loosened the spacing a tad more.
– Added a few punctuation marks, including dashes, bullets, and inverted question/exclamation marks.
– Tightened ‘f’ spacing.
– Lengthened the quotes and apostrophes. They were so wee!
– And I fixed that Å! It’s not pretty, but it’s a ring.