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Kerning versus Tracking

Kerning
Referring to individual, specific spaces between letters. Typically the letter "A" and the letter "V" appear too far apart because of their shapes. In the kerning example to the right, the kerning between the "A" and "V" was reduced while the rest of the word was left unchanged. Kerning is about getting letter spacing to look right, even if it is not matehematically precise.

Tracking
Referring to the overall spacing of words or blocks of text. In logos, the tracking is often reduced while in large blocks of text the tracking is increased slightly to give the text a more open appearance. In the tracking example to the left, the tracking was reduced, but the kerning still needs attention.

More Kerning, Less Tracking
Tracking is easily overdone, but we do not see enough logos where the designer paid attention to kerning. Alter the tracking (a little) if the design calls for it, then fix the kerning by moving individual letters left and right until the spaces all look perfect.

Tracking versus Kerning Illustrated

 

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