could you please check the kerning for this logo? I'm a UI designer not a graphic designer. I have no confidence with kerning/letter spacing but I have to do this nonetheless.

enter image description here

If this is not the best place to ask this question could you please provide a forum which could help me? I find most graphic design forums quite nasty. I like forums that use karma points.

2 Answers 2


The essence of good kerning is to achieve an even appearance to the letterspacing in a word. It's a visual, not a mathematical operation. There some really hifalutin' rules to this, but they tend to be more academic than practical unless you're experienced with typography and/or a type designer.

Here's a basic rule-of-thumb kerning exercise that will get you 90 percent of the way, 90 percent of the time: squint at the text so it's blurry. Do you see blobs of white or dark lumps? The kerning needs to be evened out.

If you do that with your logo text you'll see that the letters "rea" are spaced farther apart than "alest." If you scooch (technical terminology is rampant in this post. huh?) "ales" to the left so they gain a bit of space between them, things will look much more even.

On the second line, the squint technique will reveal that "ADN" is widely spaced, "E" a bit tight, and the "T" and "O" are floating in comparatively large seas of white. That extra space between "D" and "N," the open tracking of the entire line and the fact that "AD" is in the lighter color combine to make it hard to tell if there's meant to be a space between "AD" and "NETWORK." You always want to avoid ambiguity of that kind. It makes the reader uneasy.

An "O" following a "W" is a common instance where tighter-than-default kerning is required. The "O" looks terribly insecure, and needs to be pulled in under the arm of the "W" so the two letters don't look so disconnected. Again, this will jump out at you if you give it a good squint.

Since you're not that experienced with this, you'll probably find it's an iterative process. You'll probably go too far in one direction or another and have to backtrack.

Above all, don't agonize over it. There's no absolute right or wrong involved. If you can squint at it and each line looks nicely even in texture, you're in good shape.

  • 4
    A thing I use as complement squinting with is to import the logo to Photoshop and add a blur (gaussian blur often works). This will will mimic squinting, but for me it's easier to get more precise information about where adjustment is needed. Nov 27, 2014 at 7:57
  • That's a great tip Henrik, just tried it out and noticed a bunch of flaws. I converted the letters to symbols in Illy and then applied the gaussian blur. Then you can toggle the effect in the appearance panel
    – Mopo123
    Dec 2, 2014 at 0:50

It is true that training and experience in design is what can most improve your ability to detect at a glance and correctly apply the necessary adjustments regarding kerning, a truly relevant aspect in branding.

Another very different thing is how the best recommendation listed here is about to "close your eyes until you see blurry." In this way, everything they say afterward will lose its credibility.

Please, if user here are not specialists, it is much better to practice silence avoiding confusing newbies and learning from true expert users.

  • Not only does this not answer a 10-year-old question. But in fact the "see blurry" Is a MUST technique. You constantly need to see things as masses, as areas, not as detailed information. You use it as blocks to define spacing, when you use a Lorem Ipsum text, you use it when making a dummy, you use it when making a low-resolution animation, a storyboard, when you make a preview, when you paint, when you desaturate things to see the light values, when you sing a tune when composing music, when making a story arch... You use that technique all the time.
    – Rafael
    Mar 18 at 16:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.