1015: "Kerning"

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby drakvl » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:12 am UTC

jpk wrote:So if someone gathers up bits and pieces of fashion, including bits from the currently fashionable "dig me, I'm a geek" persona and styling, then you'd call them a hipster?
I live in Boston, and I see plenty of people fronting geek everywhere I go. Frankly, foaming at the mouth over trivial issues of layout is fashionable these days, and it's an easy pose to strike. Buy the t-shirt ("Kern this"), pick a favorite font, and cringe at every piece of text you see. You're in! See how easy it is to be a geek these days? No mussing about with actually giving a damn about anything, you can just get right to the sneering and superiority.


Oh, dear. It would seem I've somehow chosen my words to convey exactly the opposite of what I'd intended. Let me clarify that I wouldn't call anyone a hipster; I was merely replying to someone else, who seems to have confusedly come to the conclusion that "font geeks" are a subclass of hipsters, and I was attacking on two fronts: one, that the word 'hipster,' insofar as I am aware, is used in such as fashion as to be meaningless; and two, that the closest definition I've ever seen given for what it is to be a hipster -- the definition I paraphrased -- in no way resembles anything about geekdom. I apologize for the lack of clarity of my writing.,
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:18 am UTC

On the subjects of font nerds and hipsters:

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Sprocket » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:19 am UTC

Randall hates us all.... :-(
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby MonkeyBoy » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:25 am UTC

My favorite example of the importance of kerning was a plaque on the wall of a funeral home, of all places. Something had been dedicated to a man whose last name was Flick. It was in all caps Helvetica, and the L and the I were way too close together.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Kaelin » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:56 am UTC

87/100

I, too, am glad to have a word to describe something bothering me. I mean, it bothered me in the comic, but I still had to look up the word... :oops:
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Iranon » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:41 am UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:Ok. But it's not easy to verify that Kennerly Old Style doesn't use kerning without buying the font (and a free imitation may not be the same as the real thing). The Chêneau example is fairly convincing, though, but it's a pity that the photo's not very straight.


I'm sure most digital renditions do. The League of Movable Type mentioned for their free interpretation (Goudy Bookletter 1911) that it fit together "tightly and evenly with almost no kerning".
Incidentally, believing you can get "the real thing" for pre-digital typefaces is probably unrealistic. Most digital fonts use freely scaleable outlines where the originals would have distinct shapes for different sizes (Common: Sturdy details/serifs in small sizes for durability, guiding eye and ink flow. Understated details in large sizes to avoid dominating the aesthetics).

Unless they worked with the original creator, there is nothing that makes a commercial variant from a major foundry "the real thing". It's not even useful as a seal of quality/usability in my opinion - one of them will usually be "best in class" for a given typeface, but others may fall behind free variants. Caveat emptor.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Ryytikki » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:05 pm UTC

Surely the only appropriate response to seeing something like that is to grit your face and yell KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERN!
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby ConMan » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:11 pm UTC

MonkeyBoy wrote:My favorite example of the importance of kerning was a plaque on the wall of a funeral home, of all places. Something had been dedicated to a man whose last name was Flick. It was in all caps Helvetica, and the L and the I were way too close together.

I was going to try to reference "Lolly Scramble", in which Australian comedian Tony Martin discusses his time working as a type-setter, spending hours scanning the floor for a dropped period, and learning about kerning. As he explains, it's about making the letters work together as a team, and one form of poor kerning is sometimes referred to as "My Friend Flicka Syndrome", due to the unfortunate effect in that book/movie's title when the L and I are too close and in some conditions appear to merge. He won approval from the normally gruff Geordie who taught him this when he pointed out a similar effect he saw when Clint Eastwood's name appeared in the credits of a film and the kerning, which probably worked ok in the cinema, was not so effective on TV.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Oracle » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:33 pm UTC

[quote="severach"]Does it bother anyone else that there is no kerning in "CITY OFFICES"?

It looks to me like "CITY OFFIC ES" has a kerning problem. (isn't there an unnatural amount of space between the "C" and "E" in "Offices"?) It is true that the caption scrunches the letters "ning" in Kerning but I thought that the writing on the wall was what we were suppose to notice first.

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby lynkyn » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:35 pm UTC

So... This comic forced those of us who were unaware of kerning to learn good kerning (thus creating more tension than this lack of right parenthesis
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:36 pm UTC

). Grrr!
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby lynkyn » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:46 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:). Grrr!


But you are closing a parenthesis on a new line. Not a good practice (and one that needs to be fixed
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:40 pm UTC

as soon as possible within the restrictions of the medium).
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby NickNackGus » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:20 pm UTC

I've been annoyed by the kerning of some of my fonts for a while now (but didn't know the word). This should make it easier to look for how to fix those otherwise beuatiful fonts. (I got them on DaFont, I can't remember which ones aren't working, and I'll worry about that later.) However, does anyone know a good font editor? I'm sure I could fix my broken fonts, and probably make my own, if I knew how to edit them properly.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby drakvl » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:23 pm UTC

Okay, I'm seeing two grammatical standards here. Is kerning a binary thing (with people talking about there being no kerning), or is it an inherent property of text, with a sliding scale of quality (good kerning vs bad kerning)?
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby ConMan » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:42 pm UTC

When people talk about "good/bad kerning", they're talking about how much effort has been put into getting the kerning right, whereas when they talk about "no kerning", they mean no effort has been put in, and the letters all have pre-defined spaces around them no matter what letters they are adjacent to.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby drakvl » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:33 pm UTC

Ah. Thanks!
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Red Hal » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:09 am UTC

When I first started using a DTP program, Ventura Publisher, I remember it being able to adjust kerning on-the-fly. That was at a time when most people were still using Wordstar 2000.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby jpk » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:54 am UTC

lynkyn wrote:So... This comic forced those of us who were unaware of kerning to learn good kerning (thus creating more tension than this lack of right parenthesis


Another thing that bothers me not at all. What weird things you all manage to get aggravated by!
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Red Hal » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:21 am UTC

First World Problems.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby RebeccaRGB » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:26 am UTC

NickNackGus wrote:However, does anyone know a good font editor? I'm sure I could fix my broken fonts, and probably make my own, if I knew how to edit them properly.

