Kerning as a way of life

kerntips-4After spending almost 18 years as a graphic designer and an art director, I can’t help seeing imperfections around me. Well that day, I was at Starbucks behind my SOHO and every time I added a pinch of cinnamon powder and slightly less than a full packet of brown sugar, I wished if I was able to kern it. And for all those who don’t know what kerning is, well – it’s how you fine tune the text, to strike the perfect balance of character spacing and the word spacing, a graphic design demands.

So coming back to life, I love to kern my martinis to strike a perfect balance. 15 ml of extra dry vermouth mixed with 80 ml of Bombay sapphire, shaken and poured without a single olive in it. But an orange peel would do. Aah! When I have the first sip, I wish 90 ml of Bombay sapphire would be perfect at this point of time. And maybe 10 ml of triple sec would add the right sweetness.


At night, lighting is another thing I like to kern. The spotlight on a wall needs to be moved a bit so that the wall reflects the right amount of light depending on the mood. I wish to keep all lights are compatible with dimmers.

When I look at a group of picture frames, I can’t help aligning them and adjusting the spaces in my mind. Fine tuning my belt (of course I can’t stand the belts with holes and a pin. What if I want a space in between them?), adjusting the decibel levels of sounds around me, tuning the room temperatures are some of my common habits.
Living in one of the millennium cities of India, what disturbs me the most are huge power grid poles and a mesh of electric wires, spreading all across the city. You could be easily carried away by these tall glass buildings as if you’re in Dubai or Singapore. All you need to do is hide the poles while clicking the pictures.


On one of my holidays, I was checking-out a hotel room. When I went to the balcony, I saw a huge tree obstructing a beautiful sunset. “Can we move this tree a bit to the left please?” I wanted to tell the guy. But we chose the room next to it instead.

Out of all things, I thank god for giving me a car with a cruise control. I love kerning the speed. 2 km up or down to achieve that perfect speed, which is otherwise impossible to achieve with your right foot.

So when my wife tells me that I’m suffering from OCD, I agree with her and tell her yes it’s Obsessive Compulsive Designer at work, whose thoughts are always fighting and kerning the chaos around to seek a perfect balance and harmony. Can’t help it.

I just get rid of imperfections and design happens.


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Magic Mushroom

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