WPA Gothic

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A FontStruction. Download for non-commercial use. Contact me if you want to use it for biz.

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.

Kelvin Owers, Ratherfancy, and 22 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. annalaurent 72 months ago | reply

    ooooh v nice.

  2. fountaineer 72 months ago | reply

    Stewf- now offically a type designer! :-)

  3. peressini 72 months ago | reply

    Yes indeed. Very nice! Thanks for the heads up. I've got it in my hot little hands now.

  4. Ratherfancy 72 months ago | reply

    very slick. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Stewf 72 months ago | reply

    Good news: Pantufla has tagged a bunch of other great WPA posters with sign painters' gothic.

  6. The Realest Indian 72 months ago | reply

    i will play tennis like never before!

  7. raphaelmazor 72 months ago | reply

    As a gay yank, I find this thrilling.

    As a WPA-obsessed nerd, I love this even more.

  8. Stewf 59 months ago | reply

    No, thanks for that. A couple of little details (M) that I hadn't seen before.

  9. cayonav 57 months ago | reply

    great poster, stewf!
    & I love how you been promoting FS around here.

  10. magnus rakeng 56 months ago | reply

    Really nice work Stewf!

  11. j f p 56 months ago | reply

    wlecome to type design Stephen. :)

  12. Indra Kupferschmid 56 months ago | reply

    "Gotta fix that huge space on the right of the ‘r’ and ‘f’, among other things. FontStruct doesn’t have kerning, yet."

    why not shorten the r by a unit, compared to the crossbar of f it is rather broad. does fontstruct allow negative spacing?

  13. Stewf 56 months ago | reply

    good idea, and yes.

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