1015: "Kerning"

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Scars Unseen
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Scars Unseen » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:24 am UTC

Got an 88/100. This game is more addicting than it has a right to be.

toadpipe
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby toadpipe » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:25 am UTC

orangustang wrote:Between this and "November", if I didn't know any better, I'd say Randall hates us all.

I'd bet that Randall hates all sheep posing as people that can be completely mentally programmed via a few sentences.

nich_chin
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby nich_chin » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:43 am UTC

Looking at badly kerned, tracked and otherwise poorly laid out text provokes the same reaction as a horrible, horrible pun in those who recognise it.

Paulmichael
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Paulmichael » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:54 am UTC

Haha definitely a "GOOMHR" comic for me. We're ramping up to release a new version of our program at work, and just today we were going over fonts for our potential new company logo. Helvetica is winning so far. 8)

vega12
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby vega12 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:56 am UTC

mattman00000 wrote:If you don't know what kerning is, google it. The word kerning is kerned wider than the other text on the page


Yeah I just noticed this too. It would seem that Google is probably doing that on purpose as a little in joke. Sort of like how Google searching "do a barrel roll" makes the browser screen do a barrel roll. Neat

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from canada
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby from canada » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:59 am UTC

This comic should be called "tracking", cause that's what's messed up in the display.

Of course then randal wouldn't be able to shower under all the nerd orgasims for using "obscure" terminology.

DrewBurk
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby DrewBurk » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:12 am UTC

Thank you for this. As a publisher, I see kerning crap all over the place, and wonder if it's just me.

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby DrewBurk » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:09 am UTC

from canada wrote:This comic should be called "tracking", cause that's what's messed up in the display.


Kinda right. But kerning still applies. The letterspacing between the C and the E would usually only be a tracking thing, but tracking applies most often to more than just the spacing between two letters. So here, in the context of this one single instance, it's kerning.

Also, holy crap. What's the deal with folk getting all huffy about what is really, if you think about the thing we're looking at, if you look at the thing we're looking at, a comic...? A little strip making a little joke... A funny and relevant joke.

Thin_icE
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Thin_icE » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:10 am UTC

from canada wrote:This comic should be called "tracking", cause that's what's messed up in the display.

You beat me to it. I second this, except for the douchy follow-up sentence.

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PM 2Ring
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby PM 2Ring » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:15 am UTC

nich_chin wrote:Looking at badly kerned, tracked and otherwise poorly laid out text provokes the same reaction as a horrible, horrible pun in those who recognise it.

I better not post my Sandal Kerners joke, then.

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tomandlu
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby tomandlu » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:30 am UTC

The main kerning mistake in the comic looks odd. Too much space between 2 wide characters (the C and E) is a difficult mistake to make. Generally, you'd expect to see too much space when a narrow character is involved, and too little space, if anything, when both characters are wide.

That aside, nice...
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thirdgencubfan
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby thirdgencubfan » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:00 pm UTC

Image

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AvatarIII
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:21 pm UTC

sonoftunk wrote:I know what bad kerning looks like, but I can never figure what good kerning looks like. It's a good thing I don't do it for a living.

Edit: [url]http://type.method.ac/[url]

Case and point, 48/100


this game is fun, 77, 88, and 100 on my first 3 puzzles(?)
87/100 overall (with 3 100 scores)
Last edited by AvatarIII on Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

DarsVaeda
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby DarsVaeda » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:22 pm UTC

"City offic es"

I hate to be the asshole here.
BUT!
If you read it latin... :mrgreen:

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radtea
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby radtea » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:40 pm UTC

DrewBurk wrote:Thank you for this. As a publisher, I see kerning crap all over the place, and wonder if it's just me.


Just you, others who work seriously with text in a professional or semi-professional capacity, and a huge crowd of amateur font geeks who use their laser-like ability to spot kerning issues as a substitute for having anything substantive to say. The latter can be identified most easily by the fact that they have never, ever seen any font anywhere that is kerned properly in all cases. They sometimes use the word "keming" to describe bad kerning (joining the "r" and "n" of "kerning" the way a badly kerned font might).

Font geeks are a particular variety of subject-specific hipster, like that particularly sad variety of gym rat who has never, ever seen anyone do a pushup correctly (and who will tell you in condescending tones that your pushup style will result in poor muscle development, bad joints, bad weather, dogs and cats living together...)

