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Don’t step on my kerning

Posted by moncpc on November 3, 2009

Kerning text is one of those quick ways to make copy fit which is used by copy editors from time to time. Unfortunately, what works for some newspapers will not work for others.

For instance, because of the fonts used in the body type, The Times text can be forgiving (up to -15), but the body type used for The Town Talk is less so (only -3).

The best rule of thumb is to first visually inspect the change, if it’s noticeable AT ALL, then you’ve probably gone off the kerning deep end. And believe me, it’s a very deep pool. You’ll soon have the kerning police shouting “Back away from the keyboard!”

If not them, then most certainly site editors who know their product well.

Always check before you kern copy to fit. Ask your team leader or a CPC supervisor if it is allowed, and if so how much is allowed.

Remember, there are other ways to make copy fit … it’s called editing.

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