Anyone have any suggestions for making "Durham" extend as high as "Hillsborough" without making the kerning huge and therefore look really weird? I've tried multiple fonts and higher horizontal scale percentages. TIA!

le gra

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  • Hello LAS87 and welcome to GDSE! This is actually a good question but I'm afraid it will be poorly received. I strongly suggest you edit your title to be more descriptive. Also, please add the image directly in the question and walk us through what you have tried to far.
    – curious
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 21:30
  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Unfortunately I don't think there is a way to make this look right. Sorry about that. Consider changing the design to avoid it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 21:56
  • I think you need to rethink the design. There's no decent aesthetic I can imagine which would allow a balance between the two words. Perhaps Split the NC so one letter where each star is.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 23:09
  • Kind of like asking, how can I make 6 = 12? Although actually, in terms of letter-width counts (for you old headline counters), "Hillsborough" in all caps has a count of 17, and "Durham" in all caps has a count of 9, so not quite half as wide.
    – user8356
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


I agree that the issue is unsolvable. The issue is the design. If you want balance, you must use balanced elements. kerning can only accomplish so much. Splitting the "N" and the "C" is also not the best choice. The NC being for North Carolina. Having the letters so far apart looses the meaning of the acronym. As Hillsboro and Durham are cities within the state of NC, the NC should appear at the end of the phrase. as we read from left to right, it only makes sense to place the NC to the right—after the city names (left to right). While it might be argued that we also read top to bottom, this is not as prevalent in a circular design.

optional layout


The best I can recommend with off balance text like that would be to try one of these options:

Center bottom Left / Right

Maybe with the second option, either using the star as a bullet between the two cities, or put the N / C in the stars that you have in the current design.

It's always hard when a client wants a certain look that they have seen on other logos, and they can't understand why their information just doesn't work the same. Good luck!

@Scott for credit for Option #2.

  • 1
    This makes me feel better that it's not just me! Thank you!
    – LAS87
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 14:05
  • Probably best to redesign like this. "NC" in option 1 could be inside the circle as well. Alternatively some text could be added on the right side: "Hillsborough in Durham", "Hillsborough of Durham", "Hillsborough near Durham", "Hillsborough and Durham" or whatever makes sense (not familiar with the place and not a native English speaker).
    – Wolff
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 15:16
  • Hillsborough and Durham are two different cities in North Carolina (NC). i would guess the two cities the company is based out of. But the idea to put the box to the inside of the circle isn't a bad one either.
    – Alith7
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 15:36

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