As designers, kerning is one of those esoteric terms we love to use. Not only is it vital to quality typography, it’s also a great word to throw into a conversation with non-designers whenever we want to sound smart or abstruse. But how much do we really understand about kerning and how it's applied? At ATypI in Mexico City I broached these topics with Dyana Weissman of The Font Bureau, one of the few type designers who claims to actually enjoy the tedious task of assigning thousands of kern pairs to each font. She explains the difference between kerning and spacing, why it should be done by hand, and the mystical concept of flow.

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