Hello all the pro designers out there,

I have a question about text alignment. This is what I am designing right now. The font is Brandon Grotesque.


I have noticed that when I use letter "L", it doesn't line up with other paragraphs.

However, that is how the font was originally designed.

Do you think it's necessary to align "L"? Or is there a reason why the type designer designed the font like this?

Thank you very much for reading this.

  • Thanks everyone. It was very wonderful to hear each of your opinion. – user2105ocl Jul 23 '14 at 17:57

The font was designed to fit most cases so in most cases, your L would be preceded by another letter and so on. Good designers definitely pay attention to these small details, it really makes your design look more professional even if it is very subtle.

If you are in InDesign, you won't be able to kern the first letter of a line so what you can do is simply type a space before your L and then kern negatively until it's aligned. I use this trick a lot for drop caps since a bad alignment will show even more in these cases.

For long texts or let's say you want to hang punctuations outside of the margin, it's better practice to use the optical margin alignment tool. In Type > Story, click optical margin alignment and insert the value of your font size.

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You nearly always have to adjust type manually to fit the particular use.

Also note that you rarely want it to literally line up. Rather, you want it to optically line up--meaning it 'looks' right, even if technically it's not exact.

For example, you may allow rounded glyphs like a 'O' to extend further out compared to flat glyphs like an 'H'. You also will often want to hang your punctuation (allow the punctuation to hang outside of the type alignment).

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You should adjust it manually if you think it's obvious enough to be noticed. No font or software is perfect. So even though the math says it's already exactly right it can still look a bit wrong. Remember that whoever will be exposed to your design won't know or care if the math is correct or if the font was designed that way, they will judge your work only with their eyes.

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