Almer S. Tigelaar

A Little Bit of Everything

Kinetic Typography

It’s weekend, so time for something light. I came across a cool form of expression known as kinetic typography. This is often used in commercials. The concept is to animate text in sync with music, dialogue, or an idea being presented.

Of course, this is not limited to commercials. Movie enthusiast have used this technique as well to depict some scenes from their favourite movies. A few examples that distinguish themselves by properly capturing the atmosphere of the scene they portray:

From Pulp Fiction (1994)
Warning: this contains language which may be considered offensive by some. Watch at your own discretion.

The contrast between the characters is very well expressed here by the font used. The framing and timing of the animation also leaves no doubt about who’s the most dominant in the scene. Of course: this example is helped a lot by excellent acting in the source material from Samuel L. Jackson.

From Requiem for a Dream (2000)

This is an intensely loaded dialogue which is emphasised by the rapid somewhat jittery motions of the text. What sets this apart is the appropriately chosen animation style for letting words appear and disappear, for example: when the female character says “poof”.

Kinetic typography is relatively easy to do compared with, say 3D animation or live action filming. This relatively low barrier to entry also, admittedly, leads to a lot of poor quality stuff. Thus, it’s quite interesting to see what sets apart the better ones, as in the examples above, from the rest. As with anything it is largely a matter of having a good sense for what is being expressed in the source material, artistic skills, and a big dose of creativity.

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