Today's public service announcement is brought to you on behalf of typographers, designers and letter artists everywhere. After reading a recent XKCD comic on bad kerning i thought i'd highlight the issue with some examples...
If you're interested in this kind of thing, you'll already be aware of what's wrong with these pictures and it's probably giving you a nagging urge to correct it. Maybe you sort of feel that something is off but you can't put your finger on it? It's the spacing in the letters.
Basically that's all kerning is, spacing out letters correctly so that words appear whole and aesthetically pleasing. Not like an over-lapping or disjointed jumble of crap. For example, the wine logo above: clearly the space between the 'k' and 'o' is much too large and as a result the word 'Ikon' appears like 'Ik on' and just looks uncomfortable. Bad job guys. As a balance, here's an example of how things should be done.
Simple as that really, should be instinctive to any designer or letter artist worth their salt. There's a pretty good Flickr group dedicated to examples of bad kerning or 'keming' as it's been termed for reasons that are hopefully clear. You can find it here - Bad Kerning Group