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The Smashing Book #5

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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 Link

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 Roar1
So simple, yet so beautiful. Apparently, sometimes you just need to follow your inspiration. The rest isn’t that important.

Typography in Motion2

Pulp Fiction in Typography3
What Does Mr. Wallace Look Like?

Typography in Motion4
Typography in Motion5

Typographics6
Typography is what language looks like. A brief movie about typography with interacting typographic elements.

Typography in Motion7
Typography in Motion8

Are You Gonna Be My Girl?9

Typography in Motion10

Duck and Cover11
Typography assignment using audio from an old public service announcement called “Duck and Cover” from the 50s.

Typography in Motion12
Typography in Motion13

Further Resources Link

The Last Click Link

Royksopp – Remind Me17
OK, it’s not about pure typography, but this music video is fascinating. As stated here18, 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 Motion19

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXxouXt5dz4
  2. 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXxouXt5dz4
  3. 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syf8olcM0z4
  4. 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syf8olcM0z4
  5. 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syf8olcM0z4
  6. 6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o1U4o1bc2k
  7. 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o1U4o1bc2k
  8. 8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o1U4o1bc2k
  9. 9 http://youtube.com/watch?v=8542y8KF5qI
  10. 10 http://youtube.com/watch?v=8542y8KF5qI
  11. 11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVvEsEbl5I
  12. 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVvEsEbl5I
  13. 13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVvEsEbl5I
  14. 14 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbwXnFbCTDA
  15. 15 http://yuxt.com/artist/Typography_in_Music_Videos
  16. 16 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAuQmJzt_q0
  17. 17 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBvaHZIrt0o
  18. 18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-v8WHF4XEI
  19. 19 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 UX, front-end and 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

    0
  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.

    0
  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.

    0
  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 :(

    0
  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~~~

    0
  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

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

    -1
  10. 10

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

    0
  11. 11

    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)

    0
  12. 12

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

    0
  13. 13

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

    0
  14. 14

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

    0
  15. 15
  16. 16

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

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

    0
  17. 17

    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

    0
  18. 18

    Yeaaaaah !!!
    AweSomEEEEE MONDAY

    Thanks

    0
  19. 19

    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

    0
  20. 20

    Love the Pulp Fiction one. Really interesting.

    0
  21. 21
  22. 22

    You have to include this one

    0
  23. 23

    Hey guys check out this one out too…

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

    0
  24. 24

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

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  25. 25

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

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  26. 26

    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

    0
  27. 27

    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 …

    0
  28. 28

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

    0
  29. 29

    @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?)

    0
  30. 30

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

    0

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