Out of the Fog Blog

2010: a spacing odyssey

24 September 2009. Graphic artists, get ready for a decade of kerning so that 1 doesn't look like the loneliest number.

by Robert Perry

The turn of the century, or millennium, was in one way a memorable thing for graphic designers everywhere, because it meant we didn't have to kern that 1 before the 9 in the 1900s any more. We suddenly had a 1-less year in 2000. Hooray! But now, with the coming of the teens decade, we have a doubly daunting kerning fix to look forward to: a 1 right between two very round zeros. Jiminy Christmas that's awkward!

Kerning example

Moreover, in 2011, we'll need additional kerning in between the two 1s. I've tried Googling it, but I still have found no reason why, in so many of today's most used typefaces, we still have kerning values for the numeral 1 that don't just look off... they're way off! So, fellow graphic artists, here we go again. Until New Year's Day 2020, we'll be dealing with this skinny number again on calendars, award events, annual reports, and wine labels. Happy new year.

©2009 Chromozoa

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