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How To Write Like An Architect

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Architects are widely admired for a lot of skills, one of them being their penmanship. 

If you take a close look at the handwriting of architects, you will likely find an odd similarity in all of them. And this is mainly because most architects follow a well-respected architectural handwriting tradition. It does require some practice and definitely a set of right tools to ace it. 

However, just knowing the proper writing style won’t be enough. To translate your thoughts into design, it is important to find the best 11×17 printers for architects. If you are wondering where to print 11×17, you can find relevant information about that on the internet too. But before you do that, we suggest you try to know more about what are plotters used for

Nonetheless, all of this can happen only when you get a good grasp of how to write like an architect. And in today’s article, we are exactly going to tell you that. 

So, let’s dive in! 

Why Do Architects Need A Stylized Architectural Handwriting?

Why do architects need a stylized architectural handwriting

There used to be a time when architectural software was not that common, and even famous architects used their hands for architectural lettering. Times have now changed! However, what still remains the same is that all architectural blueprints, drawings, and documentation need to be clear and easy to understand. 

The handwriting style of architects needs to be proper in order to make sure that the drawings are not misinterpreted. If that happens, it could simply result in a major design error or, worse, a costly construction error. And that’s something every architect and graphic designer would want to avoid. 

Most professionals still prefer using pencils over pens. For architects, this must be a relevant exercise as it would prevent the chances of making permanent mistakes. Moreover, a standard architectural writing style was created and is widely accepted in the industry. 

It was architect F.L. Wright who popularized the use of lines and bubble curves, which is commonly used in architectural lettering. You would also find necessary guidelines in the books and works of illustrators like Francis D.K. Ching. This allowed proper uniformity and worked as great guidance when it came to learning how to write like an architect. 

And nowadays, you will also find these letterings as fonts in digital platforms. 

What Is Architectural Lettering?

Architectural lettering is a widely followed and well-accepted method of writing style that enables architects to clearly present their ideas. There’s a need to learn proper architectural lettering if you want to avoid making costly mistakes while you are on the job. And once that is done, you can easily communicate your ideas with the design team. 

No doubt, learning it might seem like an uphill task to many people. And there are multiple instances where students have to spend quite some time learning and adapting to this handwriting style. But it is during this time that every architect develops their unique style while adhering to the standard writing style guide. 

Most reputed design institutes include this in their curriculum as it helps the students develop the precision required for their architectural journey. 

Most Popular Architectural Handwriting Styles

It goes without saying that with time every architect develops a unique architectural handwriting style. Nonetheless, even if you are trying to build your personal graphic style, it is always good to follow some examples that architects have been following for years. You can start following these writing styles and develop yours with time. 

1. Architect Bold

This is a popular handwriting style that most architects highly prefer because of its natural look and the way it manages to draw attention. With a little research, you will find that this style is equally popular in the advertising field too as it is great for exemplifying crucial details.

2. Tekton Typeface Architectural Lettering

If you want to experiment with a more minimalist and sophisticated look, you must give this style a try. Popularized by Francis Ching, this is a part of a much popular architectural handwriting tradition. It is the perfect choice for beginners who are just starting their architectural journey. 

3. Architect NDP Typeface

The architect NDP typeface is best suited for a stylized yet casual lettering technique. It does take some time to get used to this handwriting style. But, once you get the hang of it, you can use it for making great sketches and formulating concepts. 

How Is Architectural Lettering Done?

Coffee break, a cup of coffee during a break at work. The business concept of building schemes in an architectural office. How is architectural lettering done.

Whether it is about developing a personal graphic style or learning architectural lettering, you will need the right set of tools. To begin with, you will need a T-square and a small triangle ruler, which will help you draw light horizontal strokes and vertical lines on the sheet. 

It does not matter if you are a student or a professional; it is essential that you first check if the construction sheets have proper architectural lettering. For the best results, always follow proper rules and regulations. This will always help you ensure that the work you deliver is top-notch. 

Characteristics Of Architecture Lettering

The most important part of architectural lettering is that the fonts should be clear and readable. If your writing is not legible, it will be very difficult to communicate your ideas and thoughts to the design team. Also, make sure that the font you choose is constant throughout your work. The presence of multiple fonts in work simply makes it look unprofessional. 

To make your writing look more appealing, make sure that the text is properly spaced and they do not look clustered. Most prominent architects would reiterate that you should always try to keep from overlapping the symbols and letters. Otherwise, it makes it difficult for other people to really understand what you have put down on paper. 

If you go by the architectural handwriting tradition, it is best to stick to the capital case and write using black ink. 

For the guidelines, you need a pencil with light shade, one that won’t create dark lines even when you apply pressure. In order to get the best outcomes, professional architects always suggest that you use 4H pencils and avoid using too dark ones. In case you need darker lines, you can shift to using a 2H or an HB pencil. 

