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You don't have to be an architect or comic book letterer to use on of these. A lettering guide is a handy tool for making tightly spaced parallel lines. Easier than a slide rule, it is designed for a few specific tasks, but can be utilized quickly for common tasks such as hatching and crosshatching. These devices are usually packaged with directions. Overcome your instincts and read them.
The round center ring can be rotated to create different skews for the holes in the center. The more horizontal the row of holes, the more closely spaced the lines will be. Markings on the ring and holder can be lined up to create precalculated line spacing.
Lettering guides are used in conjunction with straight edge rulers. By running the device back and forth along a straight edge, multiple lines can be generated without repositioning the ruler. The holes on the left are spaced at an eighth of an inch apart, while the holes in the rotatable circle are adjustable.
The edges of the guide are angled for creating both ninety and sixty-eight degree lines crossing the parallel lettering lines. These are meant to be guidelines for upright and italic lettering. It is also a quick way to create perpendicular lines.
Calligraphy means "beautiful handwriting." This brief project example centers around the creation of an informational display. White paper has been stretched over a 24" x 36" piece of cardboard and some materials are assembled for strict lettering design.
In this block of lettering, a compass and protractor were used to create the curved guidelines, while a lettering guide was used for the horizontal and vertical guides. Making guidelines that are too dark can cause difficulty later when the need to be erased. Guides should be drawn in as light as possible. When you need them, you can see them if you try.
Once erased, the guidelines should completely disappear, leaving behind only aligned lettering.
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