I had a "graphics" tutor on my Foundation course who first introuced me to kerning. 21 years ago. He was called Peter and he used to obsess about how they kerned the road signs. The logistics! Who did it? Did the council workers do it! Did a designer do each one? Such questions!
This is a long time ago, Macs were around but certainly not common place in every design studio.
Then the other day, at the Kenneth Grange exhibition I think I found the answer.