KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY WHY DO WE NEED THE WORDS TO DANCE?
Bertrand Mougel Graphic Design Dissertation Bachelor of Arts Honours 2020-21 Glasgow Clyde College Tutor: Elaine Marney
Kinetic typography: Why we need the words to dance? An investigation into the elements of success for kinetic typography in branding.
0.0 Table of Contents 3 1.0 Abstract 5 2.0 Introduction 6 3.0 Literature Review 7 3.1 Perception of movement 7 3.1.1 Gestalt Principles 7 3.1.2. The Retina 8 3.1.3. Cognitive science and visual movement 10 3.2 Motion emotion 13 3.3 On semantics and legibility 17 3.3.1 Semantics 17 3.3.2 Title sequence and branding 20 3.3.3 The limits of kinetic typography 20 4.0 Methodology 25 4.1 Results 25 4.1.1 Question 1: What are the benefits of motion of type in branding? 26 4.1.2 Question 2: How do you add meaning to a typographic design with motion? 26 4.1.3 Question 3: Do you think kinetic typography could be seen as a choreography? 28 4.1.4 Question 4: Do you design kinetic typography to adapt to sound/music design of a brand? 30 5.0 Discussion 32 6.0 Conclusion 34 APPENDICES 7.0 List of figures 36 8.0 Bibliography 38 9.0 Appendices 40 9.1 Glossary of typographic kineticism 40 9.2 Interviews and email replies from designers 42 9.2.1 Email response from design studio JAMHOT, Graeme McGowan, 4 January 2021 43 9.2.2 Instagram reply from Natasha Jen, Pentagram London, 9 January 2021 43 9.2.3 Transcript from interview with Zipeng Zhu, DAZZLE, 15 January 2021, 5PM London Time 43 9.2.4 Transcript from interview with Liza Enebeis, Studio Dumbar, Rotterdam. 46 9.2.5 Email response from Jon L., Advantage London, advantagelondon.com, 12 January 2021 48 9.2.6 Email response from Holly Farndell, Accounts Manager at OMSE, omse.co, 19 January 2021 48 9.2.7 Email response from Daniel Kennington, Jones Knowles Ritchie, 18 January 2021 49 9.2.8 Email response from Sebastien Camden, Camden. Work, 11 January 2021 49 9.2.9 Transcript from interview with Borja Holke, Madrid, 2 February 2021 50 9.2.10 Transcript from interview with Steven Scott, TwoFifths Design Ltd., 13 January 2021 52 9.2.11 Transcript from discussion with João Aranda Brandão, PhD. Graphic Designer, 7 December 2020 54
The aim of this study was to understand the power of kinetic typography which is increasingly used in branding, online visual identities, logos and posters. In depth research was carried out on the psychology of motion in the Gestalt theories, the physiology of the retina and the cognitive science. This research provided an understanding of how kinetic typography affects the viewer, and how the perception of motion is hard-wired to the brain. The relation between choreography and kinetic typography was investigated as they have similarities like conveying emotion or storytelling. Furthermore, the review of studies on semantics shows how kinetic typography can add meaning. Kineticism can be used as a language similar to the system of figures of speech. Finally, the study looked at how motion of typography can affect the legibility of letterforms. This research is integrated with interviews from 10 graphic designers regarding their use of kinetic typography in branding. Complementary to the literature review, designer gave their insight about: the benefits of kinetic typography, how they added meaning with it, if they designed motion of type like choreography, and how it related to sound. The interviewees confirmed the findings of the literature review, while introducing to a different aspect of motion: Not only the kineticism of letterforms can be the most attractive visual, and meaningful form of typography, but designers are also animating typography to create a unique sensorial experience. The kinetic typography can fluctuate and transform between letterform and picture, using both visual signs to communicate with the viewer. The more it requires the viewer to understand what is happening, the more memorable the experience is. The relation between kinetic typography choreography was confirmed with the rhythmic, the iconic moments, and communication of emotion. However, this does imply that the letters always relate to human bodies in motion. The impact of sound design along with kinetic typography is considered important but not essential as the kinetic typography must be efficient on its own.
In this dissertation we will first investigate the psychological effect of movement on the viewer. The graphic design principles defined in the Gestalt Theory, as well as research in neuroscience help us understand the dramatic importance of movement to draw attention and communicate information. In the second part we will consider the similarity between kinetic typography and choreography in its ability in conveying emotion to the viewer. The third part will investigate the semantics of kinetic typography. We will also investigate how legibility is affected and examine examples of its use in branding or title sequences.
PERCEPTION OF MOVEMENT
3.1.1—Gestalt principles Kinetic typography uses movement to animate letterform design. To first understand the primary effect that movement of typography has on the viewer, we must investigate the research of Gestalt. The theories are then completed by more recent research on eye physiology and neuroscience. Nathan Knobler observed that the viewer’s need to understand and find meaning in the world described by psychologists, was directly linked to the need to involve and stimulate the viewer in design. When solving a typographic problem for instance, the designer creates complex interactive spatial environments that connect the viewing experience and the typographic forms with the written language and the message. (Knobler, 1967) How does a viewer experience those visual environments and which design psychological principles can a designer apply to kinetic typography? In the 1920s, a group of psychologists named Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt Koffka in Germany founded Gestalt psychology. The word Gestalt is the common German noun for shape or form. It has been applied to a body of scientific experiments in sensory perception. The Gestalt principles are essential for graphic designers as they provide an understanding of how we perceive visual objects, and their arrangements. More specifically, the Gestalt principles of movement, and dynamics (Arnheim, 1974), provide the founding elements of motion perception. These principles are applied to abstract objects as well as letterform.(Figure 1, page 9) The famous Gestalt slogan was “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Therefore, a mosaic is seen as a ‘bundle’. Their belief was that a visual sensation was not made of small sensations added together, but it was the whole sensation that was perceived. This whole sensation is not only made of visual elements but also made of the subject’s experience and cultural background. “The
PERCEPTION OF MOVEMENT⬜7
mosaic or ‘bundle’ hypothesis. Every ‘complex’ consists of a sum of elementary contents or pieces (e.g. Sensations). Thus, to sensations ‘residues’ are added of earlier perceptions, feelings, attention, comprehension and will. Memory also attaches itself to the sum of the contents (Wertheimer, 1938, p12). Barbara Brownie believes that this hypothesis is generally relevant in all lettering and typography. Letterforms can be treated as a collection of parts (Figure 2, page 9). For instance, letters are made of strokes in handwriting. Type is made of various regular components like counter, ascender, and serif. Letterform can also be perceived as a more complex agglomeration. Words are collections of letters (Brownie, 2015). “Kinetic motion applied to the letters would have a particular significance when perceived as contributing to a whole.”(Brownie, 2015). This Gestalt principle drafts the idea that the motion of a group of letters that form a word can have a specific meaning. Gestalt psychologists affirm that organisms perceive entire patterns or configurations, not solely individual components. (Britannica, 2008, p. 756) In other words, a whole cannot be complete by an accumulation of isolated parts. Natural phenomena are not described appropriately if they are analysed piece by piece. In the Gestalt theory, there are six laws of perceptual organisation associated with design: similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, figure/ground, and symmetry and order. Those principles can be exploited in motion design, but do not directly concern movement. For instance, a series of flashing lights on neon signs or strands of lights often appear to be moving. According to the theory, the impression of movement occurs because the viewer fills the missing information between each flash. This is explained by the law of closure. In motion this phenomenon is also called Phi. Max Wertheimer first described the Phi phenomenon which is the form of apparent movement. This apparent motion is observed if two nearby optical stimuli are presented in alternation with a relatively high frequency.(Figure 3, page 10)
8⬜ 3.1.1—GESTALT PRINCIPLES
A later addition to the Gestalt principle is the notion of common fate. This principle states that the viewer will group together objects that are pointing towards, or are moving in, the same direction. In nature, this connects to how we see groups of elements moving in a similar direction. (Soegaard, 2020) Examples of this can be found in bird murmuration or schools of fish. They are made of many single individual elements moving seemingly as one. Our brains automatically group them together and treat them as a single stimulus. Interestingly, the elements do not necessarily need to be moving. Drawing arrowheads on lines or circles can trigger an interpretation of shared common fate. To benefit from this principle, elements do not actually have to be moving, but they do have to give the impression of motion. Whether the common fate is applied to form or letterforms, the brain would associate them together in a kinetic typography piece.
