What Is Tracking in Typography? + Tips & Examples

by | Dec 27, 2023 | Digital Marketing, Typography

Typography is a crucial aspect of design, and one key component of typography is tracking, also known as letter spacing. This article aims to explore the concept of tracking, its purpose, and how to use it effectively in typography.

Tracking refers to the adjustment of horizontal spacing between a range of letters or characters in a piece of text. It differs from kerning, which adjusts the space between individual letter pairs. The primary purpose of tracking is to improve the readability and visual balance of a text, affecting the density, texture, and mood of the text. Effective tracking ensures that the text is neither too cramped nor too spread out.

It is important to understand the difference between tracking, kerning, and leading. While tracking adjusts the spacing uniformly across a range of characters, kerning is the process of adjusting the space between individual pairs of letters, and leading refers to the vertical space between lines of text.

The article provides examples of tracking in typography, such as magazine headlines, movie posters, instructional texts, and logo design. It also offers tips for effective tracking, including understanding the typeface, considering context, monitoring readability, and balancing with other typographic elements.

It emphasizes the importance of testing tracking adjustments on various devices and mediums, as well as aligning tracking choices with the overall design concept and visual hierarchy. The article encourages experimentation with different levels of tracking to observe its impact and develop a keen eye for typographic excellence.

In conclusion, the article highlights tracking as a subtle yet powerful tool in typography that, when used correctly, can greatly enhance the effectiveness and aesthetic quality of textual content. Whether designing a poster, web page, or corporate report, understanding and applying tracking principles can significantly improve the legibility and visual appeal of design work.

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