Kinetic typography: more examples
November 28, 2008
As a follow-up to yesterday's post on kinetic typography, I would like to point you to several more examples. First, a clarification: my purpose in bringing up the topic of kinetic typography is not to suggest that you too should incorporate text elements in your live presentations in the same way that you see featured in the examples below and in the previous The Girl Effect example. Using apps like PowerPoint or Keynote alone would make such a task impossible anyway (though many tasteful, useful effects are possible with slideware alone, and not only by using animation effects). My real aim in highlighting kinetic typography here is simply to remind you (and myself) again that type matters and that the treatment of type requires careful thought. Though you would not likely use kinetic type to the degree used in these examples in a live talk, watching the treatment of type in these examples may give you some ideas for working with type on screen that evokes emotion or directs the eye in a certain direction, or that sets a mood, etc. The only real goal is to get us thinking about presenting differently. In the past — such as in this post on Helvetica — I have touched on the issue of typography. Before looking at more examples of kinetic typography in presentation, take a look at this presentation on typography (which uses kinetic type).
What is kinetic type?
Some smart designers at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University have been exploring kinetic type for over ten years (more info here). In a paper called The Kinetic Typography Engine: An Extensible System for Animating Expressive Text (by Johnny C. Lee, Jodi Forlizzi, and Scott E. Hudson), the authors have this to say about kinetic typography:
Kinetic typography – "text that moves or otherwise changes over time" — is a rather new field (though typography is certainly not new) and evidence as to which techniques work best and in what situations is something that is still being explored. It is believed that the first use of kinetic type on a screen was in the Hitchcock film North by Northwest; Saul Bass designed the opening credit sequence. Watch the opening below. The credits do not just convey information but also express emotion and set the mood for the film.
Opening title sequence from North by Northwest
Opening title sequence from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. The playful type treatment below set the perfect mood for a very funny film. (1963, a few years after North by Northwest.)
Kinetic typography is used extensively in commercial advertising, but its applications do not need to be limited to presentations that sell soap and automobiles (as The Girl Effect demonstrated). Here are some more examples to get you thinking. (Be warned: many contain adult language.)
The Devil's Advocate
Kinetic type set to an Al Pacino rant (Adult language).
This one below is a bit different. Not every word is represented. The type is designed to show emphasis or match intonation, etc.
Pulp Fiction scene: "Marcellus Wallace"
I pointed to this one well over a year ago, but I still think it is effective. Notice how the type is so large that it often bleeds off the edge; I like this effect. Watch it below. You may be interested in how differently the dialog hits you when you watch the actual film clip from the movie. (Adult language.)
Duck and Cover (old public service announcement from the '50s)
Very nice indeed. Watch it.
Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?"
I love this one. The only little mistake (which the designer recognizes) is the use of the "dumb" apostrophes a few times (the humanity!). But I love this routine (classic) and the type treatment.
If you vote, Starbucks buys your coffee
Wow, this one is quite similar to The Girl Effect. Watch it.
Another Starbucks message (RED)
Simple and short. Watch it.
Controversial Motrin moms commercial
The type is interesting, but for a lot of people that was not the issue. Watch it.
Music video:Yo No Se Que Hacer Conmigo
Looks pretty fantástico to me. Watch it.
Update: Alternative Rugby Commentary
Quite a few people suggested I checkout Alternative Rugby Commentary for interesting examples of combining text and other visual elements to quick-pitch narratives. Here's one below: The Ten Commandments. Brilliant. (Adult language; it's Rugby after all).
H/T: 15 stunning motion typography videos