Typography In Motion

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In most designs typography is used to present information in a rather static way — after all, it has to be read by users. However, it doesn’t have to be like this. What effects can be achieved if typography is set in motion? What happens if letters are suddenly floating, jumping and dancing around while sentences are actually interacting with the readers?

Where motion is involved, video is necessary. Below we present some excellent examples of typography embedded into movies and videos — be prepared, “dynamic” typography can be breathtaking.

Typography In Motion

Cuarteto de Nos
This music video of the Spanish Uruguayan band Cuarteto de Nos is mostly based upon typography. For our purposes it isn’t important what the song is actually about — the brilliant performance of typography makes a lasting impression. The colors are chosen wisely and carefully. The combination of letters, illustration and text effects is simply incredible. A must-see for typography lovers.

Typography in Motion

Typography in Motion

Typography in Motion

Alex Gopher – The Child
A video created by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet for the French DJ Alex Gopher. A world made only with typography. Cult video for fonts lovers and graphic designers.

Typography in Motion

The Hush Sound – The Lions Roar
So simple, yet so beautiful. Apparently, sometimes you just need to follow your inspiration. The rest isn’t that important.

Typography in Motion

Pulp Fiction in Typography
What Does Mr. Wallace Look Like?

Typography in Motion

Typography in Motion

Typographics
Typography is what language looks like. A brief movie about typography with interacting typographic elements.

Typography in Motion

Typography in Motion

Are You Gonna Be My Girl?

Typography in Motion

Duck and Cover
Typography assignment using audio from an old public service announcement called “Duck and Cover” from the 50s.

Typography in Motion

Typography in Motion

Further Resources

The Last Click

Royksopp – Remind Me
OK, it’s not about pure typography, but this music video is fascinating. As stated here, you can watch it dozens times and still not catch everything. A day in the life of an average working Jill, broken down into its minutest component parts. The unstated joke: mankind has erected immense, resource-devouring systems of almost incomprehensible complexity just so you can sit in your cubicle.

Typography in Motion

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops and loves solving complex problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    It’s shame that some of these are just YouTube videos – I’d love to see higher quality versions, particularly of the ‘typographics’ clip

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  2. 2

    Richard Francis Kay

    November 19, 2007 4:58 pm

    Great post! They look absolutely fabulous :-) Thanks for putting such an effort in this Smashing resources/quality website!

    -1
  3. 3

    Seen the Pulp Fiction one before, really quite interesting.

    Also, as Robin said, it would be good if we could see a better quality version of these, I hate the tiny little videos :)

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  4. 4

    What a perfect begin for this week !

    Thanks a lot smashing yeah.

    Some of this videos are absolutely cultish.

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  5. 5

    The Alex Gopher vid is one of my all-time favs. I’d never seen the Royksopp video before, even though I really like that track, so thanks for posting it.

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  6. 6

    great post, thanks for that! I hope there will be a chapter 2 with opening titles of movies …

    and those youtube-flash-movies suck. I wish quicktime ruled the net :(

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  7. 7

    Alex Gopher… I love his music style… and that clip is perfect!…
    Jet… I like their song and that video rocks too…
    Pulp Fiction… Does he look like a bitch?… BAM, BAM, hrhr…

    Thanks for that great stuff!… really smashing…

    hAVE pHUN
    ~~~d(o.o)b~~~

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  8. 8

    Maybe Prince’s 1987 video clip for Sign ‘O’ The Times was maybe the first commercial use of mainly typography in video clips:

    Prince’s video on Dailymotion

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  9. 9
  10. 10

    really smashing work ;-) seriously, keep it up!

    -1
  11. 11

    would love to see the font download references from those movies mentioned

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  12. 12

    Hi there!, CUARTETO DE NOS is not a SPANISH band, is a BAND from URUGUAY (south america!),

    I’am from Uruguay too!, that’s why i know where is the band from!…

    CheerZ! (sorry for my english)

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  13. 13

    This is an excellent article. Loved this post…So many talented pieces in this.

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  14. 14

    Royksopp is awesome. This has been one of the better Inspiration monday posts. Keep it up Smashing!

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  15. 15

    This is fucking incredible post! The best Monday Inspiration so far!

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  16. 16
  17. 17

    @Stephane:
    Nice track and a cool clip 2… ;-)

    hAVE pHUN
    ~~~d(o.o)b~~~

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  18. 18

    Hi Robin,

    Yeah, the Youtube version is really compressed and hard to see. You can view a higher quality version of Typographics at:

    http://wearenormal.ca/

    cheers :D

    Ryan

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  19. 19

    Yeaaaaah !!!
    AweSomEEEEE MONDAY

    Thanks

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  20. 20

    Here’s another cool typography in motion clip… It’s more about the animation than the typography itself, but it’s worth a peek anyway…

    It’s the first 30 seconds of Blackalicious’s “Chemical Calisthenics”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozcFzxHnPhE

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  21. 21

    Love the Pulp Fiction one. Really interesting.

