School of Technology

TECH 13580 - Engineering Graphics I


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A. Legibility - Each letter must be distinct and not have to be read in context to be understood. Industry can't tolerate errors caused by poor drawing legibility.

B. Corporate Pride - Some engineering companies only have their drawings to sell.  Poor lettering reflects poorly on their product and makes potential customers question their engineering accuracy.

C. Personal Pride - You owe it to yourself to do your very best. Don't settle for anything less than your best. Successful people aren't "average".  Pay your "dues" and practice. You can improve with effort and don't sell yourself short. Believe in yourself.




A. Stability - The bottom of letters such as B are larger than the top, not top heavy

B. Composition - Each portion of each letter is formed to an exact standard.

C. Uniformity - All "A's" are alike. All B's" are alike, etc.

D. Alignment - The imaginary axis of all letters are all parallel and either vertical or inclined to  
                        the right at 68 degrees, no back slant.




A. Roman - We do not use Roman with its serifs.

B. Gothic - We use commercial vertical gothic.

C. Single strokes - Each letter is made up of a series of single strokes. Some letters as many as five.



A.   Guidelines - Must be used to establish uniform height, not crooked. Use the Ames Lettering Guide. Guidelines must be extremely light via 6H.

B. Height - 1/8” is common (1/4” for titles etc.)

C.  Upper & Lower Case - Engineering lettering is commonly upper case CAPITALS

D.   Fractions - not too common except for certain materials such as wood. Five guidelines are required for mixed numbers. The numerator and denominator are 3/4 the height of the whole number.

E.   Strokes - Letters are composed via the number of strokes .

F.  Grid - The grid is comprised or a 6 x 6 matrix of 36 boxes to aid composition and width.

G.  Groups - Letters such as 0, C,, G, and Q are grouped to ease learning & to maintain common traits.

H.  TOM Q. VAXY - The letters in this name are exclusively six units wide meaning they are as wide as tall. The remaining letters are five units wide - somewhat narrow. Letter “W” is the widest in the alphabet ( 8 units wider than its height)

I.     Vertical & Inclined - You have your choice, but be consistent. Inclined ( 68 degrees).

j.   Pencil Selection - Typically use the same pencil that was used to darken the drawing (2H? ). Avoid too hard a lead which tends to make straight strokes difficult. Letter on an appropriate surface, such as your drawing table in room 209. A too hard makes for crooked strokes while one too soft embosses the paper. Don’t make a drawing or letter without first removing the page.

K.   Centering - Quality lettering appears to be centered in the existing title block. Keep letters off the title block borders to distinguish E from F, etc.

L.   Spacing - Space between letters by eye. Pretend to place letter “0” between words. Study page




A.   Leroy-

B.   Wrico -

C.   Varigraph -

D.  Kroy -

F.    Press type or Transfer Letters - Used for professional presentations, expensive with limited shelf life. Burnish with a pen or pencil.

G.  CAD - Typing letters with a keyboard for CAD is fast, attractive, easy, and contemporary.