“Can you make that just a skosh bigger?”
Anyone working in marketing and communications long enough has undoubtedly heard a comment like this from a client, boss or colleague. In lay terms, “just a skosh” means a little bit, a smidgeon, a nudge in one direction or another. To a designer, it means adjusting the tracking, or overall spacing, between letters, words and blocks of text.
Magazine Designing, one of our favorite design resources around here, has put out a good tutorial on tracking, what it is and how to use it.
A couple of handy tips for designers:
- Enlarging the tracking (which serves to increase space between letters and words) is good for emphasizing particular bits of text. This works well in body text, but can cause too much space and interfere with readability in a headline.
- Increasing the tracking in italicized text can look awkward, as italics are designed for tighter letters.
- Decreasing the tracking is one technique one technique to eliminate short widows and orphans at the end of a paragraph; just don’t get too cozy or you’ll lose readability.
- White text on a dark background can often be made more readable by enlarging the tracking a bit.
We love good design and the talented people who create those graphic works of art. Understanding these seemingly small but highly powerful techniques can make your design sing. Read more here and let us know what you learn!