Technically, this would be a guide for better lettering, but you get the idea. Back in the olden days architects drafted by hand (doesn’t that seem a million years ago?) and drafting involves loads of writing. Since a simple misreading of one drawing note could lead to all kinds of construction mistakes, neat writing has always been a necessary skill for architects, but there is a little architectural aid to give the weary architect a small boost: the Ames Lettering Guide (also handy for drawing stairs).
Now that architects have nearly all moved on to CAD world, it seems that the Ames Lettering Guide has fallen into disuse, though is it is still sometimes used for comic lettering.
Here’s a guide that explains how to use it:
(More info here.) I have to say that despite the blood sweat and tears involved, I am glad I caught the tail end of hand drawing, Ames Lettering Guides and all. I did have to spend a pretty penny on a lot of drafting equipage that I used for only a semester, but learning all the techniques informed my computer drawing. I doubt any architecture schools still teach drafting, and that makes sense–there’s more than enough to learn without adding that in, and definitely more than enough to buy without T-squares and Ames Lettering Guides (though an Ames Lettering Guide will only set you back a couple of dollars). But that doesn’t mean I don’t think all that stuff is cool–it is! So expect more entries on drafting gadgets to come!