Letter Compositions, Continued
SIZE: Letter size affects how easily text is read. Inappropriately small
letters strain the viewers eyes and patience and will likely not be read.
Limit lettering to essential information. Limit lettering on art intended for
viewgraphs or slides to approximately 8-10 words per frame. If letter size is
set, change the x-rating of the letter to improve legibility without changing
letter size or style.
SPACING BETWEEN LETTERS: To give words the appearance of having
uniformly spaced letters, make the areas between letters nearly equal. Equal
spacing between letters is called mechanical spacing. Sometimes equal
amounts of space between letters create too much white space and breaks up
the appearance of the word. If this occurs, reexamine the areas between
adjacent letters and increase or decrease them accordingly. Arbitrarily
adjusting space between letters based on overall appearance is referred to as
optical spacing. Letterspacing refers to the addition of space between letters.
Letterspacing makes short words or titles appear longer. Decreasing space
between letters is called kerning.
Figure 5-37 illustrates the difference between mechanical spacing and optical
Figure 5-37.Mechanical and optical spacing.
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