The Lettering Template

The “LETTERING TEMPLATE”, surely the gods were in a generous mood when they bestowed upon us mortals such a marvelous tool! What a masterpiece of design, a thin wafer of plastic upon which reside perfectly formed cutouts of all the letters of the alphabet. And with numbers, punctuations, and basic shapes to boot!

“Practice your lettering”, ugh… what a mind numbing (not to mention a wrist and arm numbing) activity! Line after line of the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation with arbitrary notations about various nonsensical things! But wait, sitting there on my table, was this wonderful gift from the gods! All alone, unused, feeling unloved, what a fate for such a perfect, work reducing, fatigue eliminating marvel of engineering!

Wait a minute! A thought crossed my young mind! Dare I think such a thing! What if…just what if I were to utilize this gift from the gods to produce the letters, numbers, and notes on the mechanical drawing I was working on! I was awash with thoughts of revolutionizing the very drafting process! Why waste time with such a neanderthal process of hand lettering!

So I did it! I put into practice my revolutionary process and began using the LETTERING TEMPLATE to produce the various characters required on my drawing. Boy, wait until John sees this! He will surely marvel at my prowess at redefining the drafting process! I will surely go down in the annals of engineering as the one to revolutionize the industry!

Or so I thought! As I astutely laid down letters and numbers at what seemed a breakneck pace, John happened to walk by and stopped to take notice. Wow, here’s my chance to explain the “proper” use of the LETTERING TEMPLATE and how to save time and work! So, John walked over to me and while looking over my shoulder asked me what I was doing. I started to explain how to “properly” use the LETTERING TEMPLATE and how it would save time and effort. When I was through John simply looked at me and said “no, we letter drawings manually.”

The moral of this story is twofold, one is that life is a learning process which never really stops. The other is that nothing ventured, is nothing gained. Yes, I felt bad about not “revolutionizing” the industry but hey, you never know until you try! And I learned some about the industry and continued to develop my lettering skills. Also, I learned a bit more about the man I worked for. He didn’t scream at me or try to make me feel incompetent. That wasn’t his way. He had a way of making simple statements that got the idea across without the use of any negativity and, because of this, you knew you had grown some in the process.

Trivia Time! LETTERING TEMPLATES were used on engineering drawings but in a limited way. Letters and numbers to designate section views, direction of arrow views, selection charts and such required the use of LETTERING TEMPLATES. Also, standard drawings required exclusive use of a LETTERING TEMPLATE.

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