WHY BLUEPRINTS ARE BLUE

Piles and rolls of overly-sized sheets containing drafts of a structural model in blue ink is a common sight at any architectural and engineering firm. Those are the default materials lying on every table as every architect goes back and forth to check and compare every blueprint and check up on its progress.

The basic definition of a blueprint is a reproduction of an image that already exists. In application, architects and engineers use blueprints as structural plans using white lines and text on a blue backdrop. These are of high importance to the success of any large-scale constructions because it contains are the framework and instructions need to accomplish the structure.

As what the wise men said: a person with the right blueprints is likely to succeed.

Blueprints Origin
The truth is, the origin of this common yet highly–important file called a “blueprint” is not common to everyone. And possibly, neither to all the professionals working in these firms.

In 1842, an English photographer, scientific expert, and cosmologist named John Herschel found that mixing ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide produced a synthetic response that created a compound called blue ferric ferrocyanide (or Prussian blue). This photosensitive arrangement could be utilized to repeat archives in a procedure like building up a photo from a negative.

This process, called cyanotype, was adopted by early photographers and led to the first book illustrated by photography and then became the darling of architects and engineers.

How are the Blueprints produced?
science.howstuffworks.com gave a short yet concise process of producing blueprints:

  1. First, you create a drawing and transfer it to vellum paper or tracing cloth, both of which are so thin they are practically see-through.
  2. Then, you saturate a piece of regular paper with an ammonium-potassium mixture and let it dry.
  3. Place the drawing atop the paper coated with the chemical solution, expose the papers to a bright light and wait for a chemical reaction to take place. Within a matter of minutes, the chemical-coated paper will be transformed into blue ferric ferrocyanide — with one important exception. Wherever the light can’t shine through the top paper (because of the lines from the original drawing), the blueprinting paper remains white.
  4. After rinsing the paper in cold water to halt the chemical reaction and allowing the paper to dry in the dark, you’re left with a nearly identical duplicate of the original drawing.

The reproduction is a negative-like image that appears white against a background turned a specific shade of indigo by the reaction of the chemical compound. Although the process requires several steps, it was widely used during the pre-computer era of the 19th century, and even until to this date.

Blueprints are the guide to a successful project. However, in terms of large-scale projects such as construction and mining – success within reach through a partnership with a reliable and trusted heavy-equipment provider to get the job done.

Being in the industry of heavy equipment for 30 years, Monark has already proven its quality and reliability through its partners in real estate development and mining industries.