Font sizes for architectural drawings

I normally print my house plans in Layout on ARCH D size (24"x36") at 1/4" scale. Sometimes, due to the size of the home, I have to use 3/16" scale. When deciding on the proper text (point) size for dimensions and annotations, I have used a hit-and-miss approach. Sometimes the text looks appropriately sized on the computer, but when the plan is printed, they are pretty small (almost too small in my opinion). Do any architects or draftsmen out there have a standard text (point) size they have found works well on both of these scale drawings (1/4" and 3/16")?
Thanks for your input.

Are you referring to text added in SketchUp or in LayOut?

I do a lot of stuff on Arch E paper. Labels are usually 16 pt and dimensions 20 pt. All text is created in LayOut. For Arch D I would probably do the same or only slightly smaller. It also depends on the font, too.

I do all my labeling in Layout. My font for room labels is Flux Architect, but for dimensions and annotations I use Franklin Gothic (sans serif). Here is an example.


A02_210910_Ellis_Concept 10_Floor Plan_Main.pdf (386 KB)

Looks like you have pretty good luck with Flux Architect. It’s not a very well constructed font and a lot of users have reported problems with it.

What size is the dimension text? It looks pretty good on the page although I would be inclined to put the dimension on the dimension line (except where leaders are require) to reduce the area the dimensions consume.

Can only speak of metric but I use 2mm, 3.5mm, 5mm, 7mm,10mm text sizes… all uppercase and Arial… keep it simple for universal compatability…
(Reflects my rotring technical pen and letter stencil days)
PS… there is no consistent measure for text height… its a chaotic historical mess two fonts with the same pt size can visually vary dramatically


Oh, and I always use Unicode fonts - Avoids issues when translating


The DIN text stencils had a consistent system: the height of a capital letter was ten times the pen width.

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Flux Architect is whacky in that when typing, only boxes show on the screen. It’s only after hitting Enter that the actual font appears. For my dimension text on the floor plan, I used 9 pt. For the Flux Architect room titles, I used 16 pt. For the annotations, I used 12 pt.

For some time smallest text was controlled by what building departments would accept and Architectural Graphic Standards. Roughly 1/8”. I use 10pt and occasionally 8 pt. if the plan is 3/16. Room Names 12 or 14 Labels 18 and Titles 20 to 24. it’s all personal preference now except for the small stuff. Also if you do municipal or government work they will have struck guidelines for size and font.

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Others have reported other problems with it for years. As long as it is working for you, that’s good. I think it’s fine in the PDF you shared.

As far as you deliver your documents on paper nothing has changed. The guidelines have usually been created to ensure legible microfilms or scans.

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Thanks for your input.

I’ll try putting the dimensions on the dimension line in the future. One question, when I do that sometimes, the spacing between the left line and the number looks good, but the spacing between the right line and the number is much larger (because of the text box being stretched out). Is there an easy way to correct that so that the spacing right and left of the number is the same? I tried reducing the gap sizes, but that doesn’t seem to make any difference.

The unequal spacing has to do with the the width of the glyphs in the font. Not just the character but the spacing around it. Some fonts handle that glyph size better. The gap also appears to be uneven because of the raised " mark on the right. The angle of the strokes in the " of Flux Architect exaggerates that, too. There’s not much you can do about that since units must be shown when the units are set to Architectural.

Here’s a quick example. All are at the same size. Arial, Flux Architect, Tekton Pro Regular, and Tekton Pro Bold. At least to my eye the Flux Architect looks more off center than the others.

Screenshot - 10_2_2021 , 8_15_53 AM

Flux Architect. All of the available characters.

The " mark in Flux Architect. Note the space on its right.
Screenshot - 10_2_2021 , 8_38_32 AM

Tekton Pro Regular. A few of the available characters.

And its " mark glyph. It has less space to the right. The space for the glyph is narrower than in Flux Architect.
Screenshot - 10_2_2021 , 8_40_32 AM

Not trying to talk you out of using Flux Architect, by the way. Just showing the difference.


Wow! You really went beyond the call of duty to point that out. Thanks. I guess I’m just being super picky. I may try several fonts for dimensions to see if there is one that has less space around the glyphs.

I hope it was helpful. Raised or lowered characters at the end of a line of text will create an illusion of extra space in any font. In a similar way, round characters like G O Q and S are normally made slightly taller than the straight letters. Most people won’t notice these sorts of things unless they are wrong.

Great font for anyone else who misses the old Rotring and stencil days, called Engineer.
Has several different weights to it as well.

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