Lately, I have put in a valiant effort to change my handwriting permanently to architectural lettering. If you are looking to learn how to write like an architect or greatly improve your handwriting in general, keep reading. Using the rules and practice guides below have done wonders for me. Before we get into that, first let’s discuss the notion of architect letters.
What is architectural lettering?
In the fields of design and architecture all blueprints, drawings, and designs use a form of architectural lettering. This style of architectural handwriting, simply stated, is block letters that are universally easy to read. Centuries ago, architects established this style of lettering so that all writing on blueprints were uniformly legible. We are likely to make fewer costly mistakes caused by misreading information when using architectural letters.
Practicing architectural lettering used to be a part of the curriculum in all architecture and design education. Since the advent and almost complete takeover of computer drafting, it is no longer mandatory, nor taught in school (for the most part). This means many must now practice at home on their own if they are to draft by hand.
For me, it is still a necessary part of the job and I have been unsatisfied with my architectural lettering since I first started drawing and drafting by hand at the beginning of my my career. Bad handwriting form tends to make any design look amateur no matter how good the drawing may be. I have found that the quality of architectural handwriting certainly has the ability to enhance or sour the quality of a design or drawing.
I have searched the internet far and wide for the best architectural lettering practice guides and digital architectural typefaces that I could find. Since it took me a while to find some great guides for practice 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.Learning Architectural Lettering: How to Improve Your Handwriting Quickly and Easily Click To Tweet
How to Write Like An Architect
Architectural Lettering: Some Simple Rules to Follow
- Use guidelines on your piece of paper. Draw your own guidelines 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. Draw your circles in a single circular motion.
- Draw horizontal strokes left to right. Draw top and bottom horizontals on top of the guidelines. 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 if you can help it.
- Do not leave gaps between the strokes of your letters.
- Do not use serifs.
Architectural Lettering Practice- Architectural Typefaces
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 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 use this typeface which is closer to the style of architect Frank Ching mentioned in the video below. These letters also make a great guide for practicing your architectural lettering.
How to Write Like an Architect Video
In this video you’ll learn how to write like an architect the correct way so you can improve your architectural lettering and handwriting style 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 any more information we can provide you to help you learn architectural lettering? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.