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Spacing

Spacing

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Description:

In this lesson you will learn about letter and line spacing and how it is used to make type more readable.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

In this lesson, you're going to learn about letter and line spacing and how it is used to make type more readable. Specifically, this lesson will cover: 

  1. Paragraph
  2. Leading & Linespacing
  3. Kerning
  4. Tracking

1. Paragraph

Paragraph is more than one line of type.

Term to Know

    • Paragraph
    • More than one line of type.

So when you're reading stuff online or writing a paper, you can see how paragraphs are formed by multiple lines of type.

Paragraphs can be distinguished by indentations:

It can also be distinguished when there's space between the bodies of text.



2. Leading & Linespacing

Back when they used to use movable type the negative space between each line of type was leading. As I mentioned, this referred to the non-digital printing since there's no metal or lead between each line of text when you do this digitally.

Term to Know

    • Leading
    • Pronounced "letting", another term for linespacing, refers to the non-digital printing technique of using strips of lead to create the space between lines.

The way this is measured is by the ascender height and descender height. Basically, if you look at this image below, you have your ascender height, which is the max height of the character here.


You can see that the h is a little taller and the p sets the descender height. So it's going to take both of those heights into account when it's setting leading. So let's take a look at this example and you can see the difference how the leading is different in each column and it really affects the readability of each one. By default, leading in most page layout software is 20% of the size type but you can change leading or linespacing to fit your needs but it's best when it creates a comfortable reading experience.

Term to Know

    • Linespacing
    • The space between lines of type, usually measured in points. In computer program settings, the number used is the amount of linespacing added to the size of the type.

This works with ascenders and descenders in mind because you don't want them touching one another and overlapping. If we look at lines of text in blocks, like in the image below, this will be easier to really see how this works, you can really see the leading or line spacing between each line of text, that negative white area there.



3. Kerning

Kerning is the spacing between letter pairs and a headline, often adjusted to make the white space visually even. This is also closely related to letterspacing.

Terms to Know

    • Kerning
    • The spacing between letter pairs in a headline, often adjusted to make the white space visually even.
    • Letterspacing
    • The spacing between letter pairs.

In the example below of kerning and you can see that the spacing between the w and the a have a lot of negative space surrounding it up top.

So if you auto adjust it, it provides something similar to what you see in the middle. If you manually adjust it, then you have a bit more control over the spacing like you do in the bottom. Below is another look at the negative space between letters.

It's a minor adjustment, but kerning really does change the look of headings


4. Tracking

Tracking is the spacing over a range of letters and words in body copy, often adjusted for fit or style.

Term to Know

    • Tracking
    • The spacing over a range of letters and words in body copy, often adjusted for fit or style.

In the image below, you can see that the spacing changes in each line here, but this is not to be confused with kerning.

Tracking refers to the overall spacing of a word or line of text and it affects the overall spacing or density and readability of that particular block of text, whereas kerning is specific to spacing adjustments of two particular characters that don't appear equally spaced, like we saw with our war example, where the a and the r were equally spaced but the w and the a were too far apart and it just didn't appear unified.

Summary

Well, that concludes today's lesson on spacing and how it is used to make type more readable. In this lesson you learned how to identify a paragraph, and what leading & linespacing looks like. You also learned about kerning and tracking. 

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: SOURCE: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR MARIO E. HERNANDEZ

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Paragraph

    More than one line of type.

  • Linespacing

    The space between lines of type, usually measured in points. In computer program settings, the number used is the amount of linespacing added to the size of the type.

  • Leading

    Pronounced "ledding", another term for linespacing, refers to the non-digital printing technique of using strips of lead to create the space between lines.

  • Letterspacing

    The spacing between letter pairs.

  • Kerning

    The spacing between letter pairs in a headline, often adjusted to make the white space visually even.

  • Tracking

    The spacing over a range of letters and words in body copy, often adjusted for fit or style.