23 October 2014

Stretching out your title

People are used to tinkering with the vertical spacing of text; having to make a manuscript double spaced, for instance. But they are not as familiar with how to make text look good by adjusting the horizontal spacing.

John McWade reminds us of a useful tip about the spacing of type:

Text meant to be read at a distance – like the title of your poster – should be expanded a little!

Since most people are making posters in PowerPoint (despite my constant pestering for you to stop doing that), Let me tell you a couple of ways to do this in PowerPoint.

Select your text, right click it, select “Font,” and pick the “Character spacing” tab. That allows you quite precise control over the spacing:

There is also a “horizontal spacing” button in the “Font” ribbon. The drop down options for that one, however, are more general: “Loose” and “Very loose.”

Here’s a sample of how text looks expanded. “Loose” is a little more than 2 point spacing.

“Loose” might not be a bad setting to try for titles, and maybe headings, on posters.

After you’re done here, practice your horizontal letter placement skills by playing this kerning game.

External links

The unexpected typestyle of Ikea

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