K e r n i n g

Cool little nugget about where the word kerning comes from:

“The word kerning is a cognate of corner (that is, the two words have a common root). In the days when all type was cast metal, a corner was notched to a consistent height on one or both sides of a letter-piece. Such notched pieces were only set against one another, not against unnotched ones, which had straight sides. The corner allowed for a character’s features to reach into the area normally taken up by the next character, for example the top bar of the T, or the right diagonal stroke of the V to hang over the top left corner of an a.
Having a consistently shaped corner cut-out allowed for using fewer pieces of type to make up all possible kerning pairs; for example a T- and V-piece with kerning on the right would match the same A piece with a matching kerning indention on the left.” -Wikipedia

So many of the words we use every day in design have very tangible real meanings that date back to a non-digital world.


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