10 typography tricks every designer should know

As Tom told us, “aim to space the letters so that the balloons fit exactly between them without being squeezed out above and below”. 04. Blur it
Blurring enables you to focus on the contrast and white space of the letterformsAnother tested technique is to either blur (perhaps take a screenshot and blur it in Photoshop – or more likely squint a little bit) Like Brian Hoff says in this excellent article (See more expert kerning tricks in this brilliant article from Brian Hoff.) “I like to blur my eyesight a bit by squinting or crossing my eyes. 01. Kerning is the spacing between specific pairs of letters, whereas tracking works across a range of characters or even paragraphs or whole documents. It’s an interesting technique, and one that can prove very handy. But before you even begin getting into the intricacies of setting type in the likes of InDesign, it’s important to know the basics. More than one ‘1’, for example, combinations such as ‘11’, need really tight kerning. Kern upside down
Kerning upside down is a well-used and tested techniqueWhy would you want to kern character pairs upside down? When working with sans serif headlines, make sure you get a rough tracking before you kern. Kerning is a fine art – and one you can quickly get good at using both InDesign’s tools and some tricks in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. 03. If you’re doing something fancy with the kerning based on the meaning, it won’t work, of corse, but otherwise it’s a well-used and tested technique and one you should try if you’re struggling with kerning character pairs. In this article, we’re going to reveal some typography tips and tricks that you can use to boost your design skills and impress friends and colleagues. (Thanks to Computer Arts for that tip.)
Next page: five more typography tricks A good rule of thumb is to imagine that the character ‘o’ sits between each word (thanks again to Tom for that one). Because this enables you to see your letterforms and the space between them without actually reading the words – bringing meaning to them. The numeral ‘1’ with anything before or after it – ‘213’, for example, or even a space – will always benefit from a tighter kern. This enables me to focus on the contrast and white space of the letterforms without becoming distracted by the characters themselves.” It’s a great technique – and you’ll learn many more from Brian’s excellent tips. And sans serif fonts can accentuate your mistakes. In InDesign or Illustrator, you can adjust kerning by selecting the Type tool and clicking on the gap between two characters, before holding down Alt/Opt and using the left and right arrows to adjust the space between them. Use ‘o’ to space words
Another tip is to always consider the spaces before and after the word you’re working on and ensure that they are spaced correctly visually. By default the increment applied with each press of the arrow is 20 thousandths of an em, but you can adjust this preference for tighter control.

Updated: 18.12.2014 — 20:51