3.1.2—The retina Motion is first detected by the eyes. It is essential to understand how the eye transmits this visual message to the brain to understand the effect of kinetic typography on the viewer. The retina is at the back of the eye. It contains the cells that respond to light. These specialised cells are called photoreceptors. There are two kinds of photoreceptors in the retina: the rods and the cones. The rods are the most sensitive to light, shape, and movement changes but do not discern colour. The cone cells are not as sensitive to light, but they are most sensitive to colour. There are 96.6 photoreceptors per retina: 4.6 million are cone cells and 92 million are rod cells. (Curcio CA, 1990). This shows already how many movement receptors there are in the retina compared to colour. The central region of the retina is called fovea (Figure 4, page 10). The fovea is the area that provides the clearest vision. It is only composed of cone cells. It is where the focus of the attention is most important. It also means that this area is less stimulated by
proximity similarity closure ⬛1
⬛1 Summary of some of the Gestalt Principles of Form Perception used in kinetic typography.
⬛2 Modular letter ‘A’, the Gestalt principles of similarity and proximity suggest that the separate shapes are associated. The principle of closure proposes that the viewer would ignore the gaps between the shapes and see the group as a letter. (Brownie, 2013)
PERCEPTION OF MOVEMENT⬜9
the surrounding. Meanwhile the rest of the retina is made of rod cells that are more reactive to light and difference of contrast, and movement. It is this surrounding area that plays an important role in drawing the attention to something that the eye is not looking at. It is our most sensitive motion detection as well as our peripheral vision (Williamson, 1983.) The latest research described by Dragoi and Tsuchiani show that the same differentiation appears in the retinal ganglion. Retinal ganglion are neurons connected to the retina. The type of ganglion that are sensitive to motion have a more powerful response than the other cells detecting colour or static stimuli. Again, the detection of movement has priority over other elements of the visual field. (Dragoi, 2020) This understanding of what information is communicated first from the retinal receptors to the neurons might explain the importance of movement in a visual design and kinetic typography. More specifically in terms of hierarchy, the movement of a word amongst a page of text would have a much bigger impact than any other typographic parameters like size or colour. In an interview led by the author with design academician João Brandão, he confirmed that his research showed that: “Movement is more powerful, versatile, captures more attention than colour or size”. (Brandão, 2020)
⬛3 Demonstration of the Phi phenomenon, narrow sense for an apparent motion that is observed if nearby optical stimuli are presented in alternation with a relatively high frequency.
⬛4 The retina, showing the morphology and structure of the fovea. It displays the location of the ganglions connected to the rods and cones before transmitting the information to the nervous tissue and the brain.
A research called The neurology of kinetic art by neuroscientists Zeki and Lamb was able to observe which parts of the brain are activated by the visual perception of kinetic motion. They observed the visual cortex of the viewer looking at a static painting showing illusory movement or a moving mobile artwork. From futurism to abstract kinetic sculpture, the brain activity detections—depending on the stimulus—are various and not fully understood yet. The specific part of the brain specialised in motion perception is called the dorsal stream. This part of the brain
would show activity while watching motion happening but illusory motion on a static picture was also triggering activity in this part of the brain. (Figure 5, page 12) If static kinetic art had the potential to stimulate our motion perception, the static kinetic typography from the Futurist movement may have been a definite first step to create a connection between type and motion in the viewer’s brain(Lamb, 1994). Motion is subconsciously processed by the brain and allows moving patterns to pop out. In an article on visual attention and motion design, product designer Mark Hazlewood describes the cognitive aspect of our visual perception. The brain plays an important part in the perception. An example of it is a temporal illusion called ‘chronostasis’. It occurs in the illusion known as the stopped-clock illusion. The second hand of an analogue clock appears to stand still for longer than normal when looking at it for the first time. (Stafford, 2012) This is due to the brain’s constant attempt to build a smooth perception of the world by our senses. When an interruption of consciousness occurs, like suddenly looking at the movement of the clock, the brain creates an illusion of perception before the perception is received. “Long before you're aware of what you're looking at, your brain has already made lots of decisions about what’s important.” (Hazlewood, 2018) While our eyes are open, they take in an important amount of information. The brain can process and filter the information before we are aware of what we are looking at. Conscious attention on any object in a scene is only possible once that object has made it through this process. Moving things are treated in a particular way during this process. For instance, when the focus of the eye is on something, the periphery is not as important, and the brain filters it. However, objects or events can be flagged by our brain as important to pay attention. It is a phenomenon called attentional capture. It is triggered by orientation, size, colour hue and intensity, and motion. (Hazlewood, 2018) Sensing the movements of the world and the objects within it is a fundamental function for
our visual system. We can sense the motion of an object as we follow it with our eyes. (Robert J. Snowden, 2004) “The brain […] is designed to solve problems related to surviving in an unstable outdoor environment and to do so in nearly constant motion (to keep you alive long enough to pass your genes on). We were not the strongest on the planet, but we developed the strongest brains, the key to our survival,” (Medina, 2009) In other words, when something moves, we are instinctively noticing it and perceiving it as a potential threat, therefore we pay attention to it. Professor Alexander Holcombe describes it more specifically, “motion towards us suggests a threat while motion away from us may or may not spell trouble”. If something changes direction, its intentions may also change. Therefore, we notice it. Speed and acceleration have a similar impact on our perception. In his article, ‘understanding the Freeze Response’, Hanan Parvez connects our perception of motion to our biological roots. When we notice something that is moving, we pause and watch it. This is called the freeze response. “One of the survival strategies that humans and many other mammals developed was to freeze in the face of danger. Any movement could possibly attract the attention of a predator, which would invariably reduce their chances of survival.” When the environment moves, we stand still and watch until the brain can determine what has changed. This again gives an understanding of how motion of signage, logos, or interface catches our attention more than static design. Motion induces a sense of urgency. It is not about fleeing from a predator, but about paying attention to a brand, name, expressive animation, signage and so on. This explains the importance of kinetic typography in branding, title sequences and visual identity.
PERCEPTION OF MOVEMENT⬜11
⬛5a The book cover of the futurist pamphlet ZANG TUMB TUMB by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti showing a static display of kinetic typography.
⬛5b Exerpt from the futurist pamphlet ZANG TUMB TUMB by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti showing a dancer made out of typographic characters.
