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It has been over a year now since the death of Vine, but it is remembered by many as the birth place of some of the most well-known memes. Only after becoming a graphic design major could I finally come to appreciate the classic meme, FR E SH A VOCA DO.

If you haven’t seen the original vine, the website explains the premise of the video as “…a woman mispronouncing ‘Fresh Avocado’ after seeing them arranged strangely on the sign of a fast food restaurant,’ but as designers, we know this strange arrangement of letters as bad kerning.

When done correctly, kerning helps to improve the readability of text by adding or removing space between two letters. Bad kerning, also known as keming, leads to misreadings, and in the worst cases, incredibly bad (but humorous) misunderstandings.

I find it amusing to see the implications of bad design–bad kerning included–so that I can be sure to not make those same mistakes!

In the mood for bad kerning? Check out the keming subreddit!

Enjoy the idea of manual kerning? Check out the kerning game!

Like Adele, hate Comic Sans? You might find this kerning sad, yet funny!


  1. hnguye91 wrote:

    Im dead. This is too funny! It really makes you wonder who decided that was a good or even logical idea for that much space. I love the kerning game, it really makes you frustrated but gives off a great feeling when you get it correct!

    Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
  2. hnguye89 wrote:

    My favorite type of bad kerning are the type that unintentionally spell out bad words like “click” turned into “dick”. It does make me want to triple check my works

    Friday, April 27, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink
  3. rmoore25 wrote:

    I see so many ads and logos where the kerning is just absolutely atrocious. I think that in some of the ads for Mason Day the letters were so spaced out that they looked like there were spaces between all of them, not just between the words. It makes me really angry cuz it’s not that hard to fix.

    Friday, April 27, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  4. shaddou wrote:

    hahahaha, honestly before I switched my major to graphic design, I couldn’t be bothered and barely recognized the horrible lack of kerning that was out there.

    Friday, April 27, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  5. amilstei wrote:

    I totally agree! With all the critiques we do in class, I find that I have become hyperaware of this kind of thing. And now that I know what it’s called, I’m much better at complaining about it.

    Friday, April 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  6. jabella wrote:

    I’m CRYING at the Vine reference thank you so much for this. Aside from how much I agree with the content of this post (I’m bad at kerning though, sorry), this is a really well-done blog post. The inclusion of Millennial humor shows you know your audience and catches attention right away.

    Friday, April 27, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink