Lately I have put in a valiant effort to change my handwriting permanently to architectural lettering. If you are looking to improve your handwriting, I suggest you try this as it has done wonders for me.
It is expected as a designer or architect that all blueprints, drawings and designs done by hand have architectural lettering. This lettering was established by architects long ago so that all writing on blueprints were legible therefore costly mistakes would not be made.
Practicing architectural lettering used to be a part of the curriculum in most architecture and design education. Since the advent of computer drafting it is no longer mandatory, nor taught in school for the most part.
However, it is still a necessary part of the job and I have been unsatisfied with my architectural lettering on my designs since I started. Bad handwriting tends to make any design look amateur. All handwriting should match the quality of the design.Learning Architectural Lettering: How to Improve Your Handwriting Quickly and Easily Click To Tweet
I have searched the internet far and wide and these are the best guides and typefaces for practice that I have found. Since it took me a while to find some great guides for practicing I figured I would share them with you but first let’s discuss the rules of architectural lettering and the tools that will make it easier for you to accomplish this lettering while drafting by hand.
Architectural Lettering Practice
Download these typefaces to create templates for practicing your architectural lettering. Once you have some lettering guidelines you’ll be able to write like an architect in no time with a little practice.
Architect NDP Typeface
This typeface is the closest template you will find to practicing your more casual and stylized architectural handwriting. I recommend downloading this font and typing out all letters, characters, and numbers on a black piece of paper then print it. You can use tracing paper, grid or lined paper to practice the letters.
Tekton Typeface Architectural Lettering
For a cleaner more sophisticated look. This typeface is closer to the style of architect Frank Ching who is mentioned in the video below. These letters also make a great guide for practicing your architectural lettering.
Simple Rules for Learning Architectural Lettering
- Use guidelines on your piece of paper. Your guidelines can be drawn by yourself with a ruler or you can use lined paper or grid paper to practice.
- Guidelines control the height and line space of architectural lettering. The maximum size is 3/16 of an inch. Beyond this size, the letters require a width beyond what a single stroke is capable of producing.
- Use a small triangle ruler to control the straightness of your vertical.
- Keep all verticals perpendicular to your guidelines.
- Begin all strokes from the top of your guideline. Never draw a stroke from the bottom up.
- Circular strokes are plump ovals on a forward slant. Circles are made in a single circular motion.
- Horizontal strokes are drawn left to right. top and bottom horizontals are drawn on top of the guidelines and middle horizontals split the distance from the top and the bottom.
- All letters are roughly the same width and when done correctly they should be as wide as they are tall. Each letter sits inside an imaginary square.
- Don’t cross the strokes of individual letters.
- Do not leave gaps between the strokes of your letters.
- Do not use serifs.
Tools for Architectural Lettering
The tools below are recommended to help you improve your handwriting and write like an architect but are simply suggested. They are the tools I used to help improve my own handwriting and their lead and ink stability helped me create better letter forms. You can however use whatever you have at your disposal so don’t fret. My brand of choice is Staedtler if only because they’re the best quality for a reasonable price that you can easily find online and in your local office supply store.
How to Write Like an Architect Video
Here is a how-to video on how to write like an architect no matter what your profession:
Are you looking to improve your handwriting? Have you already mastered architectural lettering? If so, how long did it take you? Are you happy you did? Is there anymore information we can provide you to help you learn architectural lettering? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Rose Lagace | @artdepartmental