Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Inspiration for assignment 1, 2, and 3:

assignment 3

Andreina Carrillo

Sarah Macreading

Louis Rivera

Jinsook Bae

Jihye Kim

Ingvild Ostgard

Donghee Choo

Chris Rogers

assignment 1 and 2

Milena Gonzales

Louis Rivera

Liz Chan

Joshua Carpenter

Fanny Le Bras

Eric Ku

Blanda Eggenschwiller

Beatriz Torrecillas

April Sharp

Annie Chan

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Lesson in Kerning

I've been getting traffic recently from people looking for information on kerning. Seeing this made me remember when I had first started out and was trying to learn as much about design as quickly as possible. I searched for instructions on kerning and I found the results to be pretty disappointing. Even though now I feel like I have a pretty decent understanding of the concept, I've never heard kerning explained as well as Ed Benguiat explains it. The following explanation is derived from his lesson on kerning.

A Basic Definition

Kerning is the process of adjusting the space between pairs of letters.

Practical Application

If we were to take three lines of text: AMERICAN, AIRLINES, AROUND and just type it out in Helvetica bold it might look passable but our goal is to fix the spacing so that it doesn't look there are holes of white space in the words.

First decide how tightly spaced you want the words to be and then determine the space between the first two letters

Once you have the space between the first two letters established you can kern the rest of the text. This isn't a purely mathematical thing, it's visual. Each letter is unique and the amount of positive and negative space it has is different so you can't rely on using Illustrator to make sure the space is numerically even. The way you do this is by looking at three letters at a time and moving the third letter left or right until it looks like the middle letter is centered between the first and third.

Here are some examples of how the process might go:
This is a little too loose

This is too tight

This looks about right

Consistency Commandments:

Now that we've begun to space the letters there are some guidelines that will make it easier and faster so that you don't have to rethink each pair of letters.

The space between two straights will always be the same.
For example if you have already established the space between "IB" you will know what to do later in a heading if encounter a "NM"

The space between two rounds will always be the same
If you have already established the space between "OC" you will know what to do when you see "OG"

The space between a straight and a round will always be the same.
If you have already established the space between "MO" you will know what to do when you see "HC"

Here is what you might get for a final product if you started off with the "AM" combination above

Here is what it looked like typed out without any modification, just for comparison.

via chrisbeesley.blogspot.com
*Chris is a fellow graphic designer. He keeps this blog to share his ideas and thoughts on design. Thanks Chris.
**Ed Benguiat teaches Designing with Type course in SVA.