12⬜ 3.1.3—COGNITIVE SCIENCE
The word emotion is derived from the Latin word: “emovere” meaning to move, move out or move through. There is a strong connection between emotion and movement in the etymology of the word. Designer and professor Brandão approached the practice of motion design in typography relating it with choreography. He stated that movement was especially effective in the manipulation of message and composition. The practice of ballet shows how a dancer can “communicate entire messages, stories and feeling” with movement (Brandão, 2015). The motion design applied to type could be designed similarly as to how a choreographer creates a dance sequence. According to the ENCYCLOPaEDIA OF HUMAN EMOTIONS, the motion in dance communicates emotion in the viewer. The intention of the motion is determined by the choreographer, or dance designer, while it can also be perceived differently by the viewers. Different cultures and context would lead to interpreting a motion in a different emotion. “Ideas are communicated through both verbal language and dance, which is language-like with many “languages” and “dialects. […] Specific movements and how they are performed (e.g., Slow or fast, narrow or wide, high or low, stylised or un-stylised) may communicate emotion.” (Brandão, 2015) The vocabulary of emotion and expression of movement in dance could apply to the movement of kinetic type. The human body would be replaced by the body of letterforms. The analogy between the human body and letterform is already a recurring theme in art and design history. Long before the existence of computer screen, designers and artists have tried to put human bodies into letterforms. They created a connection between the human body and “the flat forms of disembodied communication” (Goetz, 2020). The typography designer Frederic W. Goudy, in his book ‘The Alphabet’, showed how a lineage of Renaissance scholars strived to define an optimal letterform based on the “proportions of the human form combined with geometric figures”. (Goudy,
MOTION EMOTION ⬜13
1918) Paciolus, Leonardo de Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, and Geoffroy Tory included. This was not only an occidental fad, as in 1443, Korea’s King Sejong the Great commissioned a writing system that connected body and written language. Body parts like faces and hands are already used to anthropomorphise a letter. Today we can find many designers approach to anthropomorphise letters (to make them look like human bodies). Some designs show “single bodies contorted to form letters, or groups of bodies joined to form letters, and letters formed in bodily space.” (Goetz, 2020) In kinetic typography, this association of human body and type appears to be very useful in branding. The motion of a logotype must create a meaningful connection between company and consumer. Woolman describes the “human characteristics” that can communicate the company’s information. The logotype becomes an actor and a performer. The symbol or icons used as a logo for a company represent individuals, or organisations that were inanimate objects are now moving avatars. Those moving graphics can reflect characteristics in human expression via movement. “They must act, perform and take on dynamic qualities.” (Woolman, 2005, p. 6) In his project Dancing Alphabet, (Figure 6, page 15) Toshifumi Kawahara instils letterforms with the human ability to dance. In homage to Fred Astaire, he uses 3D animation software to create an F and an A that mimic the performance Dancing in the Dark by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in the movie The Band Wagon. Kawahara produced another piece of work demonstrating how letterforms in a 3D space have “a back side, which, like human backsides, are less legible than their front.” (King, 2008) Peter Bil’ak introduced DanceWriter(Figure 7, page 15), a program that allows users to type a phrase and see it performed on-screen by a member of the ‘Nederland’s Dans Theatre’. He believes that dance is comparable to typography in a way as they both rely on rhythm and harmony. (Mark Thomson, 2010) Dancers can manipulate space with their body. (Figure 8, page 16) They are
14⬜ 3.2—MOTION EMOTION
“making shapes, defining, and redefining space”. This is similar to a mutating motion, or distortion applied to a letterform. “When the shape of a letter is changed, that letter is perceived differently. Letter shapes are cues that distinguish one letter in the alphabet form from another.” (Carter, 1985) Not only body dance and type kinetics seem to hold a similar power to convey emotion. They also may induce a change of perception of a word in its space and its context. Letters are now “a theatrical component” that is brought to life with motion. (Helfand, 1997, p.51) Whether it is a dance or a play, a kinetic typography may be designed with the same principles of creating a show. The timing, the beat or the appearance of the typographic elements may be coded like human bodies acting or dancing. To further the idea of typography in motion conveying emotion, motion designers apply emotional qualities to the moving logotype itself. In a blog interview, Thomas Hutchings, Creative Director of the Emotive Brand agency in San Francisco stated: “Motion is adding another dimension, another layer, a new way of seeing. It is activating another part of the senses, and when it comes to creating a brand, why would you deny that? Anything that has motion triggers a new sense or emotion in your mind. When things are static, they can lack empathy.” (Ames, 2019) The human-like qualities given to kinetic type are therefore a recurrent theme. The communication of emotion with dance is art with its own language. This language of emotion relates to the language of kinetic typography. However, research in the meaning of kinetic typography shows a broader system of language that can be related to figures of speech.
⬛6 Homage to Fred Astaire, example of dancing 3D letterform by Toshifumi Kawahara + Polygon Pictures
⬛7 The letter S being performed by a dancer. Peter Bil’ak, 2010.
MOTION EMOTION ⬜15
⬛8 ⬛8 Letter A from MOVEMENT' typeface, by NM type captures the art of dance by tracing the human body. NM type worked with South African dancer Andile Vellem to realise the font. Vellem came up with various movements to represent each letter, number, and symbol.
SEMANTICS AND LEGIBILITY
3.3.1—Semiotics and semantics The Gestalt principles of perceptual organisation are necessary to understand how a kinetic typography is perceived, however, it does not offer an explanation as to how meaning is found in that form. Semiotics provide us with the concept of a sign, as a separate object from its surroundings (which is an equivalent to the notion of figure and ground in Gestalt Theory). It provides the tool to attribute a particular meaning, to a sign, or in our case, a motion. In graphic design, as in all types of communication the use of a language is applied. The argument that João Brandão developed in his thesis suggests that there is a language in the motion graphics. This research was based on the work of Christian Metz on semiotics and signification in cinema. Semiotic is the study of sign processes and the production of meaning. There are two main different approaches to semiology, or two main theories of meaning. Charles Sanders Peirce’s approach and Ferdinand de Saussure’s approach. The semiology developed by Saussure mostly applies to linguistics while Peirce is more directly applicable to design. However, Brandão was able to find more meaning when considering motion as a linguistic system. Motion could be theorised as a functional grammar, something that uses aspects of a grammatical system but more specific to motion designers. According to Brandão, Metz applied Saussure’s structuralist semiology and seemed to understand how cinema can be considered as a functional language. The signification of cinema would be found in the relationship between the film, the impression of reality it evokes, and the emotional effect of its audience. The viewers would interpret the language of a film according to their own experiences and cultural references. If there is a cinematographic language used by directors and animators producing motion pictures, there must be a language to understand in motion design to produce meaningful motion. João Brandão’s research was focused on understanding the language of motion
SEMANTICS AND LEGIBILITY ⬜17
applied to kinetic typography. Brandão explained that movement can clarify the meaning of a word. Motion, applied to a word that has two meanings, intensifies aspects of the meaning of the word, or illustrates it, contextualises the word defining the meaning. Adding movement would be the same as adding a sentence to the word. He described how manipulating text and typography with movement can change the perception of the viewer and therefore change the meaning of the message specified in the wording. This is how motion becomes a semantic tool. The motion can perform punctuation, emphasis, and rhythm. In other words, it can create pauses or divide the sentence, redefine the relation between each word of a sentence. The designer “can use motion to accentuate or obliterate specific parts of the message and as a result objectively manipulate its contents.” (Brandão, 2015, p. 6378) Brandão developed the idea of a grammar of motion. Brandão created a series of animations to formulate questions regarding the movement’s ability to add meaning to a word. His experiments investigated illustrative capacity of movement. It suggested the following hypothesis: The movement could explain something (figurative, emotional, or conceptual). The movement would have the capacity to create a personification, or zoomorphism or figuration—in other words, it could express human or morphological characteristics of animals or objects. The movement would express emotions or even abstract concepts. (Brandão, 2012) For Carter, moving type gives opportunities to communicate in a unique way, thanks to the manipulation of properties like form and behaviour (Carter, 1985, p. 169). He suggested another way to look at how animation adds meaning. He claims that the movement applied by the designer to the typographic element adds a “voice” to the message. It can convey a tone and inflection. Matt Woolman states that expression of meaning can happen through “intonation”. This refers to the modulation of voice or tone when someone speaks. (Woolman & Bellantoni, 2000, p. 32) For instance, Peter Cho, in his exper-
18⬜ 3.3.1—SEMANTICS & SEMIOTICS
iment called Takeluma, took kinetic typography into the realm of abstraction with his invention of a writing system based on the sound of speech. The meaning the motion provided was “the explosiveness and ephemeral nature of speech”. (King, 2008) Brandão also addressed the importance of hierarchy induced by movement, and how movement could change the meaning of a sentence. It appeared that the temporality was effective in this regard. For instance, the rhythm and timing by which each word would appear had the capacity to modify the meaning of a sentence or emphasise on a specific part of the sentence. Carter’s statement on time is similar. “Time becomes the most significant structural element in the design, with the designer determining a sequence and pace for the message.” (Carter, 1985, p. 155) According to Carter, the pace at which the kinetic typography unfolds, whether it is quick, slow or with dramatic pauses, would establish a mood. Time can also be manipulated, as this technique is also used in cinematography. The content can be sequenced in a linear way. The order of the content or story can also be shuffled, using cues as to what happened or what is going to happen next. (Carter, 1985, p. 171) As the French New Wave film director Jean-Luc Godard stated: “A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order.” (Tynan, 1966) “For the designer communication, the hierarchy of the message is one of the most important elements in the process of visual communication, in the sense that it allows to highlight the strengths of the message and perform an appealing or persuasive or simply informative function.” (Brandão, 2012, p. 297) Brandão’s findings using a semantic approach appeared to be an appropriate linguistic system. He was able to prove that movement acted as punctuation, but also a figure of style or speech. He experimented in animating words using figures of speech like metaphor and allegory but also catachresis (the use of a word in an incorrect way), exaggerating a meaning with hyperbole etc. He also showed that giving
⬛9 João Brandão, “I think everything will be fine.” Animation with a dynamic layout confirming the meaning of the sentence with the shape of the sentence turning into a smile.
