Leaning, Kerning and Tracking

Today I learnt of three new terms within the use of type called leaning, kerning and tracking. All three terms refer to the spacing of type.

Leading refers to the spacing between one line of type and the next one bellow it. It is important to have evenly and appropriately spaced type in order to make nice in appearance as well as make it easy to read for the audience. An example could be like the one bellow:

Good leading
“Type and more type
type and more type”.

Poor leading
“Type and more type

type and more type”.

It is often preferred that lines of type are close together (but not too close together else it gets cluttered) as the type appears awkward when it is placed too far apart. It also prevents the type from taking up too much unnecessary space on the work piece.

Kerning refers to the spacing between the letters of the type itself. The further the letters are from one another, the greater the amount of kerning there is. An example could be like this:

Small kerning
“Type and more type”.

Larger kerning
” T y p e   a n d   m o r e   t y p e ” .

Kerning is often used in more artistic ways within as the spacing of letters can lead to more stylized type. In most cases however, the kerning is usually to the size that I am currently using now as it saves up on space and makes it easier to read quickly.

Tracking refers to the spacing between words (in a similar way to kerning), meaning that the larger the tracking, the further the words are from one another. An example could be the one bellow:

Small tracking
“Type and more type”.

Larger tracking
“Type   and   more   type “.

Tacking may often be used to allow the type to fill in more space on a work piece or compress the distance between words to to make sentences thinner and more easy to place into smaller areas.

I decided to research these terms as I believe that they will be very important when creating the type for my poster, and they may be required within the upcoming future if we are going to use more typography.


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