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Engineering LetteringLettering is an essential element inboth traditional drawing

and CAD drawing.Graphic communication is often not enough tocompletely describe
an object. Lettered text isoften necessary to provide detailedspecifications about
the drawn object. Andthere are a number of formal rules that applyto the placement
of lettering.Commercial Gothic, also called sans-serif Gothic, is the lettering style of
mostinterest to engineers. It is plain and legible.While admittedly not as beautiful as
manyother styles, sans-serif letters arecomparatively easy to make. They may
bedrawn in outline and then filled in.C.W. Reinhardt, formerly chief draftsman for
Engineering News, developedalphabets of capital and lowercase inclined
and “
vertical letters, based on the old Gothic
letters. For each letter, he worked out asystematic series of strokes.
development of single-stroke letters was the first step towardstandardization of
technical lettering. In 1935,the American National Standards Institute(ANSI)
suggested letter forms that are nowgenerally considered as standard.Lettering is
freehand drawing and notwriting. Therefore, the six fundamental strokesand their
direction for freehand drawing arebasic to lettering. The horizontal lines aredrawn to
the right and all vertical, inclined,and curved strokes are drawn downward.Either
vertical or inclined letters maybe used, but only one style should appear onany one
drawing. Vertical letters are perhapsslightly more legible than inclined letters,
butthey are more difficult to execute. Bothvertical and inclined letters are standard,
the engineer or drafter may be called on to useeither.Background areas between
letters andwords should appear approximately equal, andwords should be clearly
separated by a spaceequal to the height of the lettering. Only whenspecial
emphasis is necessary should thelettering be underlined. Also, it is not desirableto
vary the size of the lettering according tothe size of the drawing except when a
drawingis to be reduced in reproduction.To meet design or spacerequirements,
letters may be narrower andspaced closer together. In this case, they arecalled
compressed or condensed letters. If theletters are wider than normal, they are
referredto as extended letters. Letters also vary as tothickness of the stems or
strokes. Lettershaving very thin stems are called lightface,while those having heavy
stems are calledboldface.
lower portions, the characters appear too-heavy. To correct this, the upper portions
arereduced in size where possible, therebyproducing the effect of stability and a
morepleasing appearance.On working drawings, vertical capitalletters are
high, with the space between lines of letteringfrom three fifths to the full height of
theletters. For inclined capital letters, the spacingof horizontal guidelines is the
same as forvertical capital lettering. The ANSI-recommended slop
e of 2 in 5 (or 68.2’ with
horizontal) may be established by drawing a
“slope triangle
” and drawing the guide lines atrandom with the T-square and triangle. Whenlarge
and small capitals are used incombination, the small capitals should be threefifths
to two thirds as high as the largecapitals.On the other hand, lowercase lettershave
four horizontal guide lines, called the capline, waist line, base line and drop

In spacinghorizontal guide lines. The order and directionof strokes and the proportion of inclinedlowercase letters are the same as those of vertical lowercase letters. At the end of each straight leg or line of a letter. The use of a mechanical guide or construction lines to control height is recommended for consistency. Letters are all block letters generally of equal width and 1/8 inch tall. and persistent practice withcontinuous effort to improve. Unless an inked drawing is lettered using a Leroy scriber (now obsolete) lettering is done freehand. Make thenumerator and the denominator each aboutthree fourths as high as the whole number toallow ample clear space between them and thefraction bar. Title block lettering may be larger. .Strokes of letters that extend up to the cap lineare called ascenders and those that extenddown to the drop line. Shortcuts are often taken making these letters with one stroke.scribd.22 mm). Fractions are twice the height of the corresponding whole numbers.It should be remembered that goodlettering is always accomplished by consciouseffort.wikibooks. For example the letter 'A' consists of a stroke down and to the left. http://www. Lettering is typically all upper case without slant or formatting but the creator of a drawing will often put their own personality into the lettering. For dimensioning. Slanted lettering may be used for emphasis of a particular point or idea. There are three necessaryaspects of learning to letter – knowledge of theproportions and forms of letters and the orderof strokes. Numbers are the same size as letters. Fraction numbers are slightly smaller than 1/8 inch. stacked and symmetrical to the line it is in.line. Multiple lines of text should leave space between each line of about half the height of a normal letter. Each letter is generally created from top to bottom and left to right. various forms of press-onlettering and special lettering devices areavailable. Today. dimensions and notes that are hand written in a standard form. down and to the right and a final stroke left to right half way up the height connecting the two legs together. the pen or pencil is picked up and relocated for the next line. the mostcommonly used height for whole numbers is %” (3. thelettering must meet the requirements forlegibility and microfilm reproduction.4 mm). pencil up. knowledge of composition orspacing. descenders. Special cases of lettering may be smaller or larger than the standard height. all computer-aideddrafting systems have the capability toproduce letters of different heights and stylesand to make changes as required. the ratio of the distancebetween the base and waist lines with thedistance between the base and cap line mayvary from 2:3 or 3:5. Section view identifiers and cutting plane labels may also be larger.Complete guide lines should be drawnfor whole numbers and fractions. and for fractions %” (6. though good muscular coordination isof great assistance. All letters are upper case only unless in a long paragraph of more than 2 sentences. then another stroke from the top then down and to the right closing the O at the Lettering is a dying art that presents text. Rounded letters such as 'O' start at the top and go down and around to the left to the bottom. especiallyfor beginners. In whateverway the lettering is applied to the drawing andwhatever styles of lettering is used. Space between words is about the same as the letter H or W. In http://en. All caps on an engineering drawing is not "yelling" but is good practice and facilitates clear communication. Letters of a word will be close to each other without touching. Letters are generally sans-serif though using she serif form of 'I' as the word I is accepted.

https://books. is the parent of all the styles. u. The number '8' is made of two small circles of two to four strokes and not a single figure eight stroke. and curiously enough. 'M' is not an upside down 'W' and vice versa. The number '0' (zero) and '7' do not have a slash. and have been preserved for us on the Roman inscriptions of that period. instead of being archaic.kellscraft. . id=IOkK4UG37BoC&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17&dq=ORIGIN+of+lettering+in+engineering +drawing&source=bl&ots=X8GBI5lrfN&sig=7Fikg9hxNzeMVAujfpIJwjqIjc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CBsQ6AEwADgKahUKEwjz5PLOm4nGAh Vh56YKHcc1AF8#v=onepage&q=ORIGIN%20of%20lettering%20in%20engineering %20drawing&f=false http://www. which are in use to-day.html • It is sufficient for us to say that our letters are the result of a long evolution probably from the Egyptian and through the Phoenician and Greek to the Roman. The number '4' comes to a point and is not The number '9' is similar to the number '6' being made of curved strokes and no straight lines. The letter 'M' outside legs are vertical and not slanted. however which we now call Old Roman. is the most useful and artistic one for the designer. The forms of the letters of our present alphabet (with the exception of j. This early letter.Notes on special letters and numbers: The letter 'W' has both outside legs slanted outward and are not vertical. and z) reached their full development about two thousand years ago.