How do I deal with line spacing when a single descender is getting in the way?

I’m making a sign for my kids’ school, and am having trouble with one detail. The primary text is “Walking School Bus Stop”. This, the school name, and a whimsical graphic all go into a 3:4 aspect ratio design. (This will be an actual metal sign placed on the street.)

The complication really all comes from the fact that “school bus” is properly two words. Because of this, it really reads better if the lines are broken like so:

School Bus

Because “Bus Stop” is also a familiar phrase, with a different break, it looks like we’re talking about a “Walking School”, when, really, it’s the normal sort of elementary school that happens to have a program where we encourage kids and parents to walk instead of driving.

And, that, in turn, means that in the font I’ve chosen, the letter g drops down to get in the way of the B. Like this:

Walking School Bus Text

Which really irritates me visually. If I increase the line spacing, it seems too spaced (and I have to reduce the text size), which is not desirable.

What are good solutions here? It looks just fine if the text is all right-aligned — the g tucks down nicely over the u and s — but given the aspect ratio constraint it’s hard to balance that and the other elements.

Font is Coolvetica. (Be glad it’s not Comic Sans.) And it looks awful in all-caps, so that solution would really be “find another font”, which isn’t ideal.

What else could I do?


I think some manual kerning would help tremendously. Since “School Bus” is made up of many wider letters and “Walking” has a series of skinnier letters, it makes the spacing of the letters in “Walking” look even tighter by comparison. Increasing the kerning in “Walking” would make it look a lot better and a lot more legible, and it would land the “g” closer to the “u” so I think this would help with your leading problems. You could probably get away with increasing the leading between the first two lines just a bit – the short “op” in “Stop” make the space between the last two lines look wider, so you should try to visually balance the leading.

Source : Link , Question Author : mattdm , Answer Author : sacohe

Leave a Comment