Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Here are the simple instructions for an addictive online type design game:
Your mission is simple: achieve pleasant and readable text by distributing the space between letters. Typographers call this activity kerning. Your solution will be compared to typographer's solution, and you will be given a score depending on how close you nailed it.
There are ten words with the first and last letters fixed in place. The challenge is to arrange the internal letters to balance the spaces between them in the most pleasing arrangement. You get a score for each attempt and a final score. You can try as many times as you want to raise your score.
This game is a great way to introduce students of just about any age to the concept and skill of "kerning" which is a basic skill for graphic artists.
A few minutes playing this game will etch the term "kerning" into the minds of students forever, give them practice in being good kerners, and open up a whole new world of noticing the multiple examples of poorly kerned signs, menus, and printed materials that surround us.
A poorly kerned word stands out to designers the way a misspelled word stands out to regular readers. A few minutes playing this game will change students' perception forever.
Click on the heading above to try your hand and eye at kerning.