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Improving font kerning may make a significant improvement in the typographical quality of a project. Modifying typefaces can also improve readability or legibility in one case or another, give a publication or corporate materials a stronger look, or save time by creating characters that might otherwise have to be individually composed from different fonts or characters. Modifying a face can be as simple as embedding a new character as a keystroke, or as complex as creating new weights and italics for entire type families.
Below is a demonstration of factors to consider even when dealing with relatively simple sans serif fonts. The starting points are characters from Helvetica regular, altered then individually adjusted.
...and a lighter version of Univers Light. These are the results.