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 Nos1
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 Motion2

Typography in Motion3

Typography in Motion4

Alex Gopher – The Child5
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 Motion6

The Hush Sound – The Lions Roar7
So simple, yet so beautiful. Apparently, sometimes you just need to follow your inspiration. The rest isn’t that important.

Typography in Motion8

Pulp Fiction in Typography9
What Does Mr. Wallace Look Like?

Typography in Motion10

Typography in Motion11

Typographics12
Typography is what language looks like. A brief movie about typography with interacting typographic elements.

Typography in Motion13

Typography in Motion14

Are You Gonna Be My Girl?15

Typography in Motion16

Duck and Cover17
Typography assignment using audio from an old public service announcement called “Duck and Cover” from the 50s.

Typography in Motion18

Typography in Motion19

Further Resources

The Last Click

Royksopp – Remind Me23
OK, it’s not about pure typography, but this music video is fascinating. As stated here24, 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 Motion25

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.monoscope.com/2007/09/cuarteto_de_nos_typographic_mu.html
  2. 2 http://www.monoscope.com/2007/09/cuarteto_de_nos_typographic_mu.html
  3. 3 http://www.monoscope.com/2007/09/cuarteto_de_nos_typographic_mu.html
  4. 4 http://www.monoscope.com/2007/09/cuarteto_de_nos_typographic_mu.html
  5. 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGWkdNWFZiI
  6. 6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGWkdNWFZiI
  7. 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXxouXt5dz4
  8. 8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXxouXt5dz4
  9. 9 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syf8olcM0z4
  10. 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syf8olcM0z4
  11. 11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syf8olcM0z4
  12. 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o1U4o1bc2k
  13. 13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o1U4o1bc2k
  14. 14 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o1U4o1bc2k
  15. 15 http://youtube.com/watch?v=8542y8KF5qI
  16. 16 http://youtube.com/watch?v=8542y8KF5qI
  17. 17 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVvEsEbl5I
  18. 18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVvEsEbl5I
  19. 19 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVvEsEbl5I
  20. 20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbwXnFbCTDA
  21. 21 http://yuxt.com/artist/Typography_in_Music_Videos
  22. 22 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAuQmJzt_q0
  23. 23 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBvaHZIrt0o
  24. 24 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-v8WHF4XEI
  25. 25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBvaHZIrt0o

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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, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  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

  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!

  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 :)

  4. 4

    What a perfect begin for this week !

    Thanks a lot smashing yeah.

    Some of this videos are absolutely cultish.

  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.

  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 :(

  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~~~

  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

  9. 9
  10. 10

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

  11. 11

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

  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)

  13. 13

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

  14. 14

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

  15. 15

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

  16. 16
  17. 17

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

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

  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

  19. 19

    Yeaaaaah !!!
    AweSomEEEEE MONDAY

    Thanks

  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

  21. 21

    Love the Pulp Fiction one. Really interesting.

  22. 22
  23. 23

    You have to include this one

  24. 24

    Hey guys check out this one out too…

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

  25. 25

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

  26. 26

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

  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

  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 …

  29. 29

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

  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?)

  31. 31

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

  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!

  33. 33

    simply call it motion-design

  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.

  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

  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

  37. 37

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

  38. 38

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

  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…

  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!!

  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.

  43. 43

    Let the Drummer Kick

    is also another fun typography piece.

  44. 44

    pulp fiction in typography is smashing!

  45. 45

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

  46. 46

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

  47. 47

    UR sufflies a lot of tips to artist
    thankssssssssssssssss

  48. 48

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  49. 49

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

    Greets X7007.COM

  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

  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

  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

  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!

  54. 54

    soo fresh!

  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.

  56. 56

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

  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?

  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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