thinking space

Thinking space is where we get to rant and rave about issues relating to the design, branding and creative industries both locally and abroad. Our aim is to develop a strong, balanced voice for the UK design industry. And probably most of all, to amuse you…

Typography tutorial

At Turquoise Creative we love typography and we thought you might be interested in learning some typography principles yourself.

When designing layouts and adjusting type, it is important to understand the basics of working with text, line spacing, and letter spacing. This article briefly covers leading, kerning, tracking for you to consider on your next piece of work.

When working with a paragraph, or just more than one line of type, leading is the distance between the baselines in the paragraph. A baseline is the imaginary guideline that type sits on. The standard proportion of leading to type size is typically 120%. So if the type size is 20 point, then the most standard leading would be 24 point.


Kerning is an adjustment of space between two specific letters. The idea of kerning is to create a consistent rhythm of space within a group of letters and to create an appearance of even spacing between letters. Fonts have exact amounts of spacing between letter combinations already built into it, which is called Metric Kerning. Type takes on Metric Kerning as a default. As type gets larger and closer to a headline size, those letter combinations, or kerning pairs, don’t work as well. If a selection of type is changed to Optical Kerning, InDesign (or whichever program is being used) will adjust the kerning automatically. However, most designers don’t find this is as useful as using Manual Kerning.

Manual Kerning – One helpful way to look at kerning is imagining that each space between kerning pairs is filled with liquid, and the same amount of liquid should put poured into each space.


Kerning should not be confused with tracking, which refers to uniform spacing between all of the letters in a group of text. By increasing tracking in a word, line of text, or paragraph, a designer can create a more open and airy element.


In blocks of text or paragraph, tracking is usually only increased by a small amount, because the legibility can become difficult. In that case it is used more subtly and sometimes to fill space. And using negative tracking can be used sparingly to help create a shorter line of text. In smaller amounts of text or single lines, tracking can be increased in greater amounts and can often help the font take on an entirely different design quality.

These typography principles of leading, kerning, and tracking can be seen in our portfolio. If you think your marketing material could benefit from a make-over please call Turquoise Creative.

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What brand makes you feel happy?

The Guardian’s recent ‘Mood Of The Nation’ survey showed us that more than half of consumers in the UK can name a brand that makes them happy. The survey polled a nationally representative sample of 2,141 UK residents. High percentages of those surveyed outlined very clear expectations that consumers are placing on businesses, including:

• 79% believe that a company should “know and respect its customers”
• 64% “communicating a clear set of values”
• 62% demanding transparency

Also a very healthy 67% of British consumers surveyed were able to name a brand that makes them happy, names like Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Amazon and John Lewis at the top of the list. Brands like these are able to elicit feelings of wellbeing in the minds of consumers through their ability to ‘activate happiness’ – which leads to higher levels of consumer engagement, because of course; happy consumers are spending consumers.

So if you are a brand owner, the question which you may find you are asking yourself is – ‘does my brand make people happy?’.

If you have any doubt, maybe you should give Turquoise Creative a call sometime soon?
Because, after all, brands are what make us feel happy.

Source: The Guardian

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Today marks the first day of autumn!

To celebrate, we’re sharing our autumn colour scheme.
What colours are in your autumn colour palette?