Recently, I was invited to teach at the Kansas City After Effects Boot Camp about Kinetic Typography. This is the first of (hopefully) several posts about what I’ve learned & some personal opinions about the world of kinetic type. The interesting thing about kinetic type is that it blends two worlds: Design & Motion. It’s a fun journey learning how they compliment each other. Let’s dive in.

Static VS Kinetic Type

Static typography is the art and technique of arranging type, type design, and modifying type glyphs. It is what we see in print & the web.

Kinetic typography is the technical name for “moving text,” which is an animation technique mixing motion and text. It is a combination of consistent design, creative animation, and relevant imagery to go along with the text.

Why It Works

Video is about communicating & storytelling. Text is already one of the most common forms of communicating. For hundreds of years, people used speech, text, & pictures to communicate; and that’s about it. It makes sense to continue using an old form, only in a new way. Kinetic type gives viewers, as Lauren M. Rabaino wrote, “a new wealth of knowledge that is easily digestible and thus easily retainable.”

But how long will it last? Design trends come & go. After Napoleon Dynamite was released, it seemed like every design for young adults was rough & hand drawn – just like the N.D. artwork. However, it didn’t last. A year or two later, it was something else.

Will kinetic typography be the trend of the early 2000’s or continue in popularity for many more years? No one ones for sure, but I think it has a good chance at sticking around due to the reasons stated above. However, it will only last if used in the right ways… in ways that continue to carry a story, present information in a compelling way, & thus enhance the viewing experience.

Do you think it is just a trend? Why do you think it works or doesn’t work in storytelling?

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