Have you ever seen a house being built, or an addition put onto an existing house? If yes, you may know that a big piece of paper called a blueprint is used as a method of communication.
Blueprints are used to copy architectural and construction drawings. Usually, blueprints consist of white lines on a blue background, but recently a process uses blue lines on a white background.
Why Are They Blue?
Blueprinting is an older method invented in 1842, by the chemist and photographer John Herschel. He developed a process of reproducing hand drawings by using a chemical process called cyanotype through a series of experiments. This long process consisted of drawing an image on a semi-transparent paper weighted down on a sheet of cloth or sometimes paper. The cloth was pre-coated with a photosensitive chemical compound consisting of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate.
Then the drawing was then exposed to light, the exposure caused the background to become blue and the lines from the drawing on the semi-transparent drawing to remain white. This old process was abandoned when modern printing methods were discovered.
Are Blueprints Still Being Used?
Yes, they are still being used now, but they are no longer blue and aren’t called blueprints. Now they are referred as drawings or plans. Most of the peoples still associate drawings to blueprints. Thanks to technology and to the modern printing methods, architects no longer need to put the drawings through the chemical process that makes them blue. Now the architects can just print the drawings from their computers.
While blueprints are drawings, you most likely won’t need them for your project. Modern drawings are what you should ask for. Any architect will be more than happy to help you with your project.