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Four Kinds of Lettering in Drafting

Updated February 21, 2017

Notes on drafting drawings must maintain a uniformity in their lettering in order to have the greatest legibility. Learning how to do the four kinds of lettering in drafting is a skill that takes practice. This skill is the mark of an accomplished draftsmen. The four kinds of lettering are fonts that are easily created by hand within the drafting text guide lines drawn in text boxes on the drawing.

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Gothic lettering for drafting is not the same as a gothic style font found on a computer. Gothic lettering is simple, composed of straight lines of the same weight. Monoline pens, such as technical pens, are used when drawing the letters to assure the thickness of the line is the same. Gothic lettering is preferred for beginners and when there is limited space for lettering.


Roman style lettering is created using ink pens with nibs that allow for different weights of line to be created. This is the most commonly used style of lettering for drafting notes as the variation in the line weight within each letter makes it easier to read.


Text lettering is more ornate than Gothic or Roman styles. It has varied line weights in each letter and is sometimes called Black lettering or Old English. Text lettering is commonly used for the title block of the drawing.


Italic lettering is any lettering that is slanted to the right when created. Italics are used for revision notes or other special notations.

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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.

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