Word – Typography Introduction

Typography is one of the main parts of understanding graphic design. It is the art and technique of arranging type to make them appealing and legible to the viewer. Understanding the basic principles of typography such as the history, form, and function of visual language will increase my awareness and appreciation of typography, to be able to be expressive within my own designs.

One of the first exercises that we part took in was looking at spacing between the type.   Which is known as kerning and tracking.

To kern” means to adjust the spacing between a pair of letters, numerals, punctuation, etc. (properly “glyphs”) so that their spacing looks correct. The letters AV, for example, have to overlap in any usual typeface, otherwise at least one them ends up looking lost and bewildered. Their kerning is tightened to snug them up to one another. An italic f will collide with a following question or quote mark in some fonts, so the kerning must be opened up from the default spacing.”

“Letter spacing (often “tracking” in software applications) adjusts the spacing between all the glyphs in a piece of text. This can help to make a page look a little more open and inviting, for example, especially with a similarly open leading. Very large type, such as a big headline, almost always benefits from tightening the tracking. Tiny type, such as in captions or footnotes, is made more readable by opening the letter spacing a bit, especially if the paper is absorbent and will allow the ink to spread a little.”

Information taken from Graphic design website on stack exchange: http://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/2606/difference-between-kerning-vs-letter-spacing


For this exercise we had to write our names whilst tracing over the top of either serif or san serif letters. I found it quite difficult to begin with, to get the spacing right. As you can see from the photo of my sketch book it took a few goes. After trying to master free hand spacing, we were asked to cut up and stick to word language onto place, this too was fairly difficult, my first attempt left me with letters floating off the line.

These exercises help myself to gain a better understanding of the importance of spacing between type as Kerning and tracking can be applied to text to create special text effects for headlines, subheads, newsletter nameplates and logos.Exaggerated tracking can produce an effective and eye-catching title. Extreme kerning or over-kerning creates special effects with tightly spaced or overlapping characters.