Typography is not just picking out a letter font and typing away; there is a whole system and a bunch of specific terms behind it. For example, a professional working with typography might use such terms as leading, kerning, foot, vertex, crotch and swash on a daily basis. Now, we are not going to drown you in stiff scientific language explaining all that, but rather show you what one of these words, kerning, means.

If you'd to check a dictionary, you'd find that kern might mean a yokel, but that's not the meaning used in typography. Kerning basically describes the horizontal spacing between two consecutive characters used in a font. When type was printed using cast metal, parts that needed to overlap adjacent letters hung off the edge. Computer typefaces might have manual, automatic, or no kerning whatsoever for every different font styles; no kerning can make it appear that there is a space between letters, while automatic kerning produces mixed results.

Still wondering why letter spacing is so important? Well, typography design fails can ruin (or make hilarious) even the best thought-out text, as the examples below demonstrate. It turns out that there is only a few millimeters difference between 'clicks' and 'dicks,' 'therapist' and 'the rapist.'

Scroll down below to see these funny fails and more for yourself!

#1

What Style Of Massage Is This?

What Style Of Massage Is This?

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dbradley
Community Member
5 years ago

the rapist word is moved out of center

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#2

Another Reminder That Yes, Fonts And Kerning Matter

Another Reminder That Yes, Fonts And Kerning Matter

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GitteThomsen
Community Member
5 years ago

I especially like the graphic illustration, that also coulis be misinterpreted

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#3

I'm Sorry, What's Broken?

I'm Sorry, What's Broken?

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JackopSkaličan
Community Member
5 years ago

letter spacing is totally right in this picture..

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#4

Badly Misspelled Name

Badly Misspelled Name

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JamesFacsit
Community Member
5 years ago

That's not a misspelling. Yeah, that's some douchetwat's bad penmanship spacing.

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#5

Spacing Is Important

Spacing Is Important

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MounawarAbbouchi
Community Member
5 years ago

Kids Exchange doesn't sound any better.

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#6

My Math Teacher Also Taught Us The Importance Of Kerning

My Math Teacher Also Taught Us The Importance Of Kerning

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AlexOldroyd
Community Member
5 years ago

Umm... excuse me teacher?

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#7

Bull Titan Us

Bull Titan Us

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AnjellyDaxMacWynn
Community Member
5 years ago

Whyyyyy?! This may be the worst!

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#8

Space Bar, You Had One Job

Space Bar, You Had One Job

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JSFarkas
Community Member
5 years ago

For all your masculine merkin needs..

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#9

Hey Walmart... Kerning Is Important

Hey Walmart... Kerning Is Important

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BarbaraConover
Community Member
5 years ago

Holly Monsen's comment is funny as the original

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#10

Worst Tart Ever

Worst Tart Ever

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BenFowler
Community Member
5 years ago

Fake. California plates max out at 7 letters/numbers.

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#11

Bad Kerning, Good 'shrooms

Bad Kerning, Good 'shrooms

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PeterJimenez
Community Member
5 years ago

reminds me of austin powers

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#12

My Aunt In The Philippines Made A Nice Birthday Cake For My Relative Curt

My Aunt In The Philippines Made A Nice Birthday Cake For My Relative Curt

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UnuSergiu
Community Member
5 years ago

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I don't get it!

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#13

Sign Above The Megaflicks Store

Sign Above The Megaflicks Store

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CarolMcClellan
Community Member
5 years ago

that would be very bad

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#14

Maybe They Should Pick A Different Font Next Time

Maybe They Should Pick A Different Font Next Time

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KarinMorris
Community Member
5 years ago

This one is pushing it, I had to actually think of bad words to see it here

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#15

Lego Click Brick

Lego Click Brick

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DanLesnick
Community Member
5 years ago

That's what the ladies call my trouser snake.

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#16

Ooh Errr

Ooh Errr

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BarbaraConover
Community Member
5 years ago

Not kerning... but funny

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#17

Lightpost In The Way = Very Awkward Abbreviation!

Lightpost In The Way = Very Awkward Abbreviation!

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AmyWeiss
Community Member
5 years ago

It took me a minute to realize they were going for "old folks association"

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#18

Fast Food

Fast Food

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AnielaMarie
Community Member
5 years ago

Hahaha iv eaten here after many nights out.. it doesn't suck ;)

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#19

Somehow I'm Not Surprised They Went Out Of Business

Somehow I'm Not Surprised They Went Out Of Business

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JeffreySnyder
Community Member
5 years ago

Delivered fast & cheap!

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#20

Falmouth Based Company Pendennis... Getting In Wrong

Falmouth Based Company Pendennis... Getting In Wrong

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MarciaSchoonover
Community Member
5 years ago

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This has to have been photoshopped to add the "I". The name is PenDennis. The "I" is clearly on the door following the "N", rather than on the window preceding the "S".

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#21

A Traditional Barber Shop

A Traditional Barber Shop

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FrédéricEeckman
Community Member
5 years ago

Excision shop :/

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#22

Letter Spacing Can Make All The Difference

Letter Spacing Can Make All The Difference

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FrederickPortillo
Community Member
5 years ago

think the employee that posted the letters for this sign was trying to pull a "fhritp"?

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#23

Erm? No Thanks..

Erm? No Thanks..

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Erica Lin
Community Member
4 years ago

i think it was nent to be spelt like that

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#24

Wtf? What Does This Asian Restaurant In Germany Offer?

Wtf? What Does This Asian Restaurant In Germany Offer?

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CindyLou-Who
Community Member
5 years ago

An Asian Restaurant supposedly in Germany........... that writes in American /English

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#25

Experience Anu's Passion!

Experience Anu's Passion!

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Winter
Community Member
1 year ago

oh WeLL WhaT A FAILURE HUH

#26

For Those Whose Needs Go Beyond Justice Cream Alone

For Those Whose Needs Go Beyond Justice Cream Alone

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JackopSkaličan
Community Member
5 years ago

from this angle its very questionable

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#27

They Pay You To Buy Them!

They Pay You To Buy Them!

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NoodleNoodle
Community Member
5 years ago

In that case, ill buy 10.

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#28

A Test Image

A Test Image

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TessaKrellner
Community Member
5 years ago

?

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