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What do you think of this kerning? What adjustments should I make?

Big

Small

  • 1
    What size do you plan to set that at? Is this for a logo or poster, or is it for regular body text? – tchrist Nov 4 '18 at 14:34
  • Looks fine to me. – Lucian Nov 4 '18 at 15:10
  • 4
    See this amazing answer by Cai. – WELZ Nov 4 '18 at 15:37
  • 4
    The only thing that stood out to me was the large corner radius on the "k". Looks strange and is not really fitting letter form according to my eyes. – filip Nov 4 '18 at 17:24
  • Every character is lowercase, except for the K which is some kind of stunted capital letter. It just feels wrong and will date faster, I feel. – Criggie Nov 6 '18 at 6:07
32

Two quick tips for checking kerning... squinting your eyes, and inverting the text... by doing this you can focus more on the contrast and white-space and be less distracted by the actual letters themselves.

enter image description here

This confirms what I thought when I first saw it - Looks OK to me.

Edit - A comment above drew attention to a previous answer which includes my suggestions here, and a lot more besides. A must read.

  • 39
    After blurring/inverting the text, what do you check for? – Nat Nov 4 '18 at 15:02
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    He checks wether the keming is good or bad. – technical_difficulty Nov 5 '18 at 0:29
  • 2
    @Nat - I would focus on the basic CONTRAST and white-space of the letter shapes. These two techniques it stop me being distracted by the letters themselves. – mayersdesign Nov 5 '18 at 8:43
  • @stendarr: How to check if a kerning is good or bad? You blur it and check if the kerning is good or bad. :-/ – Eric Duminil Nov 6 '18 at 16:07
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    When checking image quality, e.g. when needing to check the big picture, this is actually what I've done for years. I wish this would work in programming, too. But in programming, squining typically yields dropped databases or flack'ed harddisks :S Changing perspective in general is a good thing - the real squinting method in programming would be to let code rest for some days, months, years, and re-visit it to check if it's still understandable. Alternatively, call it "eliminating the I context". This also works great when doing design, music, photography, all the arts. – phresnel Nov 7 '18 at 10:48
37

Could be ok for a text, but for a logo it has some flaws. The advantage of this case is that all joints are between a straight stroke and a curve stroke.

Taking x as a reference kerning between the straight and the curve, all the red arrows shows different separations.

bad kerning

This is my tip: imagine this logo like a giant construction on a wall, small mistakes will grow larger at the same time.

enter image description here

Edit with visual aspects:

enter image description here

  1. The resulting space between K and e is large enough to reduce the kerning since it visually gives some separation. In the resulting logo this space is bigger than the separation between e and r, when it should be the opposite or at list the same. The reference point is the closest stroke to the e, in this case the bottom oblique stroke.
  2. The r vertex next to the o should have at least the same separation that exists between two curved strokes or a curved and a straight stroke to visually be equated with the rest.
  3. If the separation between e and r is the parameter to follow between a curved and a straight stroke, the separation between u and a should be the same since it is the same situation.
  4. a kerning c must be equal to e kerning r because these spaces have exactly the same visual relationship.
  • 18
    Thanks a lot for your answer, but shouldn't kerning be visual before being geometric? I mean, a geometrically perfect design can look odd when an imperfect one can look good, right? – maasha theytaz Nov 4 '18 at 14:33
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    Of course yes, must be visual, but try to see your logo bigger after my answer, with special attention to the red arrows separations: "Ke", "ro", "ua", "ac". – Danielillo Nov 4 '18 at 14:40
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    Also, the space between the o and the u is visibly smaller than the spaces you've marked 3 and 4 in your final image. – Dan Henderson Nov 4 '18 at 23:02
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    I wouldn't aim to follow the er/ou kerning, that's too narrow for my liking. I think the ac kerning might be the better reference. – curiousdannii Nov 5 '18 at 5:19
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    Your IKEA example seems to contradict you since the “IK” spacing is much (!) wider than the other spacings, and yet the logo is generally perceived as well balanced. – Konrad Rudolph Nov 5 '18 at 13:32
0

My suggestions are much like @Danielillo's feedback. His use of the geometric spacing simply indicated a problem I see visually in a much clearer way.

If it was me, I'd bring the first e closer to the K. The r is too close to the o, and then the spacing on the a and the c should either shrink or expand to match the decision around the o.

When the text is made smaller, the overall look is slightly improved, but I'd still close the gap between the K and the e.

However, the use/size of the final text definitely has to be taken into account as stated.

If you were designing a font using that as a sample, end-users would be making fine adjustments to kerning anyway.

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