in preference to a series of complete alphabets. Two of these latter, however, have been given for reference.
The precise shape of the various letters is of less moment than the preservation of the main characteristics of the type and the judicious arrangement of the respective letters into words. It is impossible to lay down any universal rule for the distance apart of letters, so much depends upon circumstances.
Generally the lettering of architectural and technical drawings is rather closely spaced, whilst that of maps, estate plans and the like are widely spaced, as in the latter it is desirable that the words should indicate the extent of the land, etc., they are placed upon, or refer to. Uniform rather than equal spacing should be aimed at, and this is best obtained by so arranging the letters that the white space or voids between them shall be approximately equal in area. To obtain this uniformity, the letters must be spaced according to their shape. Thus, referring to the word Masonry, No. 2 in the example, it will be found that although the letters appear to lie all at the same distance apart, the O and S, for instance, are actually only half the distance apart that the N and the R are, if measured at the middle. Two letters A placed together would need as close spacing as possible, because the equal and opposite slopes of the adjacent sides leave a relatively large white area between them. The P in type 3 needs closer spacing than a similar R would, because the absence of the lower limb leaves a more prominent void. It will thus be seen that the actual spacing, depending upon the juxtaposition of various letters, and the style of the letters themselves, must be left to the judgment of the draughtsman. A preliminary " sketching in " of the letters faintly is advisable upon the space it is proposed to allot them. This is frequently done by experienced draughtsmen on a spare piece of paper, to judge of the effect before drawing the letters finally in position.
Points of Detail.—If the various O's and similar
44 WRITERS' TOOLS
curved letters are closely observed they will be found to project slightly above and below the line of the other letters; this is a necessary optical correction. If they are made exactly to line, they will appear to drop or look smaller than the others. This will perhaps be more easily realised if a square of i in. side and a circle of I in. diameter are drawn side by side and level. In lettering of the italic type, the tops of the t's should be shorter than those of 1, d, b, etc.; and the f should be made without a dropped tail (see Fig. i, page 42). It is somewhat difficult for the beginner to decide, when forming letters of the italic and similar types, which to make the heavy limbs in t he capitals, such as M, N, W, etc. It must be borne in mind that this type is based upon handwriting or " script," and that in writing with the pen, up strokes are made light to avoid spurting of the ink, and the down strokes heavy to give emphasis to the letter. Now take M for example. In writing this letter we commence at the bottom, carrying the pen up with a light stroke, then down with a heavy one, up again lightly and down with a full stroke. N, hi like manner, commences with a light stroke, down or across with a heavy one and finishes up with a light one. All printers' type follows this order of procedure, and letters made with the strong strokes or limbs in reverse order look incongruous and amateurish.
Tools.—Small and medium-size letters can be satisfactorily executed with a quill or an ordinary J pen. For very small lettering a Gillot's mapping pen is useful. For larger work a writer's brush is advisable; a " Sable " No. 1 would be suitable. As a matter of fact, all the letters given in the examples were done with the brush in the original. Compasses and ruling pen may be used by beginners for block lettering, but of course it can be done much more quickly with the brush. If this is used, the letters should be carefully pencilled in first, then gone over with the brush. Indian ink with a very little Prussian blue rubbed up in it is the best medium to work in, though for reproduction pur-
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