September '22

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3 4 G R A P H I C S P R O • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 3 4 G R A P H I C S P R O • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G S I G N D E S I G N Step 6: Create two files. One file of the original, and a vector file of the new one you've just kerned. Step 7: Now what? So, you are now the Kerning King of Kentucky, but now what? Do you sub out the old provided logo and substitute the newly re-kerned version? In my opinion and based on the count- less number of times I've done just that; it is better to err on the side of correctness than to reproduce the problem by provid- ing yet another incorrect letter set with bad kerning. I'm not talking about the obvious logo kerning that is intentional. I am talking about the letters in commonly seen and spoken words that our brain recognizes and dismisses from our attention before noticing the problems that exist visually. What happens if you have the letter- set fabricated and installed onto the sign band and the client then suddenly realizes that you have moved some of the letters around ever so slightly. A) If the client catches your kerning, and doesn't like it, they can rightfully reject your channel letters, and ask you to re-kern them to match the previous file provided. B) In reality, even if your client has an in-house designer, and even if they catch the re-kern, it is 100% on them if they notice the corrected kerning and com- plain about it. ey won't, nobody will, and that is the beauty of this "professional fix." You are correcting a wrong, with a very much more visually balanced version that you also provide to them in a vector format for incorporating into their other marketing efforts. C) Oh, you think it might be wise to run it past your contact person or client, before you build the channel letters? Let's examine what that step really looks like, and what it will gain from the client. e client obviously did not create the kern- ing issue themselves; it has occurred many dozens of times by various outside art- ists who all "followed the provided logo I have isolated the word "Kerned." Notice how it's now looking a bit jumbled once it's away from other words. There are many times when an "r" can be placed too close to a lower case "n" which can make the letter look like a lower case "m" from a distance. Avoid this at all costs. Use the squint test to verify it. The K is also sitting a bit too far away from the lowercase e, and this needs to be adjusted. Use your squint test to give it a try. I placed the properly kerned word "PROPERLY" over the top of the font layout. I made this example red so it stands out for comparison. Notice the differences – oh so subtle and minor, yet it changes how the letters relate to each other, and how they flow.

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