FontForge is free and has all the features you need to create and edit fonts. It has a bunch of options for kerning under the Metrics menu.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby shyflyguy » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:45 am UTC

Harold wrote:Looks like someone needs to lem to kem.

The Aesop's that the E 's off. In Poland that's a stanis law.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby drbitboy » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:10 pm UTC

All the discussion about kerning is ignoring the simple brilliance of this comic.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby EpicanicusStrikes » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:First World Problems.


Excuse me, but we did not execute well over two thousand years of violent bloodshed in carving this First World out of barbarianism just to put up with sloppy kerning.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby soundandfury » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:21 pm UTC

First I learned about kerning.
Then my xterm started to make me twitch, because monospace fonts, though awesome, do fail kerning forever.
So I made monokern and termk. Check it out.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby jpk » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:17 am UTC

I think this counts more as a font failure than a kerning failure, but while I was riding home from work tonight, I was puzzled by a sign on the bus in front of me. I spent several moments wondering what "K2SK" might be and why it "is.com".
Turns out it was a URL for K2 Skis (K2skis.com), but the layout made that not at all obvious - largely, I think, because of the large apparent space between the very open "k" of the font they used and the "is" that followed it.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby martin878 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:50 pm UTC

keithl wrote:There IS an xkcd font, http://antiyawn.com/uploads/Humor-Sans.ttf. Randall, prepare to be replaced by automation!


This made my day! I've set it as my command history font in Matlab. Setting it for the programming editor would be an issue as the lower case looks the same as the upper case. :roll:
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:02 pm UTC

soundandfury wrote:First I learned about kerning.
Then my xterm started to make me twitch, because monospace fonts, though awesome, do fail kerning forever.
So I made monokern and termk. Check it out.

I don't normally mind monospaced fonts, but that's really attractive. Nicely done, man.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Cecilff2 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:56 pm UTC

I appear to be terrible at this kerning thing

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby properdom » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:07 pm UTC

I noticed that a few of my collegues had to google kerning to 'get' this one, so i got curious:

http://www.google.com/trends/?q=kerning&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Rolf » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:23 am UTC

I thought I had seen a similar joke recently.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby AyalaofBorg » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:22 am UTC

The Biochemistry building at Monash University in Clayton, Victoria, Australia has some of its letters upside-down and/or back to front. Such as an upside-down "H", or a back-to-front "M". And yes, it does make a difference.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Symbiote » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:36 pm UTC

For some archaic reason, many pubs in the UK still close around midnight, even on a Saturday night.

So, this photo was taken at 00:35, very close to Camden High Street, London:
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby AvatarIII » Thu May 24, 2012 8:24 am UTC

I went on holiday to Dublin last week, my hotel was next to this café, and it burned my eyes.

Image

what's worse is that this picture

Image

shows that they originally only had one sign, then they must have done a second one with the same kerning, but the 3rd one on the far left looks like it is kerned properly, so did they notice how bad it looks after doing the second one? i don't get it!
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun May 27, 2012 3:05 pm UTC

I'd assume that they duplicated the layout of the first one, then fixed it on the third go and didn't go back to change the others. You have to admit, it'd be worse if only the second had proper kerning. = )

Great find, though.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby ThirstyMonkey » Mon May 28, 2012 3:54 am UTC

Gahh, someone just sent me a link to this countdown page:

http://2012.stanford.edu/

Does it bother anyone else that the second to last number keeps moving around?
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby jpk » Wed May 30, 2012 2:36 am UTC

ThirstyMonkey wrote:Gahh, someone just sent me a link to this countdown page:

http://2012.stanford.edu/

Does it bother anyone else that the second to last number keeps moving around?


Nah, it doesn't bother me, it's just nice to see my old stomping grounds from that angle. I'm guessing it's shot from the Tower of Suck - in the main complex of buildings directly in the center of the shot, the third roof back on the right marks the building where I did my first sysadmining (ish, I was just doing backups and stuff). By the way, a few floors up and one building over (as I recall) was where Cisco systems was started, just a short while before then.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby The RGOOMHM » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:49 pm UTC

TrueNarnian wrote:Or try becoming a piano tuner. Being able to recognize when a note is the tiniest bit out of tune must be terrible.


Unfortunately, this would be very hard to transform into a webcomic... but it would hit the nail on the head for me! Not tuning pianos professionally, but able to recognize slight deviations. Really tough when it comes to violins and the like.

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby shokoshu » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:35 pm UTC

drakvl wrote:
sonoftunk wrote:
Edit (just to brag): 75/100. I blame Toronto!


<Inglip>Overthrow Toronto!</Inglip>

84/100, also had a single word (42) that ruined the average.
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