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Thread: Standard Text Heights

  1. #1
    Senior Member domsib's Avatar
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    Standard Text Heights

    Is there an industry standard text height you guys use when producing drawings?

    I have the BIM standard for Revit on my desk and it says

    Text Height(mm) Plotted full size
    1.8mm - General text, dimensions, notes - used on A3 & A4 drawings
    2.5mm - General text, dimensions notes
    3.5mm - Sub-headings
    5.0mm - Normal titles, drawing numbers
    7.0mm Major Titles

    Does this mean 2.5mm is the standard text height for all drawings at A2, A1 & A0?

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    Member cerb0z's Avatar
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    Really, just go with minimum 2,5 mm. Everything lower becomes harder to read.

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    R.I.P. MPwuzhere's Avatar
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    Standard for us is 3mm for everything...7mm for titles.

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    Member need4mospd's Avatar
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    5/64" (~2mm) - Fine print
    3/32" (~2.5mm) - Most text
    1/8" (~3mm) - Sub headings
    1/4" (~6mm) - Titles
    1/2" (~13mm) - Major titles

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    Member Cyus's Avatar
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    British Standards (I forget the number) says nothing less than 2.5mm. This is a decent standard for us.

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    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by need4mospd View Post
    5/64" (~2mm) - Fine print
    3/32" (~2.5mm) - Most text
    1/8" (~3mm) - Sub headings
    1/4" (~6mm) - Titles
    1/2" (~13mm) - Major titles
    *grumble* stupid imperial measurements

    we use the same sizes as above. 3/32" is a holdover from hand drafting, although I have no clue why lettering was that specific size.

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    Member Geert's Avatar
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    Its a leftover from the day of blueprints and has to do with scalability of drawings.
    Drafting standards in NL used to have 2.5 for minimum height. Type used to be ISO. same as linetypes -13 -18 -25 .5 .7 1mm line widths.

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    Member FBlome's Avatar
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    US Corp of Engineers at the time (1980's?) required no less than 1/8", all caps. Main reason was to maintain readability at 50% reduction.

    But get this - I just received a plan check comment, from a VERY picky Planning Dept, that my text was too small for 1/2 scale reduction, and requested that I increase the font size. I had just switched to using Calabri which is smaller in height than Arial using 3/32".

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    Forum Addict elton williams's Avatar
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    we use 3.5mm for A1/AO because we often print those sheets at A3 anything smaller becomes hard to read. 2.5mm for A3.

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    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    2.5mm is far too big for me - it's like easy read for kids - and is a hangover from printing and scaling.

    I personally don't care for making A1 drawings "readable-when-printed-at-A3" because:
    a. they're not made to be critically reviewed at A3 - so recipients need to print it at full scale
    b. if they're only ever going to be used at A3, then the sheet should be designed to be A3 in the first place
    c. internal review of (paper) drawings is wasteful, and pretty much the only reason why we (as in us, not the collective "we") have printers
    d. digitial review (and markup) is far more effective - and allows us to zoom-zoom-zoom to our hearts content.


    As such, I use as low as 1.75mm.

    I can read this quite clearly even on the occasions when printed A1-to-A3, because I go to optician, and I suggest others do when they grumble they can't.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cyus View Post
    British Standards (I forget the number) says nothing less than 2.5mm. This is a decent standard for us.
    The "number" is BS1192. Horrible document. It's also just been supplemented by PAS1192. If you're not an LRUG member on LinkedIn, ask to join, we had a bit of a chat about it recently.


    EDIT
    Quote Originally Posted by FBlome View Post
    I had just switched to using Calabri which is smaller in height than Arial using 3/32".
    This is a v.important factor that is seldom factor with blanket "Thou shalt not use fonts no shorter than X" commandments.

    Because an "open" standard can't/shouldn't directly reference a particular font, it leaves us all to dither over which fonts - and which styles of said fonts we use. Some fonts render larger than others when using pt sizes - and some are simply easier to read than others at fixed (measured) sizes. Equally, some applications enable you to play with lineweight of text and character spacing. And then there are platform differences for native/common fonts. Along with personal/company/state/country/contract preferences for ALL CAPS, Title Case & the dreaded "i'm too cool to use capitals" style.

    All this ensures there is no common truth to these standards - just as they aren't (sadly) with lineweights, hatch patterns, drawing packages, etc.

    Were our industry's to align to these things in an attempt to find parity - we might be better able to get on with actually designing better proposals instead of faffing with fonts.
    Last edited by snowyweston; April 9th, 2013 at 07:43 AM.

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