Figure 7.4

Try not to slant the letters or add little flourishes or other trifles. The same goes for the numbers as well, of course. Anyone who has experienced the dire consequences of unclear numbering, misleading figures, and careless playing with the numbers 1 and 4, 3 and 8. 3 and 5, or 6 and 9 will know how sensible and safe it is to keep text and figures clear and simple, both singly and in groups.

Figure 7 5 Face of Drawn Black Capitals (width to- height ratio of letters)

The need for good, clear lettering makes it absolutely vital to give some brief notes here on draw ing and inscribing the various textual components.

An A must occupy the area of a square; its crossbar can only come in the lower third—other forms will look too wide or too thin.

The B should be inscribed within two squares, one on top of the other Its curves are arcs of a circle. All three joints should end in short lines horizontal to the upright.

The letter C consists of a three-quarter circle, and anything else will tend to be too narrow or man-neristically wide

D is drawn with a full semicircle and should look substantial. This is done by putting long horizontal connections to the upright.

E is inscribed in two squares, one on top of the other, and it is important to ensure that the central bar is exactly the same length as the other two.

F is the same as E without the bottom bar. Its two bars must be of equal length the ends of the bars must be precisely aligned.

The outer line of the letter G should be an almost complete circle Exactly halfway up the right hand side of the letter, a horizontal line is drawn from the circle line in to the center. The line should be kept short. Any extraneous additions and deviations can only be bad.

H stands in a vertical rectangle of a height width ratio of 4.3. The bar should be at half height level. The system sketches on these pages clearly show that in principle all horizontal bars in letters should come at the same height—i.e., half the letter height, which also corresponds with the height of the center of a circle.

The letter I is just a vertical line. Dots and serifs should be avoided.

J is inscribed in an upright rectangle with the height.width ratio of 4:3. The lower part of the letter consists only of a near-semicircle.

K occupies an area with the superimposed squares. Its two obliques move up and down respectively from half letter height at an angle of 45 degrees.

The letter L is very simple. The lower stroke should be half the length of the upright.


Figure 7 7

The letter M is written so that it occupies a square field. Care should be taken to ensure that the two outside uprights (left and right) are absolutely vertical.

The letter N is also inscribed in the 4:3 ratio rectangle.

Shapeless ovals should always be rejected in favor of the pure form of the circle for a truly clear text. The letter O should thus be a complete circle.

P is based on a heightiwidth ratio of 2:1. and its upper part consists of a semicircle with horizontal lines linking it to the upright at the top and at half height.

The letter Q is of course based on the O. Make sure that the tail, drawn at 45 degrees, actually ends in the bottom right-hand corner of the theoretical square.

The R can be seen as an extension of P; its tail is also drawn at 45 degrees from the letter center.

The letter S is often the cause of genuine difficulty in attempts to achieve a succinct character. This becomes easier however when we visualize its basic geometrical construction. The letter S consists of two circles—one above the other—whose lines are not completely closed It is easy to imagine the transition from upper to lower circle as being oblique; geometrically, it must be horizontal.

T fits neatly into the 4:3 rectangle.

You should now be able to work out the constructions of the remaining letters for yourself: U has a semicircle at the bottom with two vertical lines either side.

V is again incorporated into the 4:3 upright rectangle. The only letter that gets wider is the W, which consists of two V's drawn immediately side by side.

It is now easy to see that the letters X, Y, and Z are constructed within the 4:3 ratio rectangle.

For the sake of "character" one should remember to make the leg of the Y oblique (as an extension of the top right-hand arm).

Numbers of the same type are governed by the same rules: straight lines and arcs of a circle. With numbers, total unmistakability is an essential factor (wrongly read numbers lead to misunderstood data and hence to error).

With the number 1, its first stroke should not be horizontal because it could be taken for a 7.

The 2 has a semicircle at the top connected to the horizontal base by an oblique at 45 degrees.

Figure 7.8

The 3 only has an arc in its lower half—the top consists of straight lines at an angle of 45 degrees to each other. Otherwise there is always the danger, if done quickly, of confusion with 8

4 -its upper field must be fully closed. 4 ends at the top in a triangle point.

To prevent confusion between 3 and 5, the 5's top left-hand line must always be kept absolutely vertical.

The figures 6 and 9 should be executed by first drawing a full (uncompressed) circle then adding the tails at an angle of 45 degrees tangentially to the circle. Any other form will naturally imply possible confusion and error.

The figure 7 might be mistaken for a 1. so draw a short horizontal bar at half height."

The figure 8 should consist of two full circles, one on top of the other.

It is advisable to avoid drawing zero as an oval and to use the full circle for this figure.

Clarity and freedom from superfluous forms will be more convincing and will convey the impression that the author of the lettering really has a clear concept in mind.

• Translator s note the auinor s comments regarding numbers i and 7 do noi «ippty in America and Britain, since ' s rarely begun with an upstroke there 15 no contusion wilh 7

• Translator s note the auinor s comments regarding numbers i and 7 do noi «ippty in America and Britain, since ' s rarely begun with an upstroke there 15 no contusion wilh 7

Figure 7 10 Model tor Lettering Practice

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