kern and kerning

   In typography, a kern is the projecting portion of a character that overlaps the edge of an adjacent letter. Kerning is the technique of adjusting the spacing between letters, usually to give them the appearance of more even (consistent) spacing. A typographer might also speak of this as adjusting the "letter space." The original sense of kerning limited this adjustment to closing the space enough to make letters' edges overlap. Letters most often benefiting from kerning in this original sense include i, l, and t. In the example see thumbnail to rightnote the space between the A and the V before and after kerning, and the effect it has had on making the . When letter space between italic letters is adjusted, the spaces preceding f, v, and w, are likely to need kerning because the forward slope results in too much space on the base line. Some ligatures, including "æ", were formed by kerning. A ligature is a single character made up of two or more letters joined together as a standard element in a set of type — e.g. æ (a+e) and Æ (A+E). Also see graphic design, imbrication, leading, lettering, text, and typeface.

Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.

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