I'm trying to get the kerning right between the 0 and the 6 in these Neutra house numbers (this a photograph of the drilling template). Which of these three looks most correct to you for the spacing between those two characters?

enter image description here

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    The differences here are small enough that this feels like pure opinion to me. I personally prefer #2 or #3, but I’d kern the 1 and 0 a bit tighter as well in both of them, especially in #3. Dec 3, 2021 at 9:01

1 Answer 1


There's no flood of answers because you seem to expect opinions. You obviously think that 2, I and O are placed well enough and only the 6 need adjustment. I agree. In theory we could measure the balance with different placements of 6 and select the most balanced one.

Unfortunately your attached image has low contrast. For convenience I write the same looking text (=2io6) in my computer with somehow resembling font. Its maker also rides on the name of the same famous architect, but it isn't Neutra Modern. I have no idea has the architect designed also typefaces or how computer font makers have got the idea to include "Neutra"?

Here's my version:

enter image description here

The 6 is moved from its default distance closer to O so that the free space areas between I and O and between O and 6 look visually equal. To check are the areas really equal I filled in Photoshop 2 new layers with black and then filled on them with white 2 selections which look the free spaces at least for me. The areas are these:

enter image description here enter image description here

the marquees are used to fill with black the excessive area of my manually drawn selections.

The white areas can be compared by applying Filter > Blur > Average to both layers an by comparing the resulted greys. Both of them have brightness 11%, so the balancing succeeded.

If we compare what I say "balanced" to your versions we can see that in your version 3 the empty spaces between between the letters are surprisingly the same as in my version. The type in my version is heavier, so my version is wider, but the empty spaces are the same.

Conclusion: Version 3 is my selection. Of, course many of us probably would say it in a second with no formal measurements.

If you want to make balance measurements with already existing cut letters you can clip with the scissors the paper equivalents of my white pieces and construct a milligram resolution simple scale to compare the weights. Here's one https://sci-toys.com/scitoys/scitoys/mathematics/microgram_balance/balance.html A much coarser one can be good enough.

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