⬛10 João Brandão, “I think everything will be fine.” Example of antithesis with the sentence mimicking a boat sinking.
SEMANTICS AND LEGIBILITY ⬜19
a behaviour to the type with either mimesis (imitation of action), or zoomorphisation (imitation of animals) would convey meaning. Finally, he played with the use of onomatopoeia, (when words directly transcribe a sound) or cacophony (when words communicate the noise of a harsh mixture of sounds) were possible to recreate with the motion of type. He concluded that movement was a language that could complement the text.
3.3.2—Title sequence & branding The fact that kineticism is a way to add meaning to typography helps us understand the development of title sequences in movies. A pioneer in this art was Saul Bass who saw an opportunity to see a movie title in a way that created a story. The technology of cinema evolved and allowed letterforms to be more and more integrated into film and television. On-screen typography and filmed content were once distinct. They are now effectively combined into background environments and are treated in the same way as any other visual elements. The typography is integrated in temporal media and is capable of “dynamic performance” (Brownie, 2015, p. 3) As we once compared kinetic typography to a dance, letters are now “a theatrical component” that is brought to life with motion. (Helfand, 1997, p.51) “Bass fashioned title sequences into an art, creating in some cases a mini‑film within a film. His motion graphics compositions function as a prologue to the movie—setting the tone, providing the mood, and foreshadowing the action.” (Martin Scorsese, cit. in Krasner, 2008) In creating the title sequence with dynamic layout and kineticism, Saul Bass developed the ‘branding’ of a movie, creating a narrative with motion to communicate the identity of the movie the viewer is about to see. Another title sequence designer, leading innovator, Richard Greenberg, considered the title to be a “visual metaphor” for the movie that follows. It has the capacity to set “the tone of the movie”. The title sequence would bring
20⬜3.3.3—THE LIMITS OF KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY
the viewer into the movie, act as an airlock between the reality and the movie. According to Greenberg, kinetic typography would tell the viewer how to react: “that it’s all right to laugh, that they are going to be scared, or that something serious is going on.” (Carter, 1985, p. 183) The power of kinetic typography in cinema is confirmed for its ability to set a mood, a tone or tell a story. The introduction of motion to typography using the many combinations of semantics can communicate the identity of a movie. This ability to illustrate concepts is also used in advertising campaigns. An example of conceptual illustration was described by Emily King in an article about programming type. “A 2005 TV ad for the Audi A6 […] shows a car exploding into multiple abstract forms, which then flow through an empty cityscape, pausing to spell the company slogan “Vorsprung Durch Technik” (Advancement Through Technology). Made for an international market, the author stated that the smooth dynamism of the phrase’s execution was “even more eloquent than a literal translation”. (King, 2008)
3.3.3—The limits of kinetic typography With the motion of transformation applied to typography, Brownie observes the phenomenon of asemisis, a shift toward the image from the written word. In this media saturated and multi-cultural society, communicating is made more immediate, more ready, more universal, through pictorial forms than through words (Brownie, 2015, p. 57). This would mean that typographic elements would become secondary while the connotation of motion would hold most of the meaning. This would occur in fluid typography, which is a kinetic typography presenting a particular type of transformation. The forms affected would present multiple identities over time. The form could start as a letter and turn into an image or vice versa, in a constant flux. The annex gives an overview of each form of fluid typography: metamorphosis, construction, or revelation. Furthermore, she describes the phenome-
⬛12 ⬛11 João Brandão, Example of onomatopoeia using kinetic layout and distortion.
⬛12 Title Sequence with kinetic layout by Saul Bass, The Man with the golden arm, Otto Preminger.
SEMANTICS AND LEGIBILITY ⬜21
non of asemisis, which happens when the transformation affects lettering to a point of illegibility. Asemic writing, as defined by Tim Gaze, is when the forms may look like letters but have no specific verbal signification. (Brownie, 2015, p.54) It invites the viewer to try deciphering the new language, and that understanding is eventually unveiled, giving the viewer the satisfaction of a “new knowledge”. However, it also pushes the alphabetic writing aside to communicate directly through pictorial forms. This cultural phenomenon is carried by the kinetic typography in “our media saturated and multicultural societies, as both languages, pictorial and textual communicate in similar ways”. An example of the use of Asemisis is in the title sequence of ‘Alien’ (Riddley Scott, 1979). The title sequence depicts geometric polygons in a line, similar to writing. Progressively, forms add up to eventually construct letterforms spelling the title of the movie. If all motions and transformations are meaningful, designer Chris Gate warns that all motion should have the intention to mean something. He believes that to create an effective kinetic typography, the kineticism of letters and words must be motivated by the message they signify. Random animations and movements would eventually bring fatigue to the audience and they would lose interest. (Gate, 2015) Does motion always improve the communication of a connoted meaning? Motion may improve the communication of a connoted meaning, but this does not necessarily mean a better legibility of type. Barbara Brownie discusses motion affecting legibility, with letterform of words coming in and out of an illegible shape. Peter Cho, from MIT’s Media Lab, describes his guiding concern as “how motion can affect the message in unexpected ways, making it more complex or even counteracting it.” Matthias Hillner shows a different point of view on motion typography. His position is that the improved legibility of a message would not necessarily have the effect expected. He recalls scientific studies suggesting that “the harder it is to decipher a text message, the more
22⬜ 3.3.3—THE LIMITS OF KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY
likely it is to be remembered.” He explored the transition of motion typography between the state of abstraction and legibility in space and time. He believes that much of the commercial work such as title sequences and “brand stings” betray the promise of the medium. He argues that “too often it’s a gimmick. They don’t challenge the viewer or explore the potential.” (King, 2008) A successful example following his advice appears in the Atlas series of branding campaigns designed by the Moving Picture Company (MPC) in 2005 for the British Television station Channel 4. Originally the logo is made of the figure 4 built in modular lettering. This allowed the letterform to break down into non-verbal geometric component parts. The re-brand created by MPC was analysed by Brownie in her chapter on fluid branding. She pointed out the use of construction behaviour in this ident, but with the addition of figurative digital objects. Each component part of the “4” are “subtly disguised as elements in each environment shown” (MPC, not dated). Each element would either be in motion or static with a first-person camera moving through the sequence before revealing the logo. The elements would come to a parallax position where the figure 4 assembled briefly for the audience to see. This “visual guessing game” as Hillner would say, captivates and draws the viewers’ attention. “As soon as it appears it falls apart again, leaving a little bit of a visual challenge left so that viewers will want to review the sequence a second and a third time.” (Hillner, 2009)
⬛13 Title Sequence using construction by Robert and Richard Greenberg R /GA for Alien, Ridley Scott
⬛14 MPC, Abbey, 2011 Channel 4 Ident. The figure 4 never completely aligns. The viewer seeks out for the appearance of the figure 4 for a while before being rewarded with just enough alignment to prove that the figure is there. It uses the construction and revelation techniques, many elements composing the form of the figure, slowly revealing the legible shape.
