In Focus: Kinetic Typography
by J. Casimiro
graphic by A. Ballo
Signs, titles, logos, and buttons exist at every turn in our lives. Language is the universally understood vessel of communication, and typography is the practice of stylizing of our basic alphabet to further the express the subject of the text.
For example, if you use Helvetica, you’re probably communicating an intelligent, coherent thought with class. But if you’re using Comic Sans, you’re probably 12 years old and annotating an Instagram post.
For me, the appeal of good typography is that the graphic designer took the familiar shapes of our alphabet, and arranged, accessorized, stretched and scaled them into something unique. When you make the content of that text something worth reading, animated, and filled with music, you get kinetic typography.
Below, I’ve chosen some mind-bogglingly impressive examples of kinetic typography:
- Husbands - “Dream”
When watching this music video for the band Husbands, it’s easy to assume the typography was digitally produced, BUT IT WASN’T! The band commissioned a group named Cauboyz to create this life-size, physical panel of words with light boxes and illuminate them along with the song to form the lyrics. The ingenuity of the music video has brought me back again and again to marvel, so much so that the song has grew on me enough to track it down—it isn’t yet on iTunes or Spotify. Waahh.
- “Make it Better”
This film’s modest start quickly erupts into true kinetic typography. The seamless, fluid motion and alteration of the words that lasts for only 71 seconds is enough to drop your jaw or, in my case, to cheer with excitement. Yet you truly need to see it to believe it.
- “Pale Blue Dot”
Pale Blue Dot is the visual representation of a narration by the astronomer Carl Sagan, meaning The grainy-film look, clever aesthetics, and Carl Sagan’s voluptuous voice speaking his thought-provoking message about our small planet creates an effect that can only leave you saying, “so meta.”
- “The Art of Making, The Carpenter”
This film is part of a series that documents the crafts of modern-day artisans. This particular film highlights the work of a carpenter—the typography and motion graphics being tracked with his work. I included this piece as it shows typography working with actual footage in unison, instead of its own entity.