They're good for amusement, but not much else (and I appreciate a good font as much as anyone who has ever laid out a page, I just do not, in Aristotle's phrase "expect more precision than the subject matter admits of.")
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jonadab
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby jonadab » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:48 pm UTC

I'm just taking it as proof that my right hemisphere isn't entirely dormant... (or would this still be more of a left brain activity?)


It is certainly possible to do very effective kerning using a purely logical/rote approach with no intuition. (Proof: a computer can be programmed to do it.) However, this requires paying close attention to detailed aspects of the letterforms that most people never notice. It also helps to use a ruler and a calculator. Nonetheless, this is probably the fastest way to get the kerning obsessively close to perfection.

I suspect what almost all typographers actually do, however, is "just eyeball it". This is MUCH faster, and the results are typically close enough that only obsessive or neurotic people (or software designed for the purpose) will ever notice any inconsistencies.

A third option is to just pigeonhole all your characters into a dozen or so "classes" (round, flat, sticks out on bottom, sticks out on top (capital), sticks out on top (lowercase), ...) and kern pairs of classes. This is very quick and easy, and the results are much better than if you don't do any kerning at all. It does tend to leave you with a handful of less-than-ideal pairs, though (e.g., qj may look bad, although that will seldom be noticed in the English-speaking world; if there's a particularly bad combination that's common, you can fix it with a ligature and not have to break up your classes).

Excruciatingly bad kerning, like in today's comic, happens when somebody not only fails to bother to do any kerning at all but furthermore isn't even consistent about the left and right space on each glyph. That capital C just plain has unnecessarily much space to the right of it. It would probably be more space than you'd need even if the next character were a capital X, and it's certainly far too much for the average case.

The real nightmare, of course, would be if you had to do kerning for a living -- working for a font foundry where somebody else does the creative work of designing the letter forms and you just kern them. Bonus points if you're assigned a set of full Unicode fonts (including all the Chinese characters and ancient writing systems and languages with 1347 native speakers and everything) in a full range of weights, with both sans/gothic and serif/mincho versions. A person could spend a lifetime obsessing over the details, gradually becoming more and more insane, more and more incapable of thinking about anything else than kerning, until the mere idea that they might change the shapes of some of the characters in the next version of the font set keeps you up nights.

VentureFree
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby VentureFree » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:55 pm UTC

76/100. I actually got 100 on the first 2 without any blue showing at all. It wasn't until the 3rd one that I even knew that blue was supposed to be there, and of course I started totally bombing after that.

musicgeek
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby musicgeek » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:04 pm UTC

80/100. Was doing really well until Toronto! (I was surprised how well I did with "Quijote" - couldn't find an arrangement that really made me happy, but got 100/100.)

bundat
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby bundat » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:08 pm UTC

Holy crap, I can't believe that I had to wait through a few minutes of my browser lagging up due to jsmath... just for L2.
Seriously??

L[sup]2[/sup] would've saved us from all of that trouble.
I hate jsmath'ed threads.

"If you really hate someone, teach them to recognize bad kerning. invite them to xkcd fora, then post a jsmath formula in all their favorite and frequently visited threads."

ut_icedragon
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby ut_icedragon » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:18 pm UTC

carega wrote:if you really hate someone, show them xkcd and their lame jokes about kerning.


Why?

You seriously took the time to set up an account to the forum of a borderline obscure site that you don't like so you can post once in a blue moon about how this site is lame?

I'm dumbfounded.

dgau
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby dgau » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:21 pm UTC

This comic feels like a repost, I just cannot put my finger on it.

JoeZ
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby JoeZ » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:21 pm UTC

True story; I read todays comic while working a problem in my analytical chem book. It included;

􏰆0.167 89% as an error...

Which I read as 0.167 and 89%, prompting serious confusion.

After reading the comic, I figured out that it was in fact 0.16789%. Yet another problem solved by Randall.
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PolakoVoador
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:24 pm UTC

My girlfriend is a graphic designer, so since she began telling me about all this details about kerning and whatsoever, a whole world of madness unveiled in front of my eyes.

It's a nightmare.

tups
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby tups » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:27 pm UTC

hmm ...96/100 overall - perhaps I should aspire to a career in the printing industry ... :-p
(although being eminently replacable by a piece of software in your choice of employment is probably not the best prospect imagineable)

rjsteg
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby rjsteg » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:52 pm UTC

I'm sorry...I was tired so didn't explain much...

