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Typography Basics:

Techniques/ Tips

Typography Basics:

Using some of the techniques discussed below, you can enhance the effectiveness and appearance of your type design/layout and save time.

Kerning: Kerning refers to the space between two letters where as tracking refers to a group of characters. Some pairs of letters need more spacing between them so kerning is a great way to do this. To adjust kerning in Adobe Creative Suite use the command: shift + option and use the arrows to move the letter left or right or use the character toolbar.

Leading: Leading or linespacing will improve the readability of larger blocks of text such as something in a book, magazine or pamphlet. By increasing the leading your readers will have an easier time following lines of text. If there is not enough leading the text will have a cramped feeling. Keep in mind that different fonts and different letter heights require different leading.

Tracking: Tracking is the space between words or groups of characters. It prevents words and letters from running into each other. Too little tracking will make the text feel tight and cramped and will be harder to read.

Additional Tips:

*Keep lines of text under 50-60 characters long. Long lines of text can cause eye fatigue so shorter lines will prevent that from happening.

*Too many different fonts can be distracting and makes the page look like it lacks unity. Try to stick to a maximum of three fonts per project. Too many weights can make a reader confused as to what is important and what is not.

*Serifs are known to help with eyestrain and eye fatigue, so lengthy reading material should use serifs.

*Centered text can gives the text a jagged and broken appearance, making the text look disconnected. Try justifying the text to see what looks best.

*Using a smaller point font (under 12 point) will create a more professional look. Large body copy can be clunky.

These are just a few of Duggal’s suggestions and ideas to aid you in exploring the world of typography. There are many ways to approach typography and text design/layout.  Please feel free to share some of your own ideas and comments.


Here is another good resource from

More articles about typography:

Intro to Typography