SEMANTICS AND LEGIBILITY ⬜23
The literature review combines broad and thorough research from design theory books, graphic design thesis’s, scientific papers as well as periodic articles. This provides the key understandings of what motion does to typographic elements in branding. This knowledge is extended with interviews over video call or email from contemporary designers providing insights on their approach, processes and aims regarding kinetic typography. A critical analysis of their branding design will illustrate their variety of uses. Designers interviewed: Natasha Jen, Pentagram, London. Zipeng Zhu, DAZZLE, New York. Liza Enebeis, Studio Dumbar, Rotterdam. Graeme McGowan, JAMHOT, Glasgow. Steve Scott, TwoFifths Design, Edinburgh. Jon L., Advantage London, London. Daniel Kennington, JKR Global, London. Sebastien Camden, Freelance, Montreal. Holly Farndell, OMSE, London. Borja Holke, Holke 79, Madrid.
DESIGNER'S VIEW ⬜25
The use of kinetic typography in branding appears to be very fashionable. The decision process regarding motion, the intention and the reasons for motion were investigated in the format of 4 open-ended questions. Question 1: What are the benefits of motion of type in branding? Question 2: How do you add meaning to a typographic design with motion? Question 3: Do you think kinetic typography could be seen as a choreography? Question 4: Do you design kinetic typography to adapt to sound/ music design of a brand or vice versa?
4.1.1—Question 1: What are the benefits of motion of type in branding? There is an overall agreement that kinetic typography is a must for brands. They should all have motion, “things cannot be static anymore” (S. Scott, TwoFifths Design), a seamless integration to adapt to video content, “otherwise it just looks ridiculous” (S. Scott, TwoFifths Design). You want to attract attention in this fast-paced world, as “people are used to a lot of visual stimulus” (B. Holke, Holke79). The necessity of motion is also connected to the communication technologies being omnipresent with screen devices like phones or advertising screens. “Every brand requires a robust online presence” (S. Camden). The motion allows a brand to be adaptable to all the different platforms of communication. “You can’t have a screen and have things that are static” (L. Enebeis, Studio Dumbar). The kinetic typography is claimed to add fun, energy, and vibrancy to a brand, with more expression and personality added. It creates emotion and allows the design to tell “more than one story”. Because the motion design involves time, there is a beginning and an end. Zipeng confirms that the duration is a way to add another layer of storytelling. Most interviewees affirmed that motion allowed us to communicate complex concepts, add more meanings, and make the information a lot more
26⬜4.1.1—BENEFITS OF MOTION OF TYPE IN BRANDING
digestible. It “allows us to say more, communicate ideas and concepts, develop personality” to a brand. (Camden, S.) It would have the ability to convey “complex themes or concepts in a short space of time” and make it more “digestible”. (Jon L., Advantage London) In this screen-based communication, the kinetic type is recognised for its effect on the viewer’s brain. First it has the potential to grab attention but also provide a memorable experience. “When done right it can be a shortcut to the brand in your mind” (D. Kennington, JKR Global). In other words, the motion would “imprint the mind of the audience” with the brand attitude (Advantage London). It is about creating a unique visual sensation. Zipeng would add: “I like to play with people’s eyes and heads, […] I want them to be confused” (Z. Zhu, Dazzle). However, designers insisted on the importance of not only using motion when it appears to add something to a brand, “not just for the sake of motion in itself.” (G. McGowan, Jamhot) The kinetic typography should have a “thought through animation style” (D. Kennington, JKR Global). In this regard, Natasha Jen from Pentagram stated “Motion is never a thing of its own. It’s an extension of an idea.”
4.1.2—Question 2: How do you add meaning to a typographic design with motion? The meaning added by motion is looked upon in different ways by designers. It is not only about conveying meaning through a narrative, but also attitude, emotion, or energy. Some look at it like a choice of “colour or typographic choice” (S. Camden). Liza from Studio Dumbar adds “when you pick certain colours for organisation to represent certain feelings, the way you design motion also evokes different feelings or emotions”. Borja compares motion and colour too, as another layer of communication. It can be subtle and bring elegance (B. Holke,
⬛15 ⬛15 Pentagram, Eat Offbeat by partner Natasha Jen. Eat Offbeat is a social impact food company offering cuisine created by former refugees and immigrants in New York City. The logo illustrates the idea of migration with type shifting and moving before settling into a staggered arrangement that are visually “off the beat.” The subtle motion communicates the principle of the brand.
⬛16 Studio DAZZLE, Electrica by Zipeng Zhu, stroboscopic typeface with each colourful element in constant flashing colour changes and movement, creating a dazzling memorable experience.
DESIGNER'S VIEW ⬜27
Holke79). It is not always needed to convey meaning with motion. It can also be a matter of adding energy to the design. For instance, the rhythm of a motion is a way to convey a different feeling or emotion (L. Enebeis, Studio Dumbar). Motion is also reflecting the tone of voice the brand is willing to use with the audience. They all agree that what is added with motion is fully depending on context and content. (McGowan, Jamhot) It must originate from the brand and be tailored to it (Kennington, JKR Global). The meaning of the motion must be built as the design of the branding logo is unfolding as it would be “hard to try and bake into a design once it’s completed” (Farndell, OMSE). Some designers like Zipeng will look at kinetic typography as a playground to create visual puns, looking at letterform and words as if they were pictures and recreating this double vision to the eye of the viewer. Examples were given of complex illustration concepts through motion. For instance, the Studio Dumbar was able to describe the concept behind the Cumulus Park, a group of enterprises exchanging together. The typographic logo animation shows letters made of geometric objects transforming by taking and giving parts to other letters. It is the way the particles of letters move to shape and be part of other letterforms that became the visual identity. It is applied on all the elements of the brand, either in motion or in a static suggested motion. Another similar example is the branding by TwoFifths Design of Transforming Change, a company helping restructure enterprises. The visual identity is build around a 3D typographic logo constantly turning on its axis and changing shape but always spelling the letters T and C.
