The chances are that you may well of seen this jolly little website turn-up in your inbox or in your twitter/FB stream over past week or so – http://type.method.ac
The kerning game basically offers designers, as well as all round type enthusiasts a chance to kick back for five minutes, push a few letters around within a set space and try to re-create the often ‘subjective’ letter spacing decisions of some industry standard typefaces. Essentially in my opinion, and this will no doubt sound incredibly pedantic, but this is not what I refer to as ‘kerning’. This is the ‘letter-spacing’ or ‘letter-fitting’ game! Which admittedly doesn’t have such a good ring to it. In my view the term ‘kerning’ refers to specific grouping’s of letters, more often referred to as ‘kerning-pairs’ and at the most kerning-pair balancing which is when two pairs are balanced across three letters e.g ‘AV’(pair) is then balanced with ‘AVA’ to ensure an accurate distribution of space on either side of the two pairs. So the pair ‘AV’ and ‘VA’ becomes balanced as a whole as two pairs in ‘AVA’ I’m probably not explaining myself very well here but there it is. I’m writing to say no! You are not ‘Kerning’ you are ‘Spacing’.
Astonishingly at the time of writing this, 69,000 people have FB liked it and 30,000 people have tweeted it. So it’s a relative hit and not to be down on it, I think irrespective of what you call it, it’s a brilliant educational tool with a bit of fun thrown in!
Anyhow, we are all looking forward to the Kerning game 2.0 in the Fontsmith studio, which will hopefully have some exuberant typefaces thrown in to mix-it all up and keep us on our toes. For the record I have been designing typefaces everyday for past 9 years and my score was 91/100. Damn you Gotham!
Twitter – @philgarnham