Good /Bad Letter spacing !- Homework

The following image below is an example of bad letter spacing because if you look closely the first two letter the O,P are much closer together than the P and T. And also at the end the Y is a tad bit further than the R.


The following image below is a great example of good letter spacing because the all of the letter are evenly spaced even though the letters are tightly together. And the spacing between the actual word are evenly spaced as well.


Kerning Examples

On Monday, we learned what kerning was, and how it affects the visuals of any work of type. Below are two examples of Kerning; One with more precise and organized kerning, and th e other with a lack thereof.


Upon inspecting the letters in this branding design, you can observe an even distance between each letter in the word “TOMS”, with a simple Sans Serif typeface to accompany it.


Upon inspecting the word “BASH” in this poster, there is a lack of sufficient spacing between the “A” and the “S”, as they seem to actually touch at their bases. The “B and the “H” however seem equidistant from the two letters within.

Class 3 – Kerning, Tracking and Letterspace

The main topic of the discussion was kerning, tracking and letterspace. But as a review of the Five Families of Type, here’s a link to an added resource. Navigate through the links highlighted in yellow: Designing with Type

Designing with Type

Kerning vs Tracking

Do you know the difference between kerning and tracking? You need to make sure you understand.

kerning = adjustment of the space between two letters to improve the appearance. Kerning is more specific than tracking. Kerning becomes more important with large or display type.

tracking = adjustment of the space between letters for the a whole word, sentence, page or document.

Other Terms We Covered

  • points – unit of measurement in typography: 72 points = 1 inch. All type is measured in points.
  • pica – typographic unit of measurement: 12 points = 1 pica; 6 picas = 1 inch; 72 points = 1 inch.

To help with the concept of kerning, we played The Kerning Game online. If you didn’t get a good score during class, give it another try:

The Kerning Game

Video Tutorial – Kerning and Kerning Pairs
We didn’t use this video in class but I think it’s helpful.


Homework Due – 2/10/16

  • Reading Assignment in textbook: Tracking: Kerning and Letterspace pgs 90-93;
    Letters, Words, Sentences pgs 52-79. Also, the reading that was due on Monday should be completed. Be prepared to for a quick one question quiz about the reading assignment.
  • As you go through your daily travels, take one photograph of an example of good letterspacing/kerning; then take one photograph of an example of bad letterspacing/kerning. Upload each of the photos to this website by creating a your own blog post. Write two or three sentences for each photo describing why the type is either good letterspacing or bad letterspacing. The examples you photograph can be of sign, posters, flyers or anything you see with type on it.
  • Finish the type renderings your began in class if you didn’t get to finish.

Class 2 – The History of Typography

Let’s review some of the things we learned during our second session:

The Five Families of Type

Old Style – Garamond
Transitional – Baskerville
Modern – Bodoni
Egyptian or Slab Serif – Century Expanded
Sans Serif – Helvetica
Download class notes

Typographical Anatomy

This document was handed out in class, but if you need a new copy, you may download from here. You should study this sheet and refer to it often throughout the course.

During class we reviewed some of the parts of letterforms. Here are a few terms introduced during class. Make sure you know these and begin using them in your typography references:

  • points – unit of measurement in typography: 72 points = 1 inch. All type is measured in points.
  • leading – refers to the linespace between the lines of type. The term originated in the days of metal type. During hand-typesetting, thin strips of lead were inserted into the lines of type to increase the distance.
  • sans serif – a typeface that does not have serifs.
  • font – one weight, width or style of a typeface.
  • typeface – the letters, numbers and symbols that make up a design of type. A typeface is part of a type family of coordinated designs. For example, Helvetica Bold is the typeface and is a part of the Helvetica family of type (Helvetica is the type family, Helvetica Bold is the typeface).
  • type family – the full collection of typefaces that were designed together and intended to be used together. For example, Garamond font family consists of roman, italics, semi bold, and bold weights. Combined together, these make up the Garamond type family.

Homework – Due Monday 2/8/16

  • Complete the Letterform Drawings for next Monday. Read the notes on each page and be neat in your presentation.
  • Reading Assignment in textbook: Basics pgs 1-15 & Development pgs 16-50 (If you haven’t been able to get your book yet, Derek posted a link to a PDF of the book which can be found here.
  • Please bring your tracing pads and pens and other materials for class.

Here are some videos to help with this lesson:

Type Anatomy and Terminology

Short Letterpress Documentary

After watching the two videos, share your thoughts on the evolution of typography in the comments below.

Class 1 – Course Introduction and History of Letterforms

The topic of our first class of the semester was letterform. This was a brief history of the definition of letterform and the evolution to our current alphabet. In typography, epigraphy, paleography, calligraphy and even graffiti, letterform refers to the shape and design of individual characters—the way the characters are drawn.

A few words we learned:

  • typography — the arrangement of text, letters, characters to make words visible; the art of arranging type; the design and use of letterforms/letter shapes; designed with metal letterforms or computer.
  • epigraphy — the study of letterforms carved in stone or other permanent material.
  • paleography — the study of writing in ancient and medieval manuscripts.
  • calligraphy — the art of decorative writing, usually with pen and ink, sometimes a brush may be used.
  • serif — the line attached to the end of a stroke in a letter or symbol. They look a bit like feet.

You can download a copy of the slide presentation here.

An additional resource: Origins of the Alphabet

We also viewed this view in class. It quickly sums up the topic: The History of Typography

In the comments below, what were some of your thoughts after this first class?


Welcome to COMD 1167 MW, Spring 2016

Hello everyone and welcome. This is the place you will find loads of resources to help you get through the course. I will post extra information to supplement the lessons, tutorial videos and you will find class handouts that you can download.

When I find interesting information that enhance enhance your learning, I will update this site with them. You should plan to check in here before or after each class session. When I add an update you should receive a notification.

I also want to encourage you to feel free to add content aside from the times when it is a required assignment.

I look forward to a rewarding semester for both of us.



Required Supplies

The following items can be purchased at a local Staples or art store:

  • 8.5Ëťx11Ëť or 9Ëťx11Ëť Tracing Pad
  • 12Ëť Ruler if your pad doesn’t have a grid
  • 2 BLACK Pilot Razor Point II Fine Line Markers, 0.2mm Super Fine Point or an equivalent super fine marker/pen
  • No. 2 Pencil
  • Portfolio with plastic sleeves to keep as a Journal of all samples collected during the semester

Required Textbook

A Type Primer (2nd Edition) by John Kane (If you need to save money, you may consider renting the digital textbook.) 

Recommended Text

InDesign CC: Visual QuickStart Guide (Latest Edition) by Sandee Cohen (This book is helpful to have as a reference to using InDesign.)