I am currently designing a record cover and I am having some issues with the kerning of the album name and artist due to the loose tracking. I am struggling to ensure the space between the letters are balanced as there is just so much of it. Do any further adjustments need to be made to the kerning to ensure the typography is balanced? Do you have any tips for kerning typography with loose tracking?

The type is set at 10pt in Avenir Next Demi Bold and the tracking is set to 400.

enter image description here

  • 6
    The more tracking you have the less kerning matters, because it is almost impossible to see tiny adjustments. I read in an old book about typesetting how the author disliked spaced out letters. He saw it as a way to lazily avoid spending time on kerning. 😀
    – Wolff
    Oct 21, 2020 at 16:14
  • 2
    All uppercase, all the same weight, loose tracking... readability is pretty low :) But I get it's probably an "art" thing :)
    – Scott
    Oct 21, 2020 at 18:45
  • 1
    Don't get me wrong. I don't think it's lazy, I use that effect sometimes. Just saying that it doesn't matter that much with so much tracking.
    – Wolff
    Oct 22, 2020 at 15:27

3 Answers 3


Just my opinion- I like the way you have it set up with the loose tracking.

I made just a couple tweaks- I thought there was a bit too much space in "sam" also between the A,C,and R of "acres" so I adjusted the kerning to -75 from where you had it.

enter image description here


This is pretty subjective, but with this particular typeface and this particular weight, I would try a lower tracking value, or use a thicker weight.

Or thicker weight and bigger tracking. Or just thicker weight.

Ultimately, we can't really answer objectively without seeing that put into context, I mean let's see the entire record cover.

enter image description here

  • I've just updated the original post to show the record cover
    – Lily S
    Oct 22, 2020 at 10:49
  • Oh ok, I think what you have kind of works. I would still try with more tracking or increase the entire naming inside that blue container. A more geometric font could work better here, but this is beside the scope in question.
    – Lucian
    Oct 22, 2020 at 12:05

This trick for beginners is something I still use today when I find novel kerning challenges:

Flip your work upside-down and squint your eyes until it becomes a little difficult to recognize the letters (no need to blur it in the software, the image below is just for demonstration).

When you look at type this way, it can help separate your perception of the spaces from your ability to parse words. What that means is, you can sometimes see the spacing better because your brain is not automatically 'rendering' letters and words in your consciousness.

I find this will sometimes make an imbalance in spacing more obvious to me.

blurred and upside-down

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