Get the letter spacing right
By Mike Jackson
Posted on Saturday, August 29th, 2020
Computer fonts are typically designed with a generous number of “kerning pairs”. Kerning
refers to the spacing between any two letters in a word. Tracking is another important term that refers to global spacing within a word, phrase or sentence. Lastly, leading refers to the spacing between lines of text.
Fonts provided with any of the popular design programs can vary considerably in quality. This is especially true of fonts that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Professional fonts purchased from most of the name brand vendors are normally much better at kerning or auto spacing. At times, though, even the best fonts often need a little tweaking.
Display fonts and text fonts
Text fonts are typically used for type in the body copy of books and magazines. They’ve been around a long time and do a great job, especially when viewed as paragraphs on a page. Display fonts, or headline fonts, often need critical attention for kerning since they are usually rendered much larger. In other words, they are often used as the “main copy” on a sign, versus what we call sub-copy or smaller text.