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Tracking, Kerning, and Leading?

January 28th, 2011

When designing anything involving typography, Matson Graphics uses tracking, kerning and leading to make your business cards, logos, flier’s, brochures, etc. look their absolute best. But what exactly do these three different terms mean? Well let me show you:


First up we have tracking, which refers to the space between each letter of a word, line, or block of text. It is also known as “letter-spacing.” Here’s an example, where the top has a tracking of 0, middle has 100, and the bottom has 250:



Next we have kerning, which is the adjustment of space between two characters. Kerning is sometimes confused with tracking but whereas tracking deals with a whole word or sentence, kerning is adjusting the space between two letters to give a word a more visually pleasing result. Still confused? Let me give you an example:



Last but not least we have leading, which is an easy one. Leading refers to the amount of space between the lines of text. It is also known as “line spacing” or “interline spacing.” Here’s an example with 3 different blocks of text:


Well that’s it! Now you know the three basic tools we use here at Matson Graphics when personalizing your text!

Seth Matson
Matson Graphics

Matson Graphics  |  18920 Breezy Lane  |  Huntington Beach  |  CA  |  92648
714  596  5019 (office)   |  714 475 1556 ( fax)

seth(@)matsongraphics.com  |  www.matsongraphics.com  |  www.huntingtonbeachhosting.com

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