File>New> a looong size
Type the word TRACKING all caps.
Make a rectangle that might resemble train ties. Duplicate it 9 times. Make a rectangle that resembles railroad tracks. Duplicate it and arrange your railroad tracks.
Window>Align and align the tracks on their bases.
to find preset patterns for your railroad ties. Use the pulldown menu to open swatch libraries.
begin to use tracking and kerning to arrange the letters to fall between the railroad ties.
About kerning and tracking
Kerning is the process of adding or subtracting space between specific pairs of characters. Tracking is the process of loosening or tightening the spacing between the characters in selected text or an entire block of text.
You can automatically kern type using metrics kerning or optical kerning. Metrics kerning uses kern pairs, which are included with most fonts. Kern pairs contain information about the spacing of specific pairs of letters. Some of these are: LA, P., To, Tr, Ta, Tu, Te, Ty, Wa, WA, We, Wo, Ya, and Yo. Illustrator uses metrics kerning by default so that specific pairs are automatically kerned when you import or type text.
Some fonts include robust kern-pair specifications. However, when a font includes only minimal built-in kerning or none at all, or if you use two different typefaces or sizes in one or more words on a line, you may want to use the optical kerning option. Optical kerning adjusts the spacing between adjacent characters based on their shapes.
You can also use manual kerning, which is ideal for adjusting the space between two letters. Tracking and manual kerning are cumulative, so you can first adjust individual pairs of letters, and then tighten or loosen a block of text without affecting the relative kerning of the letter pairs.
When you click to place the insertion point between two letters, Illustrator displays kerning values in the Character palette. Metrics and optical kerning values (or defined kern pairs) appear in parentheses.
Similarly, if you select a word or a range of text, Illustrator displays the tracking values in the Character palette.
Adjusting kerning and tracking
You can apply kerning, tracking, or both to selected text. Tracking and kerning are both measured in 1/1000 em, a unit of measure that is relative to the current type size. In a 6-point font, 1 em equals 6 points; in a 10-point font, 1 em equals 10 points. Kerning and tracking are strictly proportional to the current type size.
To use a font’s built-in kerning information for selected text:
In the Character palette, select Metrics in the Kerning pop-up menu (or for vertical text). Metrics is the default.
To automatically adjust the spacing between selected characters based on their shapes:
In the Character palette, select Optical in the Kerning pop-up menu.
To adjust kerning manually:
1. Using the Type tool, click to place an insertion point between two characters.
Note: If a range of text is selected, you can’t manually kern the text (you can choose only Metrics, Optical, or 0). Instead, use tracking.
2. In the Character palette, type or select a numeric value in the Kerning menu.
To turn off kerning for selected text:
In the Character palette, type 0 or choose 0 from the Kerning menu.
To adjust tracking:
1. Select a range of characters.
2. In the Character palette, type or select a numeric value for Tracking (or for vertical text).