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  22. 22
  23. 23

    You have to include this one

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  24. 24

    Hey guys check out this one out too…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HSmnIMvgyE

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  25. 25

    Nice article as always. I love typography, particularly in movie credits.

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  26. 26

    Smashing post! This was very inspiring for me, thanks a lot Smashing Magazine. :)

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  27. 27

    Hey, thanks for posting our video! It’s an honor to be among so many other great type-based motion videos. Check out our high-rez version on Vimeo!

    http://www.vimeo.com/liqueoum

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  28. 28

    the hush sound one is made by my friend mig reyes, he.s a student at the illinois institute of art … so you should give credit to mig reyes, not the hush sound …

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  29. 29

    I did it in collaboration with Matt Born, he never gets enough credit haha. Thanks!

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  30. 30

    @cemiotica (or anyone informed)

    Do you know who made the Cuarteto de Nos video ?
    (translation: sabés de quien es el video del Cuarteto de Nos?)

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  31. 31

    @Carola
    Productora: Milagrito Films
    Director: Charly Gutierrez
    :)

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  32. 32

    Hi!,very good selection , i am uruguayan , and is good to see a high quality work like the Cuarteto videoclip listed here.
    By the way, amazing blog, i have this feed on favorites. Keep Smashing!

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  33. 33

    simply call it motion-design

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  34. 34

    If you’re going to talk about typography in motion you gotta talk about the masters – mk12. http://www.mk12.com/
    Just check out their reel.

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  35. 35

    A little disappointed when I opened — I’ve seen all these videos before, by simply typing “typography” into YouTube.

    I can’t believe you guys didn’t include this video, which pioneered most of the aforementioned clips and their styles —

    http://www.mk12.com/video-popup.html?video=/v5_quicktime/2003/brazil.mov&title=BRAZIL%20INSPIRED%3A%20MACHO%20BOX&date=&info=2003&type=inhouse

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  36. 36

    Can’t believe no one included this one. http://brian.shaler.name/pages/blog/hey-ya-typography-animation/
    Out cast’s hey ya covered by Obadiah Parker (Acoustic) all typography by Brian Shaler.

    -Dom

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  37. 37

    we publish this post about 5 months ago. see Motion Typographics on Digilicious.cl

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  38. 38

    Mhhh, great but Colurzblog published some movie based typographie videos a few days earlier. Also great!

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  39. 39
  40. 40

    This is all a rip of Kyle Cooper’s work.

    If you don’t know about Kyle Cooper, you probably need to – he’s the Saul Bass of contemporary motion graphics. If you don’t know who Saul Bass is…

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  41. 41

    What kind of programs are used for this videos. And are there some tutorials on the web so I can start experimenting with it.
    Love the videos!!

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  42. 42

    Cool stuff… very inspiring!.
    I remembered an ad for one of the earliest MAC Ads which had a really cool TYPOGRAPHY animation. It was so smooth and cool like MAC ads are, though I never got hold of that ad or how that was made.

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  43. 43

    Let the Drummer Kick

    is also another fun typography piece.

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  44. 44

    pulp fiction in typography is smashing!

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  45. 45

    Typography in motion…everything is always that much more impressive with a little animation.

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  46. 46

    Where can I find tutorials to do these motion effect in Flash our After Effects?

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  47. 47

    UR sufflies a lot of tips to artist
    thankssssssssssssssss

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  48. 48

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  49. 49

    Man, thats nice examples. My favorite is “long brown hair”

    Greets X7007.COM

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  50. 50

    I created one to
    inspired by the song and the other motion graphic “jet – are you gonna be my girl”

    this is my version

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  51. 51

    I just happened to walk into the living room while my parents were watching A Boy Named Charlie Brown on ABC Family and was quite astounded. Type-driven motion graphics from 1969!

    I Before E Except After C

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  52. 52

    Rickard Bengtsson

    May 16, 2009 11:55 am

    Here’s a typography music video I made

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7C5H8HPQjk

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  53. 53

    ok ok Cuarteto de Nos is really good. but look at this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u_rbjZhtCI&feature=channel_page : the shiznit!

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  54. 54

    soo fresh!

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  55. 55

    Just an FYI that almost all of the links on YouTube are gone thanks to WMG removing them. you might want to track down some new ones, these were great.

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  56. 56

    very nice collection specially the 3rd one. I personally like some more here

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  57. 57

    This is great!
    I am currently working on a school project and this is my topic (motion typography).
    does anyone know a motion designer who specializes on typography, who I could interview?

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  58. 58

    Great collaction, you should take a look at Typographic Animation With Jquery at this blog http://motyar.blogspot.com/2010/07/typography-animation-using-jquery.html

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