Another place that new t shirt designers often go wrong is in the leading, or “spacing between lines of text.” Leading — which is pronounced like the metal “lead” rather than like a “leader” taking people somewhere — goes back to the days of the printing press, when a person would actually use small, thin pieces of lead to create vertical space between the lines of type. These days, of course, computers handle the leading for us. Unfortunately, when it comes to t shirt text, they often handle it poorly.
When a t shirt slogan is typed into a computer program, it often starts out with a little too much space between the lines. This helps make the text look very “fonty” rather than natural, as well as making the t shirt design (and the designer) seem very amateur. With just a small change to the leading, however, that same t shirt text can be made to look very tight and professional. T shirt online
With leading, the goal is to create enough space between the lines of text so they fit nicely together and don’t interfere with one another, without creating so much space that they look artificial or become difficult to read. The eye should be able to easily jump visually from one line to the next without losing its place, and without any effort at all. While there is no real rule of thumb for the proper amount of space between lines, a t shirt designer who begins adjusting the leading will quickly learn to “feel” when it’s right. In general, the best way to start is to decrease the amount of leading — tightening the space between the lines — and then keep tweaking it up or down until it feels visually balanced. When it looks natural and reads smoothly, your t shirt slogan is one step closer to the big time.