Lettering as an integral part of architectural design is a concept that is well suited to architectural concrete, where the letters can be cast in place--either indented or raised. Concrete lettering for buildings can be considered in three main groups: precast, used freestanding; precast, applied to the structure; cast in place, integral with the building or building panel. Illustrations in this article show all three kinds of lettering and suggest possibilities yet to be explored by many architects.

Forms for the letters and numbers are made with many of the same materials used for other architectural ornament. Standard letters are supplied commercially in foamed polystyrene plastic or metal. Letters designed for an individual job can be formed by skilled craftsmen using wood, lead, plaster, or plastics.