28⬜ 4.1.3—KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY AS CHOREOGRAPHY
4.1.3—Question 3: Could kinetic typography be seen as a choreography? The answers regarding choreography were divergent. Borja believes that choreography is very important, “if things move together, they work together and it is pleasant to watch”, but it is not always needed, it depends on the message (Holke 79). Overall, it is admitted that it is not a default position. It is a specific viewpoint that would not apply to all briefs. Choreographic techniques can be applied to typography but would not always turn into a choreographic piece in the end. Daniel from JKR Global recognised that the flow of the message giving the feeling evoked and the fact that it has to look good does relate to choreography. But the most important is the message as it is copy writing that is communicated. Again, Liza from Studio Dumbar would not think of kinetic typography as similar to dance. However, like choreography, “you can create a lot of tension with it, pulling, pushing, repetition”. Zipeng does not think of type as human bodies dancing either. But there is a similarity to choreography when creating a bigger piece of animation with a build up with balance, contrast, and drama. There would be specific key moments that are to be focused on and celebrated at a specific time. The animation would be designed similarly to what a choreographer would create in ballet, building up and unfolding between each state to create specific iconic moments. Finally, Steven from TwoFifths Design compared kinetic typography to a play more than a dance, with letter features and entering the stage like artists. Designing each step like choreography would happen when a motion piece is longer (e.g., 10, 30 second or one minute) or even a title sequence. The motion length would also be closely related to the budget allocated to the motion at the beginning, which would be supported by particular briefs. However, Sebastien Camden imagined that letters and words were dancing and that they needed to be on the beat.
⬛17 ⬛17 Studio Dumbar, visual identity for Cumulus Park, a new district in Amsterdam for collaborative innovation. The elements from each letterform are switching from one letter to the other, or shape change to another letter. This is a fluid typography using construction with multiple elements to build and unbuild the letterforms. It transforms from one legible letterform to another. It communicates an abstract concept through the motion, illustrating the exchange of ideas and sharing work.
⬛18 Visual identity by TwoFifths design agency for the company Transforming Change, with an animated cube block constantly evolving, making up the initials T and C. It is a fluid kinetic typography with metamorphosis creating the letters T and C in 3D under every angles. It communicates the concept of the company which to help adapt and stay stable while transforming and changing.
DESIGNER'S VIEW ⬜29
4.1.4—Question 4: Do you design kinetic typography to adapt to sound/music design of a brand or vice versa? The reference to sound and how the animation would be inspired by it or adapting to it was suggested by several designers like Sebastien Camden or Holly from OMSE. Holly sums up the general belief that it can go either way. Sound can inspire the approach of motion or motion can define the appropriate sound. Both sound design and motion design cannot be developed in isolation as they would need to have “the same tone and character”. (Kennington, JKR Global). The use of sound is another sensorial element added to vision. It has its own way of conveying meaning, emotion, and energy to a design. Jon from Advantage London and Liza from Studio Dumbar both pointed out that people would often choose to have their device on silent, which has to be considered in the design in order for it “to stand alone without the need for all senses” (Jon, Advantage London). Liza did emphasise that the use of sound “can be really exciting” and “change the whole mood” of a piece. Zipeng stated that he would have a vision of what a kinetic typography can be before thinking about the sound for it. However, he agrees that when the animation must relate to music, the research for fitting in music is a priority once the keyframes of the storyboard are approved.
⬛19 Jamhot studio, branding for Track Record, founded by former Olympic & Commonwealth athlete David Carry, a company that provides elite coaching to world's top businesses. The stylised logogram reveals the words Track Record in an ephemeral unfolding. The words retract and the logo disappears, leaving no trace. The kinetic typography illustrate the energy and the clarity of the work provided by the data driven company.
30⬜4.1.4—KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY AND SOUND DESIGN
⬛20 JKR Global, Identity for gymnast Courtney Tulloch with 3D visual language of the ring with a custom type in motion imitating the 360 degrees rotations. The logo reveals a legible logogram with letters C and T. All the branded videos use the same language of motion with the letterforms. The range motion revealing the illegible geometric shapes into letters illustrates the gymnast ability to “make the impossible possible” as the JKR case studies suggests.
⬛21 ⬛21 OMSE, visual identity for Grounded, a coffee brand with no plastic in the supply chain. To reflect this strategy, they created an identity with letterforms that decompose. The motion illustrates the concept of the brand, by making the letterforms illegible then disappear.
DESIGNER'S VIEW ⬜31
DISCUSSION 32⬜ 5.0—DISCUSSION
The insight from contemporary designers on kinetic typography confirms the power of kinetic typography over static typography in omnipresent screen-based communication devices. Question 1 emphasises the importance of movement in branding design, almost as a matter of survival of the brand itself. A brand with an animated logo would look more professional and credible. Would it correlate to the way branding was developed before the apparition of screen technology? The sensorial feature of a specific paper, embossing, foiling in stationery used to be a way to make a brand stand out and be remembered with the sense of touch. The designers also have a clear understanding that motion is the most effective way to catch the attention of the viewer’s brain. Motion would make the brand adaptable to all communication platforms and stand out. Many benefits are claimed regarding motion, from expressing a brand’s unique personality, display energy, communicate complex ideas, and create a memorable experience. The most compelling is the ability to use motion to confuse the viewer. Confusion is a way to make the experience even more singular, involving the viewer and therefore becoming memorable. However, question 2 gave a different outlook to how meaning is embedded in motion. First, the unicity of each brief and branding project would require a specifically tailored approach to motion and transformation of typography. Each branding design would see a different approach and have its own language of motion and its own way to engage the audience’s mind. Secondly, the idea that “a motion conveys a meaning” is not the only aim of the designers. They agree that a narrative can be connoted in kinetic typography, and that complex concepts can be communicated better than in a static design. However, this enhanced communication does not mean that legibility is improved by motion. Most designers interviewed use motion as a branding tool to convey a tone of voice, a vibrancy, an energy, a mood, an attitude. This motion design can make the letterform
illegible. The designer relies on the motion to communicate the branding experience instead of the word. The legibility is not always a priority as Brownie described with use of fluid typography. The research on the semantics of motion developed by João Brandão gives us an understanding of how motion worked like a system of language. The analogy between motion and figures of speech is very evocative of how kinetic typography can be used. His theory is applicable, but it seems that some designers are also seeking to create a direct sensorial experience. The kinetic typography would become a visual phenomenon, bypassing the intellect to create a memorable experience of the brand. Would it be possible to develop a phenomenology of kinetic typography? The designer also justified kinetic typography as a way to create a sensorial experience making the brand more memorable or create a “short cut to the mind”. The idea that motion could influence the ability to remember a brand is an interesting view that could be investigated further by cognitive scientists. How would motion and memory be connected? What catches the viewer’s mind? Is it confusion, asemisis, the understanding of what Barbara Brownie called “new knowledge? (Brownie, 2015) Question 2 revealed that meaning can be found in the combination of word play and asemisis. Designers like Zipeng (Z. Zhu, DAZZLE) or Sebastian (S. Camden, Freelance) depicted the attractivity of “visual puns” when designing kinetic typography. Examples were given of animating words playing with its similarity with another word, or the similarity with a picture. How the letters “e” in the word sleep or the letters “o” looked like eyes. The latest kinetic typography he created shows the abbreviation XOXO revealing the Chinese New Year sign of the OX in the middle of it. This shows how a word or letterform can be ambivalent, both seen as a picture or a text. The kinetic typography would not only add meaning but confuse the viewer by leading it to experience a word or a letterform in a new way.
