How to adjust Kerning and Letter Spacing of your fonts in one click

With Fontself Maker 3.5, set spacing & kerning values for all glyphs in seconds

February 26, 2020
Spacing and kerning a font

Many creatives struggle to understand how to best adjust the space around each glyph or how to deal with kerning pairs and kerning groups.

This is actually totally ok: the process of spacing & kerning glyphs is more of an art than a science, and even pro type designers will come up with different approaches when it comes to this time-consuming part of font creation.

Because our goal at Fontself is to help you enjoy designing your own custom fonts, without most of the hassle, we ended up thinking about a solution to automate this arduous part.

Edit font metrics, the easy way

To quickly enjoy the best result from their custom letterforms, creatives should be able to benefit from best practices, even when they don't know about them yet.

So we analyzed various approaches of spacing & kerning, and came up with an automated solution that is good enough in most cases. 

We call this feature Smart Metrics. Just press the Smart button to let the software automatically perform its magic:

  • First, it does an optical analysis of all glyph shapes.
  • Then, it fits the left & right side bearings to an optimal value (for instance moving the left side on glyphs with descending parts, like j).
  • Kerning Groups are built on the shape similarities.
  • And Kerning Pairs are created to instantly fix the letters that need specific adjustments.

⚠️ This feature is NOT YET available for bitmap fonts in Photoshop. Only vector ones.

As any automated approach, Smart Metrics may lead to manual adjustments - or even funky results in extreme types of designs, but 1/ the majority should find it useful to quickly get satisfying results, and 2/ we will keep iterating over the months to come so the algorithm gets smarter & smarter. 🤖

The Smart Metrics can be performed on ALL glyphs from the main screen.

You can automate on SELECT glyphs and EITHER spacing or kerning from the Advanced views.

We hope you will enjoy the extra time this new capability brings you, and can't wait to see the cool fonts you will make.

Enjoy and share the love!

PS: The showcased fonts are Stomp and Kernl by Cristian Bogdan Rosu and Campagne d'Italie by Olivier Marquezy.

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