Classes 9 & 10 – Tracking, Kerning and Type on a Path

Tracking and Type Alignment

We took a look at how to digitally control tracking and the different type alignment options.  We were able to see what happens when tracking is too tight or too loose. We also took a closer look at what happens when we use justified text alignment. I discovered that one of the advantages of using justified text is that it can save space when a lot of text is used. We also saw a disadvantage that is awkward or bad word spacing that creates too much white space in paragraphs. Sometimes we see streams of this white space, which we call rivers (rivers of white space).

justified text
This is an example of what can happen when text is justified. The paragraph can end up with rivers–indicated by the red lines.

New Terms

widow – A widow is a single word or short group of words that appears at the bottom of a paragraph, column or page.

Widows will make long sections of text look unbalanced.

orphan – An orphan is a similar to a widow, a single or short group of words, but this time they appear at the top of a page or column.

Orphans really belong to previous page or column. Because of this, they break the flow of reading across two pages or columns.

Read more about them, and how they are controlled, here.


The Pen Tool and Type on a Path

During the class on Monday, March 5th,  we were introduced to the PEN TOOL in InDesign and how to create type on a path. The PEN TOOL in InDesign is very similar to the one in Photoshop and Illustrator. Once you learn to control the curve, it is easier to master the tool. The more you use the tool, the better you get with it. For help, here are a few videos:

How to Use the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign


Correct Way to Format Type on a Path with InDesign


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