Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lettering With Lead

I saw this video over on The Pen Addict. It's a video lesson on how to write like an architect with a mechanical pencil.

I haven't put a copy here because I'm not sure of the protocol etc regarding posting other peoples YouTube videos. Anyway, check out the video, I enjoyed it, and I congratulate the cast and crew for filming it.

Whenever I look at architectural drawings I am often reminded just how different their drawing is to the mechanical drawing that I was taught. I always assumed architects just had another set of rules for their drawing. This video really brings that home. As I watched it, I was struck by just how different (wrong) it all was to me - back in my classes this demonstrtion would have got a really big F for Fail. My tutors would have gone crazy.

I assume that architects will find nothing particularly wrong about this video, but what about the engineers out there? Is it just me? Am I the odd one out? Was I taught so differently to other engineers?

For the record, here's a quick list of some things I jotted down as I watched the video, but I wouldn't say it's exhaustive.
  • Variable line widths, using a chisel edge - always a big No No in my classes.
  • Stylised lettering, letterforms not always vertical/horizontal, open letterforms, variable height & width.
  • Arrowheads not closed, incorrect length to width ratio, points not meet.


BigBuddhaYo said...

You are so correct here! I took several years of mechanical drafting and design, and would have failed miserably if my lettering came anything close to looking that sloppy!


Germ said...

yikes!!! Took drafting, that would have been BIG NO NO. it did look cool though.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so how do I learn how to do it right? I've always admired the way experts in mechanical drawing do lettering, and I'd love to know how to do it.

Kiwi-d said...

I guess the target audience for engineers and architects drawing is different. Engineers primarily draw for other other engineers to read, architects drawing also has an important sales element to it. Their drawings are often part of a sales pitch being read by non-architects and the public at large. The video mentions making the lettering lively, etc. I think it does achieve that. Much more lively and interesting than engineering lettering.

Steve - I don't really have any suggestions other than a drafting textbook from the library. Maybe someone will find some video's etc?

Mark Burger said...

As an architect and as someone who has taught architectural drawing, all I can say about the lettering style shown in this video is that - while it is typical of how many architects write today (if at all) - it represents only one school of thought.

I've always strived for simplicity and legibility - something to be in the background that won't distract from the accompanying drawings.

Oh yes, I too cannot abide those arrowheads.