I had a disagreement about the correct use of a ligature and kerning in a headline and would appreciate any help in seeking insight on the issue. The issue is with the “f” and “t”. One side believes using the ligature creates proper kerning throughout and the other side believes the “f” and “t” should be spaced out slightly more and separated for a better look. I know this may not be a black and white issue but again any thoughts or knowledge about the issue would be appreciated. Thanks.
ligatures are designed specifically for this. Well sometimes for stylistic reasons, but combination with “f” will often have collisions. “fi” and “fl” are the most common examples. In these cases it is generally best to use the ligatures available to you. The other option of increased kerning leaves you with unbalanced white space (In your example the space between the “f” and “t” doesn’t look good to me).
This is assuming you are using a well designed typeface, with well considered kerning and ligatures and are setting your type with no increased tracking.
Take the following example, with no ligatures and no increased kerning. Hopefully everyone can agree the collisions with the “fi” and “fl” aren’t good:
We can fix that by increasing the kerning between the problem pairs.
However you can see the spacing is very uneven and unbalanced:
Swap out the problem pairs for the ligatures and all those problems are solved:
The other option is to increase the tracking, so the increased spacing is more consistent. This isn’t a good idea in body text but could be a good solution for headers—but that will depend on the typeface used and context.
Source : Link , Question Author : Dave , Answer Author : Cai