Tag - Tracking

O is for Orphans and Widows

So you’ve typed out your body text, added headlines, chosen your fonts and sizes… Why doesn’t it look right?

It may be that there are widows and orphans hanging about.

Widows and orphans are a word or short line of text that are left dangling alone at the top or bottom of a page or the end of a paragraph. For example, you turn a page in a book and the last word from the paragraph before is at the top of the page all by itself. That’s a widow. Or, another example, at the bottom of a page, a single line from the next paragraph is by itself. That’s an orphan.

There is another instance that can be considered a widow or an orphan, but no one seems to agree on which term to use. This instance is when a single word is bumped to the next line at the end of a paragraph, leaving it dangling all by itself.

These widows and orphans make blocks of text look awkward and can reduce readability.

To fix these issues, you can adjust the tracking of each paragraph until either the dangling word or line of text are bumped back up into the line above, or more words are added to the lines below.

For more about tracking, click here!

K is for Kerning Vs. Tracking

Kerning and tracking are both very important when it comes to typography in design.

Kerning

Kerning is manipulating the space between two individual letters. This mainly becomes necessary for titles and headlines as these words tend to be larger and therefore the space between letters is more pronounced.

Tracking

Tracking is the space between all letters. This is mainly used for body copy as one would be removing or adding the same amount of space between each letter in a paragraph. This is because it is less precise than kerning.

Which do you think is more important? Kerning or Tracking?

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