I couldn’t think of anything worse than being a font designer. I can’t imagine how they manage to even walk down the street only to find someone has murdered their font! Abuse is rife since the dawning of the home PC and the appreciation for good type has simply disappeared.
Many people believe that you can just write something with a font and it will look brilliant – CRAP! When someone designs a font they can only account for so many combinations within how the letter sets will work. For example, a T may not have been leaded in the font set to sit next to a U as well as it has next to an A. Therefore, it is up to the designer (or the user of the font) to kern the leaders to create balance and flow. It’s an art and something that I find many young designers struggle with let alone home amateurs.
Like any level of design, the true art is in finding the balance that allows the eye to naturally move across a word and not be offended by space, form and shape.
It’s important that their elements work together and complement each other – not offend!
We’ve re-kerned many brands over the years and it’s amazing what a difference it makes to the overall projection. At times it is a matter of millimetres but it’s enough for the eye to flow more freely across the word and thus making it easier to read. Most people couldn’t tell you what you’ve done but just that it was easier to read. It really can have a massive impact on your branding.
It’s another reason why we often offer brand management to our clients because once the brand is in the public domain and there are different people producing different items ranging from press advertising to signage, it’s very easy for the brand to lose this important element.
Supporting typefaces are just as important and often clients wonder why when they try and use a typeface that you have used, it doesn’t look as good. It’s all in the kerning!
So next time you use a font, stop and think about whether or not you are using it…or abusing it!