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Architectural Lettering Styles

By Lane Cummings ; Updated September 15, 2017
A particular style of lettering can suggest a mood or tone.

Words can have an enormous effect on people and can act to cajole, persuade or offend. Some might argue that font styles are equally as important, as the shape of the letters and how light or dark they are can also have a strong effect upon the reader. Architectural lettering refers to a font designed for architects or inspired by architecture.

Architectural Lettering

The website Myfonts.com created a font style designed particularly for architects all around the world. This font consists of strong letters printed in all capital; each letter is made up of deliberate strokes, energetically created. This font is also a nod to the past, when blueprints were hand-lettered. Now, blueprints that architects create via computer can still have that classic, hand-lettered, all capitals appearance. This font also comes in a bold style, for when architects need to emphasize something on a blueprint.

Exhibition

Frank Lloyd Wright, has gone down in history for his distinctive, dramatic and harmonious architecture, designing famed homes around the United States, including Chicago. Wright also created seven different font families to escort his models, blueprints and drawings. He called one of these fonts styles "exhibition" and it features angular lines and cutting starts and stops, parallel lines and smooth curves. These letters are evocative of skyscrapers or a skyline. This font would look striking on an exhibit or project sketch or blueprint, or for anyone who appreciates architecture.

Plains Lettering

The work of legendary architects Marion Mahony and her husband, architect Walter Burley Griffin inspired an architectural font called "Plains lettering." This type of font is reminiscent of lettering styles popular in America around the 1920s and 1930s. The font style has a geometric feel of the Art Deco period yet also showcases, strong, perfect circles and tiny overlapped flourishes as the lines which create letters gently overlap. The letters of this font have the perpendicular rigidity of letters which possess right angles as well as sweeping obtuse and acute angles.

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."