Architects have all sorts of mannerisms and processes in place that seem to transcend their time and place. These traditions are passed from one generation to the next and are worth sharing and keeping. The other day, as I was sitting in my 9 square feet of work space, I saw a younger associate folding a set of drawings to get filed away in the binder and they were doing it ALL WRONG! In moments like these, ideas for posts are born and so I took it upon myself to show these younger associates how to properly fold a drawing. Suddenly, the sky split open and a multitude of angels came forth singing praises of the architectural host.
Shouldn’t everyone get to experience something like that just for folding a drawing properly?
You might be thinking to yourself “why would I fold a drawing?” The reasons you would fold a drawing is when there are just a few of them and rolling them up isn’t an option. Some municipalities have rules for how they receive drawings, folded typically being the preferred format, sometimes it’s easier to ship folded drawings, and sometimes, it’s just easier to put them in your bag on the way to a meeting. We’ll get to the rolling a bit later …
Here is a 30″ x 42″ architectural drawing. I have labeled the corners to help you keep track of how the sheet is being folded. The ‘F’ is for front and the ‘B’ is for back – pretty simple. This technique works on any large format sheet of paper.
Fold the drawing in half so that the interior is folded towards the inside …
Take the outside corners (1B and 3B) and fold them back to the right so that the right hand side of the title bar is exposed.
Flip the drawings over and repeat the last step.
Now fold the drawing in the middle so that the title bar is on the inside face of the fold. You should now have two main flaps …
Rotate the folded drawing 90 degrees so that the seam is at the top and open edges are pointed towards the bottom. Take the bottom edge and fold it up to the top, exposing the upper right hand corner of the title block.
Rotate the drawing 90 degrees and repeat the last step. What you know have is a folded up drawing 1/16th the area it was previously with the sheet title information on the outside corner. No longer do you need to open the drawing up to see what sweet goodness lies inside
This is the finished product … what was once 30″ x 42″ is now measures a compact and neatly folded 10.5″ x 7.5″ – drawing title on one side and the firm’s logo on the other side.
Sometimes it’s easier to simply show you how to fold this so I decided to step out from behind the keyboard and make a video on how to fold a D or E sized sheet of paper. By the way, this was done in one take. Before you think to yourself “Wow, that’s really impressive” just remember 2 things:
1) It’s just folding a piece of paper
2) Thank goodness this wasn’t shot in High-Def
be careful, there’s sound in this video – not of me talking (why would anybody want that?) but of Deadmau5, it is certainly music to fold by …
This leads us to our next little folding tip – more specifically for 11″ x 17″ paper – some people refer to them as “Tabloid” or “B” size sheets. Whatever … they need to be folded properly before they are put into the project binder, and this one is even easier than folding the “D” and “E” size sheets! (could you be any more excited?!?)
Here it is – an unfolded 11″x17″ piece of paper … if your office is anything like mine, you have thousands of these laying about your space.
Fold it in half …
Fold the title block edge back … now you have a 8.5″ x 11″ sized piece of paper.
This technique also leaves you with an exposed title block along the outside edge of the paper which means no unfolding is necessary to see the nougaty drawing center.
This next one is a quickie -
When you roll up your drawings, roll them up so the drawing face is exposed. This does two things for you:
1) Allows you to see the full title block so you know the project name, the sheet, issue date information – everything …
2) When you unroll the drawings and place them on the table, they roll up towards the table rather than on themselves – no longer will you have to pin the corners down with weights to keep your drawings flat.
And my last tip for the day is this – it’s fairly self-explanatory: