How to hand letter like an architect

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You can do it. Just take your time and practice. I still have leftover habits of how to do certain letters and numbers from my drafting/mechanical drawing class.


I got my first (mechanical) drafting job because I could print well. Served me well until computers came along.


I guess as a leftie I could only ever be an architect if I learned how to write right to left and turned the page upside down.


Color me crazy, but the D (for example) looks like a lower-case n. Is there a point to this other than style? Maybe I am boring, but I would have thought a plain old block printing style would be a better choice.


This guy might be a fine architect, but his letters look dumb.


I’ve always thought it a bit pretentious, especially when used for other than architect’s drawings, as in “Look, I’m an architect!” But I’m being way too harsh. Once you’ve learned to write that way, it’s the way you write.

My SO writes like an MD, though she isn’t one.


In my drafting class this lettering would not pass. This is more like “How to hand letter like and architect with sloppy technique.”


Well I think his lettering is cute. What freaks me out is his passionate, obsessive dedication to drawing cute letters.

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It has a bunch of benefits that are limited to blueprints and other similar designs. It is easily reproducible at a variety of sizes, clear, unambiguous and can be done with the tools available to a draftsman in their standard work. The sloppy lettering in the video fails on all of those counts. Unfortunately as more people become familiar with the look of the technique through old images and fonts, while fewer people are using it properly, you have people latching on to some of the quirks, but losing the value.


Same. This would not pass with our instructors.

It’s pretty clear in the video, though, that he’s showing how to replicate his own idiosyncratic take on lettering. He’s got his own thing going, and it’s pretty different than the technique taught in school. I guess everyone adds a little of their own personality to their lettering over time.


I’m curious about the font.
a) Why are some of the lines slanted, that are typically straight across in plain block lettering?
b) Why is the bar on the H so far down? Seems to me U and H could conceivably be confused.
I’m been wondering since forever.

That “P”!!! You’ve got to be kidding me. I took 3 years of drafting in high school. This “P” would have gotten me an “F”.

It is obvious that this is more of a self-referential penmanship study rather than a standardised draughtsman lettering instruction.

Boingboing, you are not paying attention!


These are great questions. I’m not even 100% confident in the example I posted. I tried to find Ching’s lettering from Architectural Graphics, but I don’t think I did.

I’m sure there are very good reasons for all the decisions in architectural lettering, but when I was learning, mine was not to question why.

wouldn’t uhrt readability though. The human brain tends to grab the right letter, sometimes not even noticing a substitution.


I guess tradition conquers all. Someday the reasons will be lost to time.

Actually I did stumble over this. Dhu.

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but did you even notice the other one? :wink:


Now that one I missed at first! Once I saw what you were up to, I think I scanned the comment and noticed it.

But schematics and architectural drawings? Do we really want to let people just puzzle it out? “Yeah, I’m sorry it came out ‘Tue Trhmp Bhilding,’ but the blueprints weren’t clear.” :grin:


I grew up going to a PVBLIC LIBRARY, maybe it was a typo from bad drawings, and not some neoclassical pretension of the early 1900s?

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A library? Geez, you’d think they’d have a dictionary.

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