We covered three main topics during our last class that deal with spacing—tracking, kerning and leading. It is important to understand the difference between tracking and kerning.

  • Tracking deals with the adjustment of letter-space which will affect entire lines or blocks of text. By adding tracking, the letter-spacing, which is the amount of space between the characters, will be increased or decreased. The goal is to have consistently even space between all the characters
  • Kerning is often confused with tracking but kerning deals with the letter-space adjustments between a specific pair of letters. You only have to be concerned about kerning display or headline text. Certain letter pairs don’t fit well together, so the designer’s goal is to adjust the space so that letter-spacing looks consistent.
  • Leading is the amount of space between lines of text. It is measured from baseline to baseline. It is important that line-spacing is not too tight or too far apart.
  • All three of these—tracking, kerning, and leading—are important to the overall look and to make reading easier.

Use the following videos to gain a better understanding of the topics:

Kerning and kerning pairs


Kerning & Tracking


Design Principles – Typography, leading

To test our kerning ability we used The Kerning Game, which can be found online: http://type.method.ac


Homework — Due Thurs, Sept 13

  • Finish lettering your phrase on the tracing paper.  You are to trace a short phrase that is 2-3 lines long. You will have to pay attention to you letter-space and line-space. These will be collected on Thursday.
  • Bring 1 or 3 magazines that you don’t mind cutting up.