To be honest, learning architectural handwriting can take some time. But, once you learn it, you will be able to draw top and bottom horizontals with much precision. Without proper sketches and the right handwriting style, it will be difficult to bring your ideas to life. Unless you write clearly, there will always be a chance of a misinterpreted note. 

Rules To Follow For Best Architectural Lettering

To make things easier for you, we have come up with this set of rules and regulations to follow when you are trying to write like an architect. And when you follow these steps, achieving the desired results won’t seem too tedious. So, let’s quickly take a look. 

In order to follow an accurate lettering style, we suggest that you use plain paper. Then, you can use a proper ruler to draw the necessary guidelines on it. However, practicing on a square grid or a lined paper is also a good idea for beginners. 

For the best results, we suggest that you never use a bottom-up stroke. Instead, always try beginning from the top guideline. And to ensure that the lines are always vertical, you can use a small triangle ruler. As an architect, you should always check if the vertical lines that you draw are perpendicular to the guidelines. 

Moving on, the height and space of architectural lettering are clearly mentioned in the guidelines. The largest size that is widely accepted is 3/16 inches. If the size of the lettering goes any further, it simply means that the width of the letters will increase. If the lettering is not of the correct width, the symbols and letters won’t fit inside a perfect square. And that might make your handwriting style look clumsy. 

Additionally, when you are making horizontal strokes, always remember that they should go from left to right. However, in certain instances, you will need to draw the top and bottom horizontals. While you are at it, always make sure that you draw them on the guideline and not beyond it. 

Architectural Handwriting Vs Digital Faces

Many modern architects believe that architectural handwriting is now dated and is no longer required. They feel that as long as you are writing clearly and what you are writing is legible to others, there should not be a problem. But, in the architectural industry, the architectural handwriting style is still considered an essential skill. 

We have noticed that architects no longer restrict themselves to using handwriting styles in their architectural jobs. Instead, many professionals have now shifted to using the handwriting styles in their personal notes and when they are simply journaling. 

For students, on the other hand, it’s a completely different story! Some have to learn this writing style as a part of their curriculum. And others learn it to get a better grasp over the tricks of the trade. 

Modern professionals are now leaning towards using contemporary digital tools, which allow them to make corrections much more easily. Using these tools enables architects to use a standard font that is easily understandable by all. 

That said, some architects still love sticking to the tradition of maintaining a proper handwriting style. They want to keep the tradition alive and put their love for this skill to the forefront. And it is okay to choose either of the methods. Even if you use good handwriting in the architectural sketches, they are all bound to be digitized during the processing stage. 

Two Main Types Of Architectural Lettering

Suppose you are venturing into the architecture field and are interested in learning how to write like an architect. In that case, it is essential that you know about the main types of architectural lettering. Depending on the material and way it is used, architectural lettering can be broadly divided into these two subtypes:

1. Inscription Lettering

Architects mostly prefer this type of lettering for architectural inscriptions. So, it can be the perfect bet if an architect has to carve on surfaces like wood, metal, or stone. 

All the letters have a unique character when you are using this form of lettering. In order to make the most of this, it is essential that you have a proper understanding of the material on which you are inscribing the letters. 

2. Office Lettering

This lettering is mostly used for writing the descriptive title of a project plan, the name of the architect, and the client. The letters are generally kept large in size for this type of lettering style. And you are most likely to find this style in major architectural plans. 

The density and height of the letters are primarily decided by the location, shape, and size of the plan. When done correctly, it will add a pleasant and complete look to your drawing. 

Some highly experienced professionals try to match the lettering style to the type of building that they are working on. For example, while designing a modern, simplistic house, architects can make use of smart and minimalist lettering. 

Image of engineering objects on workplace top view. Construction concept. Engineering tools. Vintage tone retro filter effect,soft focus(selective focus). How to write like an architect final words.

How To Write Like An Architect Final Words

And with that, it’s a wrap for today! 

We hope that you enjoyed reading this guide and that by now, you are super energized to give architectural handwriting an honest try. After all, it’s still one of the most effective communication tools used by architects worldwide. 

And to get better at this, the only thing that you need to do is practice more and more. In fact, many people learn the architectural lettering style just to improve their handwriting! 

We will now leave you to the job, but if you liked reading this guide, do not forget to keep a watch on this space. 

Until next time, take care! 


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Bạn cần tư vấn thiết kế kiến trúc, nội ngoại thất, thi công các công trình dân sự hay công nghiệp? Hãy liên lạc ngay với Kiến Trúc Sư Phan Phương Thanh theo số điện thoại, hoặc Zalo: 0932463644 - 0935088660 để được hỗ trợ tận tình với những dịch vụ tốt nhất.

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