The variety of answers to question 3 show that it is incorrect to limit motion of typography as being a dance. As a temporal design, it has similarity to a play or a ballet choreography. Kinetic typography builds up to one or several iconic moments that will be memorable for the audience. The drama, the aesthetic and the rhythm of the design follows the same rules as the design of a movie, a play, or a ballet. While the choreography aspect is refuted as a literal dance of the letters, it is admitted that sounds effect rhythm and music can be an important ally to a kinetic typography piece. As Sebastian stated, the kinetic typography can follow a beat (S. Camden, freelance). In this way it would emphasise how the typography moves and changes as a temporal medium. The rhythm, tempo and intensity of the sound could highlight, accentuate, or complete the meaning that is communicated by the kinetic typography. Question 4 would add that both sound design and kinetic design must be considered together, in order to convey the same tone. However, there is no specific order in which kinetic typography or sound should be designed first. Unfortunately, the kinetic typography relating with sound cannot rely on the sound. Indeed, the animation must be made fully effective without the need of sound as many screen users opt to have the sound off. The addition of sound can be very exciting (Enebeis, Studio Dumbar). There would be a need to investigate the power of sound design in branding and correlate the results with the ones of kinetic typography.
⬛22 Advantage London, E4 channel ident for the E4 Estings competition with typographic figures ‘4’ behaving like human bodies walking into and taking the lift upward. By using an anthropomorphism, “Jon created an E-partment block where E-folk floated gracefully around watching quirky retro film footage 24/7, surrounded by electric colour-changing wallpaper!”
DESIGNER'S VIEW ⬜33
CONCLUSION 34⬜ 6.0—DISCUSSION
Visual motion is the most powerful way to engage the attention of a viewer. The retina is most sensitive to it and its perception is hard-wired to the brain. Designers use this potential to create a shortcut to the brand in the audience’s mind. To ensure a meaningful kinetic typography, the potential motion must be considered from the start of the design and be tailored to the brand. Kinetic typography uses many motion and transformation techniques that can communicate meaning in the same way as figures of speech. However, designers are also animating typography to create a unique sensorial experience. The kinetic typography can fluctuate and transform between letterform and picture, using both visual signs to communicate to the viewer. The more it requires the viewer to understand what is happening, the more memorable the experience can be. Kinetic typography is a temporal design that uses similar techniques to that of choreography: the rhythmic, the iconic moments, and communication of emotion. However, this does not limit the letters to being perceived like bodies dancing by the designers. Like in a play, a ballet or a movie, the key moments are carefully designed in time and space to be iconic and memorable to the viewer. The use of sound design along with kinetic typography is an added feature that is considered very impactful. However, it is not essential in the design as the kinetic typography must be efficient on its own.
⬛23 Sebastien Camden, promotional teaser made for the 20th Edition of the International Mutek Festival. It was made with the goal of revealing the official lineup festival and kick off the whole festival. The kinetic typography is a mesmerising layout in motion with revealing, sliding and disappering words. The use of tracking modulation makes the letters disconnect and reconnect, playing with legibility and revealing the word's meanings as the band names.
⬛24 ⬛24 Holke79, visual identity for Entropia, a festival about Visual Music Experiences in Zaragova. The typography is a key element throughout the comunication system. The focus of the kinetic typography is about creating a visual experience in relation to the identity of the festival.
DESIGNER'S VIEW ⬜35
LIST OF FIGURES 36⬜LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Yalcinkaya, et al.(2018) VisualCOBie for Facilities Management: A BIM integrated Available: https:// www.researchgate.net/publication/325988233_VisualCOBie_for_Facilities_Management_A_BIM_integrated_ Visual_Search_and_Information_Management_Platform_ for_COBie_Extension [Accessed 10 October 2020] Figure 2: Wikipedia (2020) Demonstration of Phi phenomenon (Magniphi with 8 circular elements) Phi phenomenon, last edited on 10 January 2021. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phi_phenomenon [Accessed 4 December 2020] Figure 3: Barbara Brownie (2013). Modular construction and anamorphosis in Channel 4 idents: past and present. The Journal of Media Practice. Available: https:// uhra.herts.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/2299/10775/904962. pdf?sequence=5 [Accessed on 4 December 2020] Figure 4: Jay Patel (2015). Understanding the back of the eye. Templeman Laindon Opticians. Available: https:// www.templemanopticianslaindon.co.uk/blog/age-related-macula-degeneration [Accessed on 13 December 2020] Figure 5a, 5b: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1912). Zang Tumb Tumb: Adrianopoli. Parole in Libertà, MOMA, New York. Available: https://www.moma.org/collection/ works/31450?artist_id=3771&page=1&sov_referrer=artist [Accessed on 11 November 2020] Figure 6: Toshifumi Kawahara + Polygon Pictures (1991). Dancing Alphabet, Rikuyo-sha Publishing, Inc., Japan. Available: https://letterformarchive.org/news/view/letterforms-humanforms [Accessed on 10 October 2020] Figure 7: Peter Bil’ak, (2011) The Dance Writer, screenshot. Available: https://www.typotheque.com/blog/ dance_writer_app [Accessed on 14 December 2020]
Figure 8: NM type, Letter A from MOVEMENT' typeface, screenshot. Available: https://www.designboom.com/ design/nm-type-movement-dance-inspired-font-design-indaba-04-05-2019/ [Accessed on 16 December 2020] Figure 9: João Brandão (2012). Tese de Doutoramento em Design, a grammar of movement, Filme III.5.c. P. 320 Figure 10: João Brandão (2012). Tese de Doutoramento, a grammar of movement, Filme III.6.c. P. 321 Figure 11: João Brandão (2012). Tese de Doutoramento, a grammar of movement, Filme III.6.c. P. 328 Figure 12: Saul Bass (1955). Title Sequence by Saul Bass for The man with the golden arm by Otto Preminger. Screenshot from Art of the Title website. Available: https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/the-man-with-thegolden-arm/ [Accessed on 27 January 2021] Figure 13: Richard Greenberg (1979). Title Sequence by Robert and Richard Greenberg R /GA for Alien, Ridley Scott. Available: https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/alien/ [Accessed on 15 February 2021] Figure 14: TV Ark (2011). Channel 4 Ident, Abbey, screenshots. Available: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=4Pqehql1xU0 [Accessed on January 15, 2021] Figure 15: Natasha Jen (2020) Pentagram London, Eat Offbeat logo, screenshot. Available on https://www.pentagram.com/work/eat-offbeat [Accessed on 10 Jan 2021] Figure 16: Zipeng Zhu (2014) Studio DAZZLE, Electrica moving typeface, screenshot. Available on http://zz-is. it/electrica/ [Accessed on 7 January 2021]
Figure 17: Studio Dumbar (2020), Cumulus Park visual identity, screenshot. Available on: https://studiodumbar. com/work/cumulus-park [Accessed on 11 January 2021] Figure 18: Steven Scott (2021) Transforming Change visual identity, screenshots. Available on: https://www. twofifthsdesign.com/transforming-change [Accessed on 7 January 2021] Figure 19: Jamhot studio, branding for Track Record, founded by David Carry (2021), screenshots. Available on: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKMAOSIH4RZ/ [Accessed on 18 January 2021] Figure 20: JKR Global (2020), visual identity for gymnast Courtney Tulloch, screenshots. Available on: https://jkrglobal.com/case-studies/courtney-tulloch/ [Accessed on 18 January 2021] Figure 21: OMSE design studio (2020), Grounded Coffee visual identity, screenshots. Available on: https://omse. co/projects/grounded/ [Accessed on 15 January 2021] Figure 22: AdvantageLondon (2013), E4 channel ident for the E4 Estings competition, screenshot. Available on: https://vimeo.com/70870866 [Accessed on 6 January 2021] Figure 23: Sebastien Camden (2019), promotional teaser for the 20th Edition of the International Mutek Festival. Available on: https://vimeo.com/331803237 [Accessed on 2 January 2021] Figure 24: Holke79 (2021), visual identity for the festival Entropia, Zaragova. Available on: https://www.instagram. com/p/CL5EXX3C8ae/ [Accessed on 1 March 2021]
LIST OF FIGURES ⬜37
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Hazlewood, M., 2018. Visual attention and motion design. Inside Design, 5 March, pp. www.invisionapp.com/ inside-design/visual-attention-motion-design/. Hillner, M., 2009. Studio for Virtual Typography. International Council of Design, 22 April. Hostetler, S. C., 2005. Methods of using kinetic type to express emotions. s.l., Iowa State University. King, E., 2008. Different Strokes: How a small but growing number of creative programmers are changing the face of type.. Printmag, 23 April. Knobler, N., 1967. The Visual Dialogue. New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston. Lamb, M. a. Z. S., 1994. The neurology of kinetic art. Brain, Issue 117, pp. 607-636. Mark Thomson, M. B., 2010. Reputations: Peter Bil’ak. Eye magazine no. 75 vol. 19. Medina, J., 2009. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School. Tracy Cutchlow ed. Seattle: Pear Press. Radatz, B., 2011. Psycho (1960). www.artofthetitle.com, 13 12.
