Production requirements

🐰 Google Fonts (GF) designates in fact two things. First, it is a directory of fonts, which can be downloaded and used locally on your machine. Second, it is also an API that delivers a web service: this means a website can request fonts, and Google Fonts delivers them to the website. In that second case, the fonts are hosted by Google Fonts and not by the website’s own server.

This section will help users to understand the implications of publishing fonts on the Google Fonts platform, and will review the basic font production considerings and requirements that are mandatory for any Font to be included in the Catalog.
Background reading:
start Libre Font Culture
start Knowledge, tools and dependencies required

Table of contents

The fonts are massively distributed

Google Fonts is the most-used font platform. According to the 2020 Web Almanac (HTTP Archive’s annual state of the web report), 70.3% of websites using font-hosting services use Google Fonts.

As seen in Google Fonts Analytics, the sum of the total views for the fonts in the Catalog increases every day and is currently above 60 trillion views per week (by June of 2022), where many fonts have over a hundred of millions views per week.

Getting a font family published on the website means it has to be included in the GF API for them to be served to websites at that range of views per font. Therefore, GF requires all families to pass a range of checks that ensure that they work well under a wide range of different environments and for a high proportion of users.

Google treats fonts with the same level of care as they do software.

Scalable font production

Google Fonts is doing its best to ensure that publishing or updating fonts are unlikely to break existing documents or websites. Thus, you must follow some rules, which have been adapted from Joel Spolsky’s classic article The 12 steps to better code. Joel’s article explains the benefit of these requirements.

Fonts to be onboarded to Google Fonts are expected to abide by the following requisites:

Further reading:
learn Hosting projects on Github
must→ Upstream repository structure
must→ QA - Local testing
learn Build the fonts