Google Fonts

Making a PR to Google Fonts

🐸 In order to submit a new family or an upgrade of an existing family on, we must add or update the files held in the google/fonts repository. This guide will help users submit Pull Requests (PR) which can then be reviewed and merged by a team member.

The PR process requires a good understanding of GitHub and command line tools. If this isn’t you, we suggest simply opening an issue using the Add Font or the Update Font template in the issue tracker, and waiting for a team member to ship the font for you.

As a general rule, GF requires users to open an issue before submitting anything through a PR. The PR is the formality that achieve a project, not its starting point. GF uses the issue tracker to define an agenda, generate statistics to estimate the work done, but also to archive decisions. Anything that is going out of GF standards, needs to be documented somewhere, and the issue tracker is here for that purpose. If your font isn’t submitted through an issue first, your PR may never be merged.
Background reading:
learn Hosting projects on Github
start Knowledge, tools and dependencies required
must→ Adding & upgrading fonts to Google Fonts
must→ Overall font files requirements

Table of contents


Initial setup

Before making a pull request to google/fonts (aka the source repo), you will need to have your own copies of the google/fonts repository: one hosted remotely on git server (the fork), one locally on your own machine (the clone of your fork). The forked repo will then be the “origin” remote of your local repo and therefore will be linked to each other.

  1. Fork the google/fonts repo so you have your own copy.
  2. Clone your fork to a sensible place on your computer.
  3. At this stage, your local clone is only tracking its origin remote (aka your fork of google/fonts). It means that if you fetch changes from all remotes, you will only be able to pull the changes that happened on your fork. To be sure you receive the latest updates from google/fonts (aka the “upstream” remote), you need your local clone to be linked to it. Add google/fonts as a remote and call it “upstream”.
  4. Fetch from the main branch of the upstream repo.

If the upstream has changes, you need to pull them locally, and then have your origin remote also in sync:

  1. Pull from the upstream repo (into the main branch of your local clone).
  2. Push into the main branch of the origin repo.

Now all remotes are connected with your local repo and they are all in sync.

Making a pull request to GF

You’ve completed the initial set-up to make a pull request to the google/fonts repo, and the font you want to submit follows all the requirements in terms of both its hosting (in a public git repository) and engineering (passes fontbakery checks). Now you want to submit it to Google Fonts.

The google/fonts repository is a big repository. It contains more than a thousand fonts. A lot of people have forked it, and a lot of people are contributing to it. So we don’t commit and push directly into the main branch — and this is also mandatory for your own fork and clone. Instead, we create a new branch, and make a pull request from this branch. The rule is that one Pull Request will relate to one changed directory changed. (eg. one PR will deal with updates to ofl/castoro, but a separate PR must be made for updates to ofl/lexend.)

They are several workflows possible, but we recommend this one when it comes to making manual pull requests to google/fonts:

  1. Create a local branch, make changes, and commit the changes.
  2. Push the commits to a branch of the same name to the origin remote (your fork).

    Note that if you have contributing permission (you are a GF team member), you can directly create a branch on google/fonts and make a PR from this branch instead of from your fork’s branch.

  3. Make a pull request to google/fonts either from the branch on your fork, or, if you are a team member, from the branch you made on the upstream.
  4. Then we will review it, and eventually merge it.

When the PR is merged, then you can sync up your local clone and your fork. Finally, you can delete the local and the origin remote branch to save space everywhere.

Making a manual PR

Now that you have the general scheme in mind, let’s dive into more details. You have completed the initial set-up to make a pull request to the google/fonts repo, and the font you want to submit meets all the requirements, in terms of its hosting and engineering.

  1. Create a branch that has the name of the font family (all lowercase, no spaces).
  2. If you are adding a new family, you will have to create a new directory in the ofl/ folder. Name it after the font family name (all lowercase, no spaces, no hyphens).


    • If you have, for example, MyFont and MyFontCondensed, this is 2 families: remember that GF only accepts weight styles. So this is also 2 font directories, and 2 separate PRs. Read more about the Font Files requirements to know more about the supported styles for static and variable fonts.
    • If you upgrade a font, then simply go to the existing directory of said font.
  3. Add (or replace) the font files inside the font directory.
  4. Add (or replace) the license OFL.txt.
  5. Run gftools add-font. You can do that from the root directory of your local clone of the Google Fonts repository. The argument expected is the path of the font family directory:
    gftools add-font ofl/fontname

    Note: - If you add a font, this will create 2 files: a dummy description for the font in HTML format, and a METADATA.pb file which gives instructions to the API.

    • If you upgrade the font, it will simply update METADATA.pb.
  6. Open the DESCRIPTION.en_us.html and update it.
  7. Open and check if METADATA.pb is not saying anything absurd.
  8. When you are happy with everything, commit and push to the origin’s branch (same branch name you already created) with this message: <FontName> : <font-version> added.


    Note: If you have permissions to contribute to google/fonts repo (such as team members), we recommend you to push directly on a new google/fonts branch. This will allow the CI to work properly.

  9. Then go to, and create a “new pull request.”
  10. Unless your branch is part of the google/fonts repository (i.e. you are a team member), you will have to compare across forks; choose the branch of your fork containing the font you want to submit, then click on Create a pull request.
  11. The title of the PR will be the message above, if not, please re-enter: <FontName> : <font-version> added. Don’t forget to add a body text following this schema: Taken from the upstream repo <repo-url> at commit <commit-url>.


    • Add a short description of the PR, especially if the font is an upgrade, we want to know what we shall be reviewing.
    • If you are an official onboarder, please add the PR into the Traffic Jam project and don’t forget the labels. Refer to the Onboarder Workflow Guide for more details.
  12. Press the green button and there you go – you have made a PR!

Make a PR with the Packager

Good news! Google Fonts also has a tool that packages the font and makes the pull request to google/fonts repo for users with contributor access (team members). It uses the SSH protocol, which is why you would need to set up Git with an SSH key if you are a team member. For more info about gftools packager and its usage, read this documentation.

Further reading:
nerd  google/fonts repository explained
team  Package the fonts
team  Onboarder workflow guide