TypesettingTypesetting is a crucial element of the branding process. Typesetting refers to the process of arranging text on a page in such a way that it is legible and visually balanced.

Even if you have a beautiful logo and the right typography to represent your brand, typesetting errors could make or break your design. This is especially true for print materials such as flyers, brochures and your personalised business stationery.

In the past, typesetting was a hands-on process. Individual letters, or sorts, had to be manually arranged onto a printing block before it was put to paper. Today, typesetting is done through digital publishing software such as Adobe InDesign.

Though the technology has evolved, the basic idea remains the same — letters and words are carefully arranged on the page, taking into account not only the margins and the length of the paragraphs but the kerning and tracking as well.


In typography, kerning refers to the spacing between two letters or characters.  It is when you adjust the spacing between two characters for a more proportional look. For example, compare the following words:

W A TER                       WATER

The letters in the first instance of ‘water’ are far apart from each other. It looks awkward, because there is a lot of empty space, particularly between the letter ‘W’ and the letter ‘A’. In the second version, the space kerning was adjusted, to help make the overall word look more proportional compared to the first version.

Though some computer programs adjust the kerning automatically, it rarely turns out the way it should. Kerning is especially important in headers and the logo — since the letters are larger bad kerning is much more visible.


Tracking on the other hand, refers to the letter spacing across the entire line of text. It is different from kerning, because it refers to the consistent spacing throughout the whole text. Compare the following:

T  h  e   w  a  t  e  r   i  n   t  h  e   r  i  v  e  r   i  s   c  o  o  l   a  n  d   f  r  e  s  h  .

The water in the river is cool and fresh.

In the first instance, the tracking is further spaced apart, while the second instance has a tighter spacing. Tracking greatly affects the readability of your text.

Though kerning and tracking seem like otherwise minor graphic elements, they do affect the overall look of your prints. Pay attention when you are typesetting, so that your prints turn just the way you want them to.

Woolston Printing is your source for commercial printing services. Contact us  today to learn more.