Manufacturing guy-at-large.

thoughts on standards, revisited

Added on by Spencer Wright.

late last year, i posted some thoughts on technical drawing standards on my now mothballed business' blog.  they were an attempt to clarify some things i had been thinking of over the past year or so, and they remain a useful starting point for my own style guide.

i'm now in the position of revisiting many of these items, and will be writing more of my thoughts in the coming weeks.  in the meantime, i'm reposting my initial thoughts here.  some of them are now more fully developed, and some have been partially discarded.  regardless, i continue to welcome any comments. 



I've been spending some time organizing myself and my designs, and am working on creating standards for myself.  A few ideas I've had are below, in no particular order.

  • When producing documentation, adopt and use standards that are optimized for digital, not physical, reproduction. 
  • Minimize printing whenever possible. When choosing paper sizes, prefer ISO to Architectural, and Architectural to ANSI. (Do so in spite the fact that, at least in North America, this ranking is... inconvenient.)
  • Prefer decimal inch or metric dimensions to fractional inches, which round inaccurately, produce inconvenient decimals at small resolutions, and encourage draftsmen to use decimal equivalents with unnecessarily high precision standards.
  • Use single spaces between sentences. (This will take some getting used to; the double slap of the spacebar has been drilled into me from years of practice.)
  • Track revisions.
  • Name all dimensions. Name key features.
  • Produce and maintain job books which refer directly to named features and dimensions and explain fit and function of all important design elements.
  • Choose cross-platform standards, assuming they don't hurt too much.
  • Have fun, etc.

As always, your feedback is encouraged.  I'd be interested in hearing other peoples' experience with and philosophies on standards and documentation aesthetics.