Friday, May 22, 2009

Kinetic Typography

I'm not an artist. I like to be creative but my artistic capacity is a bit underdeveloped. I realize that, with some practice, I may become somewhat decent but, truth be told, I'm fine with the way I am.

When I studied graphic design in university (for two semesters), typography really interested me. It presented a wonderful chance for me to be visually creative without relying on free hand graphics or even regular graphic manipulation.

I studied how to mix san serif and serif fonts together and all the little things that can make a block of text look good while still being legible. I was quite delighted when a program I made for my girlfriend's tutoring student's solo harp performance gain some minor acclaim. It is not often that people comment about spacing, font size choices, and kerning.

Typography, of course, is the arrangement of text on a page. More often than not, the graphic designer has no control over what text is meant to be on the finished work. However, the designer does have the liberty to arrange the text however he/she likes. I don't have any ads or personal sample available, but the internet has something even better: Kinetic Typography.

While normal typography can be used to make something simple and pristine, or cluttered, or hint at images, etc, kinetic typography takes the whole thing up a notch by representing the action and emotion in the words. In a way, it is trying to compensate for anything that is lost in context, connotation or denotation.

Here you can see the words fly, the disorientating shouting and the meek replies. The creator of this Kinetic Typography sample did really well to convey the pacing and gravity of the speech.

This example is a bit simpler, with the words being arranged in a way that is pleasing and artsy. It is more of an example of different layouts than an attempt at expression. Still, the overall effect is beautiful and enjoyable.

Kinetic Typography have been popping up in commercials all the time in some small way or another. However, it is prominently used here, in the F150 ads which consists of voice over, kinetic type, and some live action/CG shots of the truck.

You can see that it is not overly extravagant, but there is still a fair bit of playing around with the text. These ads succeed on several levels, the liveliness of the words on the screen keeps viewers watching and superliminally passes the advertiser's message to the consumer.

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