Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Convey inclusion with connected type, part of Type Tips Weekly.
- [Instructor] For this week's type tip I have some simple tips for how to create a sense of connection with your type. In this first example I'm gonna do nothing more than put a rectangle around my type. I'm drawing that from the center outwards by holding down the option or alt key. I'll press shift x to swap my fill on my stroke and I want to make sure that my stroke weight is the same as the vertical stem on the N.
And then I will select both of these and use my alignment options. Just that simple step of putting a frame around the word creates a sense of inclusion. Here, I'm going to use tracking and kerning to create the effect. To start with I'll make a global change to the letter spacing in the form of tracking. With the type selected, come to the character panel, and I will apply negative 50 tracking.
Then with my type tool I'll insert my cursor between the O and the G and use the keyboard shortcut option or alt and my left arrow, to kern the space between the two letters and create an overlap. I'll also kern the space between the E and the T so that they are touching. The next example is very similar. I just want to make my word literally tighter.
So from my character panel I will apply the overall adjustment in the form of tracking. And then any modifications as necessary in the form of kerning. I would just like a slight gap between the T and the I, so here I will be adding positive kerning, option or alt and the right arrow, and then I'll do the same between the H and the T. If you're working with a type face that has contextual alternates, you could add a flourish to the first letter.
And that just creates more of a sense of connection with the whole word. In a similar vein, this type face has a variety of discretionary ligatures. Now these do not show up on my contextual alternate menu. I know they're there. I'll need to go to the glyphs panel in order to find them. And on the glyphs panel I will show my standard ligatures. Now in the case of this particular type face, there is a ligature for the LO combination.
So I'm going to replace the standard LO with that ligature. And finally, we can create interlocking type. This technique requires that I convert the type to outlines. So I want to make sure that everything is positioned and sized accordingly before I do so. I'll select my two pieces of type and from the type menu choose create outlines. I can now come and choose my live paint bucket and click on my selection to make it a live paint group.
And currently I have three swatches above my cursor. If I press my right arrow that will go to red and then I can just click to fill that segment to create the impression that the two letters are interlocked.