How to Write Like An Architect (+ Worksheet)

Tips + techniques for learning how to write like an architect with a worksheet to guide you. Sharing my favorite tools and reference materials you can use to learn the graphic conventions architects use to annotate their sketches. An updated guide to help you develop your own personal architectural lettering style.

Even though digital production has made the architectural handwriting tradition less essential, I would argue learning a handwriting style is still a relevant exercise. As visual people, it forms a significant part of our personal graphic style. So, whether you’re an architect, a student, a graphic designer, or simply journaling each day, developing a legible, clear, and consistent handwriting style remains important.

0:30 Tools you’ll need (just trace + a felt-tipped pen) +
1.01 Worksheet (download here: )
2:09 Style guide + letter-by-letter tutorial
7:23 Numbers
9:00 Essential Reference Book
9:41 Why – I think – you should bother learning this to write like this

The Origin Story
I didn’t mention this in the video, but it’s interesting to know how this style of writing came to be and why all architects share a similar style of handwriting. Before the computer, there were teams of people responsible for drafting a set of architectural drawings so a floor plan may have been started by one and then passed off to be revised and finished by many others. This meant that all the hand lettered notes and dimensions had to be consistent between each person. Everything had to be clear because a misinterpreted note on a drawing could make for a costly construction error. Because upper case letters are visually distinct they were difficult to confuse with other letters like you might with a lowercase “L” and a lowercase “I” for example. There were also compositional reasons for choosing uppercase letterforms too. When laying out and composing a sheet of drawings there’s an art to arranging the graphics on the page and the notations they’re a large part of the visual style. Upper case letters don’t have descenders – no part of the letter goes below the baseline and this makes them a lot easier to lay out as graphic elements on the drawing and you can pack things in a lot closer than you could if there were descenders as you would if you used lowercase letters.

// GEAR I USE //

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#writelikeanarchitect #architectureletteringtechniques #handwriting


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