Matthew Lew
Portfolio Process
Published in
7 min readOct 23, 2014


(contains flashing colors)


an essay & free typeface

I am a product of the internet. It’s always better if you can get it for free. As such, I’ve torrented apps, pirated albums of music, and installed hundreds of bootlegged fonts without consequence.

Growing up, I was always considered the selfish one in the family.

“Why can’t you share like your brother?”
“Can you be a little bit more caring?”
“The world doesn’t revolve around you.”

People are always surprised to discover that I even have a sibling.

I have the DNA of a professional hoarder. I’ll just take one napkin for myself... and whoops, more like a fat stack of twenty plus.

I have my selfish reasons.

In high school, I didn’t give a damn about academics, sports, or clubs. Oh no, I would spend countless hours on the school’s computer lab scouring the web for free fonts (and typing answers on Yahoo Answers). I remember asking once, “Does anyone know where I can you download x font for free?” The crowd-sourcing answers of the Yahoo community however could never tell me where to download it. Instead they dropped the big name suspects, “Oh have you tried checking Dafont or FontPark?” No you idiots, I need that font they used in INCEPTION.

This free font I designed is called For Personal Gain. The phrase For Personal Gain means doing things that only benefit yourself. Or as some people say, “That’s f*cking selfish of you.” I’d like to think that I’m the only one who’s selfish, but that would be selfish of me — because everyone’s selfish.

Mr. Carnegie is a smart man.

So if everyone’s naturally interested in themselves, behaving only the premise of self gain, how could I make people drop their self interest for my personal gain? So simple.

You need to be interested in them first. Ask that person how they’ve been; “How’s your fantasy sports team going?” “What’s the worst client meeting you’ve ever had?” Compliment and praise when appropriate; be genuine. “I love your tote bag; that locally sourced organic grocery store blah blah is my favorite.” Keep the conversation spinning around them. Don’t worry about finding common interests.

The longer you talk about them, the more compelled they are to talk about you. But be patient, and keep tapping into their self-ego.

Continue, don’t stop.
This bus is going 50 miles per hour.

Suddenly, they will try to turn the conversation on you. Now’s your chance. Don’t act desperate. Glance up to the right corner of your eye (studies show looking left = lying). Sigh, “It’s no big deal.” Immediately following they want to make you happy are he or she will be more than willing to do your unfulfilled desire. Thank them — isn’t that’s what your mother taught you? You don’t need to send a Christmas card. Wave goodbye. Smile.

You’re just sitting there wondering what’s the point of this long post? Well, you’re reading this like a EULA. You already know that if you wanted this so called “free” typeface, you’d speed scroll to the link at the bottom. But you are nice enough to acknowledge that a lot of effort was needed to write all of this out. And so you continue to scroll on…

Thanks for doing so.

I mean sure, I’ll stop whatever I’m doing to help others when they ask for it. Need a favor? No problem bro, of course. But I’m not forthcoming with altruism. I’m always thinking of myself first. I always want something in return. I’m not doing it for you, I’m doing it for my personal gain.

Since I love fonts (esp ones that don’t cost anything), I decided to make my own. The name, For Personal Gain glorifies the unrestricted usage of this typeface. Forget about expensive font licensing, contracts, and limiting agreements. For Personal Gain is a font name you can actually remember.

Fonts take a long time to create. So what’s the easiest, fastest, surefire way to create a new typeface? Experimental Sans. You know them; this style is all over the internet you’ve probably downloaded some yourself, mostly because they were free.

Most fonts that are considered “free” come with a ton of legal READ-ME’s. They limit the usage for only personal or private work, while prohibiting the usage for public or commercial work. This is a good way to promote a typeface by “sampling” a couple of weights for free, and then lure customers to buy the $12k complete family later — like bold, extended, italic, and expert weights. That’s cool.

Just because a font is free does not mean you can modify, redistribute, or sell a free font. However this is completely boring. I want you to modify, redistribute, and/or sell this font. Use it for your personal gain. Make a killing.

As the other day ended, your friend questioned,

“Who in God’s Name gave you access to my company’s box seats?”
“Congratulations on that early nomination, does anyone actually know you?”
“So how the hell did you get that promotion?
That’s two time more than what they offered me!”

You smile,

and wave goodbye.


Follow me → @mattjlew
Portfolio →



Matthew Lew
Portfolio Process

Design Infrastructure @DoorDash . Previously @GametimeUnited @Medium & @Eventbrite . I go to way too many concerts. 🏳️‍🌈 Love Brutalism.