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love is in the details

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This particular helium blogger [who shall remain anonymous due to his sensitive nature] has acquired a reputation for being obnoxiously anal when it comes to kerning and leading in typography. For those normal people out there who have no need to know what kerning and leading is, please allow me to rock your world.

Courtesy of Wikipedia:
kerning (less commonly mortising) is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result
leading /ˈlɛdɪŋ/ refers to the distance between the baselines of successive lines of type (the space between lines of body copy).

Dear God, you say, I am not going to read another design blog about kerning and leading. Designers are lame. I hate them and they should all burn on an island somewhere. Fear not my fair weathered friend, this blog has absolutely nothing to do with the intricacies of typography and designer neuroses. Well, kind of.

Take a moment and smile.

Now take another moment and apologize for the prejudged negative thoughts about my blog entry.

Thank you.

The point of bringing up leading and kerning is to illustrate the overall message that details are crucial in everything we do. Whether you are a designer, a chef, a real estate agent or a janitor it is essential to maintain an attention to even the most minute level of intricacies. I read somewhere [yes, in a real live book] that it takes a fraction of a second for the human mind to decide if it likes or dislikes something. Our complex gray matter makes the decision for us before we even realize it. Trust in a brand, a product, a message [whatever it is] is formed innately by our preconceived history of decision making — which [get ready for this] is based on a web of associations developed over our lifespan.

We are, by nature, visual beings. Our subconscious can sense if something is off without us being aware of it. Creating a solid foundation for whatever you are doing establishes an unspoken sense of trust with your audience. It can be very easy to get distracted by the big picture, the overall objective that is trying to be conveyed or accomplished. But the details set the tone for the delivery.

I will completely nerd out in order to defend my little blog by sharing a study by Dr. Alan Slater that, in short, examines how newborn babies have an innate inclination toward “beautiful” or “attractive” faces which led to further prove that anthropologically we gravitate toward things that are visually appealing across the board. There is the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However I am not talking about subjective beauty, but rather basic fundamentals that are considered aesthetically pleasing based on our societal and biological nature. Symmetry, order and shape, for example play a huge role in our subconscious definition of “beauty”. It has been proven that things considered more attractive are quickly trusted and accepted. And make more money 😉

Ok so how does all of this apply to the topic at hand? Or did I just totally go off on a tangent that left you wondering, yet again, why am I reading this?

And to that, my response is simple: It applies, I promise.

Slater’s study just backs the idea that despite personal taste…[hey, no judgement here]…there are those details that are so important to have a keen eye for. We are like hunting dogs. But people. And with our eyes, not our nose. Our little brains simply know when the details are missed. We’re just wired that way. And the decision to trust a brand or product is instantly made based on that fact.

helium creative is all about breaking the rules. Thinking out of the box and offering new solutions to everyday problems. However we are firm believers – current blogger included – in making sure that those details are never overlooked. It is one of the key factors that set us apart from other advertising, marketing and design studios. Now for the shameless, end-of-blog self promotion: Check out our awesome portfolio to see just how helium addresses the details for our current roster of lovely clients 🙂

The end.

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    helium creative