A post every copywriter (and every art director) should read.
The days of digital’s get-it-out-fast-and-fix-it-later mantra have made creatives lose a lot of the craft of making ads. So has Photoshop and InDesign. And the faster-faster-faster pace we’re running at these days just magnifies the problem. I think it behooves every creative to slow down and take some time to learn the fine details that make an ad really sing. Kerning is one of those things.
Oh sure, auto-kern is fine for body copy, but when it comes to a headline, you really need a deft design touch to make things look perfect. I learned kerning from watching over the shoulder of an art director I’ve worked with for 14 years now. When you look at his work, it has a more finished quality to it that a lot of other junk I see on a regular basis.
So try this little test that teaches you how to kern. I went through it pretty quickly and scored an 88 (with three perfect 100s) – not bad for a copywriter. And sadly, I’d guess not bad for most of today’s art directors, too.
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