The importance of kerning

The importance of kerning

We included this post partly because we thought that you would like to see that we do actually have a sense of humour at Browse. Yes it is slightly juvenile, but it did make us laugh. At the same time it makes a very important point; do not underestimate the importance of kerning.

Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between individual letter forms. It’s used in typography to achieve visually pleasing spacing over a range of characters. Modern software programs usually provide an autokerning feature, however, it rarely works that well and is in no way a substitute for kerning by hand and eye.

As can be imagined, most people are totally oblivious to the existence of kerning. If you asked a random person on the street if they knew what “kerning” meant, they would probably have no idea, but you would expect your designers to do so. Proper kerning is usually what separates the work of professional designers from that of someone who has a cracked copy of Word or Publisher on their PC.

After you learn about kerning, your life will change. Suddenly you will start seeing uneven and ugly spacing everywhere which will disproportionately irritate you. Some people, including your friends and family might consider you a nerd or even a bore for bringing it up, but it does actually matter. Careless and inept work of any kind has an adverse effect on all of us. Once poor workmanship is accepted as the norm, then apathy lowers the expectation for any kind of craftsmanship

If only more businesses would recognise the importance of kerning and good type. It would save them from the unnecessary headaches caused by poorly printed business cards, letters, signage, packaging and the other miscellaneous items they’ve gone and designed themselves, just because they thought they could.

Think that you can do better? Here is a great tool which is both instructive and fun. And surprisingly revelatory.

http://type.method.ac/

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