How to write like an architect

I found this on, and I know Jason Kottke’s audience outnumbers mine by several orders of magnitude, but I still found it interesting enough that I wanted to share it here.

I’ve been thinking about architecture (the occupation, not buildings themselves) a lot lately as I’ve been working with some architects as clients. The thing I like about architects is that I think there’s a lot of similarity between what they do and what I do — both architecture and web design/development require a mix of artistic sensibilities and methodical, scientific thinking that don’t often come together in other fields. Of course, it takes a lot more training and skill to become an architect; I won’t even pretend we’re in the same league in that regard.

Probably the biggest difference between the two fields is that what I do is almost entirely based on computers (obviously), whereas while computers are certainly an integral tool to architects, the end product of their efforts, along with many of the tools and techniques they use to do their jobs, are physical, tactile, hands-on. Paper, pencils, T-squares, rulers, etc. I use those types of physical tools so rarely anymore that I can barely even write my own name legibly.

Which brings me to this pair of videos on How to write like an architect. It’s fascinating to see how these letters come together and the orderly yet stylized results.

And here’s how you do it with a pencil…

In another age (maybe even if I were a mere decade older), architecture is likely something I would have pursued instead of the path of least resistance web design offered me when I emerged from college at precisely the right moment (1996). Working with architects as clients has allowed me to get a vicarious taste of that world.