Since product designs are defined and communicated using the language established by engineering drawing standards, the role of these standards and their impact on product quality is examined. This includes: 1. A historical review and analysis of the foundation upon which the engineering drawing standards in this country have been based. 2. The importance of good design and adequate design definition on drawings in a language which is widely recognized and understood. 3. The equal importance of dynamic constantly improving engineering drawing and design standards based on product experience and knowledge acquired in the solution of factory and in-service problems (as illustrated by a number of actual cases). 4. An assessment of the challenges of the 1980's and the advances expected to be made during this decade.