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Graphic Design
Clarksville MD

That Kerning is Tight

(January 19 2010) Written by: Emily Okey in Coursework

Most likely, the only people that are going to understand my title are other graphic designers or freaks people interested in typography. I happen to fall into both of those categories. If you've been following my blog (or stalking my ambassador profile) for any amount of time now, you'll know that I'm a graphic design major. Oh yeah, and you might also find that I'm obsessed with hockey-- I haven't talked about that in a while, have you noticed?! Oh shoot, I just did. Well, as long as you asked.. and even if you didn't ask... the men's hockey team broke their in conference unbeaten streak on Saturday night when they lost to Uconn. They will play again on the road this Friday/Saturday before returning to play at home on the 29th and 30th of this month. Can I just tell you how excited I am? It's the Let's Make the Rink Pink game where everyone (including the team) will be wearing pink! I'm a red head so naturally pink is just not my color but I can make an exception for this. I love hockey games to begin with, but this one is extra exciting! I'll be sure to have pictures and a pre-game rundown of the entire event after the fact. 

Okay, okay back on track now. Kerning is the spacing in between the letters in a word. If I was not writing this in google documents, I could s p a c e the letters out using the kerning rather than the space bar. It's used in things like logos or documents to make them look not quite so awkward. You can also make them really tight... which is where the title comes in. The whole joke actually goes "Yo that kerning is tight" but I was not feeling particularly gangster this morning when I started writing this. 

We were talking about this concept in a meeting on Friday, you don't really know what you don't know until you know it. WHAT?! Explanation please. Before coming to college I was certain what I wanted to major in but apparently I did not really know that much about it. I knew that I liked layout design and I had a vague notion that type was my particular interest but other than scrolling through word and finding fonts, excuse me... typefaces... that looked "pretty" I didn't really know a whole lot. I had the benefit of spending much of my high school career playing around with illustrator and photoshop so I didn't have to worry about learning those and I could focus instead on all of the little things, like the space in between the letters. I didn't really fully understand all that graphic design entailed until I started taking the classes. It's crazy I'm telling you. Graphic design majors should receive a warning upon acceptance *this major may cause insanity*. Good insanity, but insanity nevertheless. I can pick out what typefaces were used on various movie posters, signs, etc., notice the awkward spacing on some poorly designed posters and other things that more sane people would not even take a second glance at. But it's alright, I know I'm not alone because while I'm sitting in a presentation or some event that involves handouts, when my friend next to me nudges my shoulder and points at the paper I, too, know exactly the feeling of TOO much space in between the letters. 
design.jpg

(the kerning on these letters is so tight that there isn't actually any space :) but that's okay it was the point of the assignment-- this was a poster that I designed for my typography class, we were each given a word and we had to show that word using only the letters themselves. a bit confusing but it makes more sense when you see the whole project, i just thought i'd give you a feel for what some of the projects looked like)

Comments (6)

  • Shannon Patrick

    Shannon Patrick

    19 January 2010 at 21:34 |
    I UNDERSTOOD! And laughed at the title even before I read the post :) Yay graphic design jokes!
  • Clarissa Baston

    Clarissa Baston

    19 January 2010 at 21:39 |
    oh geeze, is it bad that I felt like a geek when I read the title of your blog? I'm an illustration major so I don't take typography, but my boyfriend is a new media design major and we play "Name that typeface" all the time.

    *To prospective illustration students: KNOW YOUR TYPEFACES!!! It isn't just about making pretty pictures! ;D
  • Carolyn

    Carolyn

    20 January 2010 at 06:33 |
    I love this post and I love typography. However, I can never look at ANYTHING without analyzing it now. Drives my family crazy :)
  • Erin Hazeltine

    Erin Hazeltine

    20 January 2010 at 09:59 |
    this post is so true! My boyfriend and I play the name that typeface game... mostly I bring it up because I start complaining. Let's just say Wegman's uses Papyrus... and looking at q-tips when brushing your teeth that are written with Papyrus is not pleasing!
    A fellow freak, I mean Designer!
  • Emily Okey

    Emily Okey

    20 January 2010 at 10:23 |
    haha you guys are awesome! I knew I wasn't alone on this topic. I got a christmas card in Papyrus this year and that was the only thing I was focused on... at least it wasn't in comic sans ;)
  • Clarissa Baston

    Clarissa Baston

    21 January 2010 at 11:45 |
    amen on the comic sans! lol

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