appears unstable, even when applied correctly (e.g., P, F, and J). You
can compensate for this distracting effect by making these letters
somewhat top heavy.
the basics strokes for each letter (figure 159). You can use pencils,
pens, markers, or brushes to apply freehand lettering. Your lettering
must present a sharp, clean, firm, and opaque appearance.
a. Pencil Lettering. Manufacturers make drawing pencils in
different graphite densities, indicated by a letter and a number. The
letter "B" denotes a soft, dark graphite; whereas the letter "H"
indicates a hard, light graphite. The number used with the letters "B"
and "H" show the degree of hardness or softness of the drawing pencil's
graphite (figure 160).
For example, both 2B and 6B drawing pencils are soft pencils; however,
of the two drawing pencils, the 2B is a harder drawing pencil. When
using the 2B drawing pencil to apply lettering, the lettering is lighter
than the lettering applied with a 6B drawing pencil. Remember, the
softer the graphite, the darker the lettering.
Now consider a 4H and 8H drawing pencil. Which of the two drawing
pencils do you believe would produce the lightest lettering? You would
use the 8H drawing pencil for the lightest lettering. Though both the
4H and 8H drawing pencils are hard drawing pencils, the number "8" tells
you the 8H drawing pencil is the hardest of the two, and the harder the
graphite, the lighter the lettering.
(1) Choosing the correct pencil. To a large extent, choosing the
correct graphite drawing pencil for the lettering project depends on the
roughness (tooth) of the paper. The rougher the paper, the harder the
pencil graphite required to produce quality lettering. You must choose
a pencil hard enough to prevent excessive wearing down of the point, but
soft enough to produce jetblack lettering. As an aid to selecting the
proper pencil, try several different pencils until you find the one that
best suits the needs of the project and paper.
The size of the lettering you apply to a project also affects the
drawing pencil you use for lettering. When applying small lettering,
you use a drawing pencil sharpened to either a conical or chisel point.
If you are applying medium lettering, then you should use a thick, soft
lead drawing pencil, sharpened to a chisel point (figure 161).