I understand kerning. What I don't understand is why a poorly kerned "CITY OFFIC ES" is funny.

Is it simply that there are examples of poor kerning *everywhere*?!? If so, then it's not Randall's best work.

I would have expected an example where a poorly kerned "rn" changes the word into some other shocking word.

Randy -- sorryforbeingsopicky

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Karilyn
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Karilyn » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:56 pm UTC

sonoftunk wrote:I know what bad kerning looks like, but I can never figure what good kerning looks like. It's a good thing I don't do it for a living.

Edit: [url]http://type.method.ac/[url]

Case and point, 48/100


98/100 overall score.

Holy crap. I'm like some sort of kerning prodigy. This is a talent I will never need or use. Stuff isn't hard though. It's just basic geometry and spacing.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Dr.Buck » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:20 pm UTC

Image

Comic Sans.....

I'm just going to leave that there....

:D

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Red Hal
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Red Hal » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:22 pm UTC

zantrua wrote:Teaching them to recognize arial from helvitica is just as bad
19/20, (Mattel was Difficult!) How about you?
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jjcote
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby jjcote » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:34 pm UTC

As the son of a sign painter, I became aware of kerning when I was young. The annoyance I acquired from my father came about not so much when we saw bad kerning, but when somebody misused the word.

However, the best case of bad kerning I ever saw was at a place in Davis Square that had a sign reading "REALTY CENTER". Completely mechanical spacing, an appalling botch of one of the most classic basic examples. But when the place closed down and was turned into a bookstore by some hippies, it was a cinch to squeeze a lower case 'i' into the visual gap (sitting in the "lap" of the uppercase 'L'), and "REALiTY CENTER" was born. I wish I had taken a picture of it.

ladycygnus
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby ladycygnus » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:42 pm UTC

sonoftunk wrote:I know what bad kerning looks like, but I can never figure what good kerning looks like. It's a good thing I don't do it for a living.

Edit: [url]http://type.method.ac/[url]

Case and point, 48/100


Woot - I got a 94/100! But I do this for a living...

jdb-44
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby jdb-44 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

sonoftunk wrote:I know what bad kerning looks like, but I can never figure what good kerning looks like. It's a good thing I don't do it for a living.

Edit: [url]http://type.method.ac/[url]

Case and point, 48/100


Actually, it's "case in point".

I'm a jerk, I know. No offense meant.

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby dfjdejulio » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:03 pm UTC

Ooh! Ooh! Do ligatures next!

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Kain » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:17 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:
zantrua wrote:Teaching them to recognize arial from helvitica is just as bad
19/20, (Mattel was Difficult!) How about you?


Likewise, 19/20 with a mistake on Mattel.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby neoliminal » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:28 pm UTC

HAE

(79/100 but I failed to understand the idea on the first so probably 82)
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Red Hal
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Red Hal » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:33 pm UTC

dfjdejulio wrote:Ooh! Ooh! Do ligatures next!
I'm a surgeon, Jim, not a typographer!
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pkcommando
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby pkcommando » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:36 pm UTC

Finally got around to creating an account here.


81/100 - I'm proud of that result considering I didn't know what kerning was until I Googled it after reading this comic.

I'm glad to know there is a word, though, because I've been dealing with this very thing the last few days. I'm knitting something for my sister and was weaving in lettering afterward. Not properly working out how much space I had to work with before I started, I realized I'd have to use a tighter spacing on the rest of the letters than what was used between the first two. The difference is ridiculously small, yet I can't help but notice it. I've had to tell myself to just live with it, let it go, and not be a hyper-obsessive perfectionist because my sister will love it no matter what. Then Friday rolls around and I get this comic. This really made me laugh.

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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Number3Pencils » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:37 pm UTC

I got 88% on the kerning quiz, and 92% on the Arial vs. Helvetica quiz. Thought I'd do better, since I design fonts. I guess I should double-check the kerning on my next font.
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby bmonk » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:39 pm UTC

No need to teach something as esoteric as kerning. Just teach them the rules for apostrophes. And maybe commas.

All the misuses ("The Smith's", "banana's 59¢") will produce the same results.
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echelon
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby echelon » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:06 pm UTC

89/100 on the Kerning Quiz.

I've been exploring the possibility of going into graphic design recently. I think I'll keep looking into that.

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Drain
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Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Postby Drain » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:25 pm UTC

86/100 here, that will be fun to inflict on my friends.

And yes, I hate you too Randall.


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