You've successfully subscribed to MyPad Blog
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to MyPad Blog
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.

Using Google Fonts in R-Project visualizations

Using Google Fonts in R-Project visualizations

Inspiration: You Can Design a Good Chart with R

Here is a quick post on using Google fonts in R-Project charts.

Below are the steps to be followed:

  1. Download the font of choice from
  2. Unzip the downloaded fonts
  3. Transfer the fonts to ~/Library/Fonts for convienience and reuse
    • You can put it elsewhere and set the path accordingly in the code below:
extrafont::font_import("/Users/santosh/Library/Fonts", prompt = FALSE)
  1. Import the fonts using the above code
  2. Specify ggplot font-family to use the required font

That's it! See sample below! Here, we use the Open Sans Condensed font!

# Demo to use fonts from

# handle the infamous error!
# Error in grid.Call(C_textBounds, as.graphicsAnnot(x$label), x$x, x$y,  : 
#   polygon edge not found

extrafont::font_import("/Users/santosh/Library/Fonts", prompt = FALSE)

# credit:
# credit:

# note: I fixed the font family from the original code.


dat <- read.csv("",
                col.names=c("year", "wait"))

# We only want every other tick labeled
xlabs <- seq(1780, 2020, by=10)
xlabs[seq(2, 24, by=2)]  <-  " "

# Pretty long caption
caption <- "Note: Vacancies are counted as the number of days between a justice's death, retirement or resignation and the successor justice's swearing in (or commissioning in the case of a recess appointment) as a member of the court.Sources: U.S. Senate, 'Supreme Court Nominations, present-1789'; Supreme Court, 'Members of the Supreme Court of the United States'; Pew Research Center calculations"
caption <- paste0(strwrap(caption, 160), sep="", collapse="\n")
# you could probably just use caption <- label_wrap_gen(160)(caption) instead

annot <- read.table(text=
1848|860|0|Robert Cooper Grier was sworn in Aug 10, 1846,<br>841 days after the death of Henry Baldwin
1969|440|1|Henry Blackmun was sworn<br>in June 9, 1970, 391 days<br>after Abe Fortas resigned.
1990|290|0|Anthony Kennedy<br>was sworn in Feb.<br>18, 1988, 237<br>days after Lewis<br>Powell retired.",
sep="|", header=TRUE, stringsAsFactors=FALSE)

annot$text <- gsub("<br>", "\n", annot$text)

gg <- ggplot()
gg <- gg + geom_point(data=dat, aes(x=year, y=wait))
gg <- gg + geom_label(aes(x=1780, y=900, label="days"),
                      size=3.5, hjust=0, label.size=0, color="#2b2b2b")
gg <- gg + geom_label(data=annot, aes(x=year, y=wait, label=text, hjust=just),
                      family="OpenSansCondensed-Light", lineheight=0.95,
                      size=3, label.size=0, color="#2b2b2b")
gg <- gg + scale_x_continuous(expand=c(0,0),
                              breaks=seq(1780, 2020, by=10),
                              labels=xlabs, limits=c(1780,2020))
gg <- gg + scale_y_continuous(expand=c(0,10),
                              breaks=seq(100, 900, by=100),
                              limits=c(0, 1000))
gg <- gg + labs(x=NULL, y=NULL,
                title="Lengthy Supreme Court vacancies are rare now, but weren't always",
                subtitle="Supreme Court vacancies, by duration",
gg <- gg + theme_minimal(base_family="OpenSansCondensed-Light")
gg <- gg + theme(panel.grid=element_line())
gg <- gg + theme(panel.grid.major.y=element_line(color="#2b2b2b", linetype="dotted", size=0.15))
gg <- gg + theme(panel.grid.major.x=element_blank())
gg <- gg + theme(panel.grid.minor.x=element_blank())
gg <- gg + theme(panel.grid.minor.y=element_blank())
gg <- gg + theme(axis.line=element_line())
gg <- gg + theme(axis.line.x=element_line(color="#2b2b2b", size=0.15))
gg <- gg + theme(axis.ticks=element_line())
gg <- gg + theme(axis.ticks.x=element_line(color="#2b2b2b", size=0.15))
gg <- gg + theme(axis.ticks.y=element_blank())
gg <- gg + theme(axis.ticks.length=unit(5, "pt"))
gg <- gg + theme(plot.margin=unit(rep(0.5, 4), "cm"))
gg <- gg + theme(axis.text.y=element_text(margin=margin(r=-5)))
gg <- gg + theme(plot.title=element_text(family="OpenSansCondensed-Bold", margin=margin(b=15)))
gg <- gg + theme(plot.subtitle=element_text(family="OpenSansCondensed-LightItalic"))
gg <- gg + theme(plot.caption=element_text(size=8, hjust=0, margin=margin(t=15)))