An Interactive Way To Teach Text Kerning

Do you love typography? Do you even know what kerning is? If not, here’s a quick review: kerning words is basically a way to adjust the spacing between (letters or characters) in a piece of text to be printed. It’s used during the development of fonts that you see every single day.

So why does it matter? Well, if we’ve learned anything from Steve Jobs it’s that typography can play a crucial role in the development of just about anything. He famously dropped out of classes at Reed and dropped in on typography classes. That led to a more user-friendly experience on the Mac. The rest is history.

Now that you’re hooked on learning about kerning, where do you turn? Why, to the Internet of course! There’s a fabulous new interactive resource that’s actually made a game out of text kerning. Sound boring? It’s not.

Kern Type is a brilliant new online tool that can show students, teachers and just about anyone else why kerning matters and how it’s a precise science. Best of all, the site is multitouch capable and great for viewing on the iPad. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: visit the site and drag the letters so they look better to you.

Step 2: your score will be calculated based on how far off you were from the ‘correct’ placement of the letters. Don’t worry, you can click a ‘Hey my placement is better!’ link and submit your placement for review. Pretty cool.

(I got an 86 on my first try, not too shabby if I don’t say so myself!)