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9.1—Glossary of typographic kineticism
40⬜9.1—GLOSSARY OF TYPOGRAPHIC KINETICISM
It is useful to explore the terminology that allow us to talk about the different kind of typographic motion on screen. By naming each effect we can recognise them in title sequence and branding and reflect on the effect the viewer. Matt Woolman analysed typography and kinetic effects via three angles: Space, type, and time. Later, Barbara Brownie focused only on ‘kineticism’, mapping different categories and their relation to each other. Both mappings of the kinetic typography are complementary with the semiology of motion developed by Brandão. Each provide tools to recognise which kind of kinetic is used and may suggest what it might communicate to the viewer. SERIAL PRESENTATION Type that happens to exist in a temporal environment but is otherwise static (Wong P.6) The example of this are title cards, that are printed then directly filmed. This serial presentation is identified by Wong as being different from kinetic typography that moves or changes. It works similarly to reading printed text. Only the appearance of the words is happening at a particular time. SCROLLING TYPOGRAPHY This is when the typographic arrangement stays the same but moves inside the frame of a screen. This is a technique use in title sequence, or credits where words pass from the one side of the screen to the other. Scrolling can be set digitally to happen in a 3D environment. It can overlap filmed scene and adapt to the pace of the live action-footage happening in the background. This can give the illusion that the text is embedded to the landscape.
DYNAMIC LAYOUT This term describes the motion that happens when letters or words start moving independently from one another. Practitioners choose to use this technique to draw attention to next words or sentence and therefore facilitate the reading. For instance, words appear in and out of the screen at the pace that simulates reading speed. “The most aesthetically pleasing dynamic compositions are those that treat every key frame as an independent work of typography, following the same rules of composition that would be applied in a static arrangement.” (Brownie, 2015, p. 14) Both Scrolling typography and dynamic layout feature motion based on change of location. These changes follow a specific rhythm and visual composition. The importance of dynamic layout is used by Brandão for instance to replace punctuation, add emphasis, and rhythm to a typographic composition. Proximity, or space, pauses or divisions can affect the relations between each part of a sentence. LOCAL KINETICISM Letterforms may be mutated, broken, altered, leading to transformation within individual forms. Motion is described as a “global phenomenon” that affects the way distinct forms interact with the space they occupy. Here, the letterform is not interacting with the space but within itself, changing and evolving on its own. Creating what Matt Wollman would call an “elaboration”. (Woolman & Bellantoni, 2000, p. 37) ELASTICITY Letterforms that show local changes are considered “elastic” by Brownie. Though they are recognisable as a letter, they do not always have the same shape. In this ‘kineticism’ the letter is malleable. It can be distorted to produce italic or bold, the contours can fluctuate, change
state. The letters behaviour can illustrate the word they signify. An example is given in ‘It’s Alive’, Jason E. Lewis gives the word ‘pull’ an elastic behaviour. This distortion effect can allow the type to interact with its environment. Brandão would qualify this specific example in the capacity of motion to illustration the concept of a word. FLUIDITY The main idea developed by Brownie is that the letterforms transform instead of moving. (Both motions are not exclusive). This transformation would allow the letter to change identity and affect its legibility. Fluid typography describes individual letterforms changing location, shape, or identity, to the point of becoming something else. They may lose their linguistic identity and blur boundaries between image and type. The letters may be typographic only for a while. Brownie discerns 3 kind of fluidity: metamorphosis, construction, and revelation. Metamorphosis relates to the letterform ability to be distorted into another form with a continuous morphing flow that binds the two different entities. Construction appears when different parts collaborate in the construction of a whole letterform. This may happen through motion of parts. It could also happen with the use of parallax: The parts would be static while the camera moves to a specific point of view to create a whole letterform. Revelation is a kind of mutation that does not let the audience see the creation of letterform identities. Those identities are already there, but initially hidden. Parameters like colour or illumination can create revelation.
9.2—Interviews and email replies from designers
42⬜ 9.2—INTERVIEWS AND EMAIL REPLIES FROM DESIGNERS
9.2.1—Email response from Graeme McGowan, JAMHOT, 4th January 2021
piece itself to add some sort of meaning or emotion to the piece. For us, it’s always content and context
9.2.2—Instagram reply from Natasha Jen, Pentagram London, 9 January 2020
dependent. Interviewer: What do you think are the benefits of motion of type in graphic design, and more espe-
Interviewer: Do you think kinetic typography could
cially in branding? How would you decide to apply
be seen as a choreography? Do you look at letter-
motion to the design and if not, why?
forms like the body dancing?
Graeme: Motion provides a good way to add some
Graeme: Of course, you could choose to adopt this
vibrancy and energy to branding work and is increas-
type of viewpoint and it’s a nice way to think about
ingly becoming a vitally important component of
things. Although it’s not our default position. We have
brand especially when considering online applica-
used motion in this manner with a dance/arts com-
tion. Since we started the studio 13 years ago motion
pany previously but otherwise would rather maintain
has been an important part of what we do. It allows us
an open mind to what motion might represent and
to say more, communicate ideas and concepts, devel-
achieve as it relates to a particular brief. Also, it can
op personality and grab attention. When undertaking
come down to how long you want to spend on the
a project, we always consider how motion might be
motion aspect and with this what budget you have
best utilised without having any predetermined ide-
to develop it and whether the particular brief sup-
Interviewer: How did you start designing things like
as about this—but instead letting this develop as the
9.2.3—Transcript from interview with Zipeng Zhu, DAZZLE, 15th January 2021, 5PM London Time
project evolves. It is important to use motion in ways that add something to a project and not just for the
Interviewer: Do you design the motion of logo-
Zipeng: So, I’m the, the most boring story is that,
sake of motion in itself. It must add to the work you
type in regard to the sound/music of a brand? Or
um, I was, I took a motion graphic class when I was in
are doing overall rather than just be for the sake of it.
is it more likely that the logo design influences the
college, and that one of the first project was to do a
motion self-portrait. We have to basically make an animation about ourselves. And my concept, I can save
Interviewer: How do you add meaning to a typographic design /logotype with motion? What
Graeme: We do not have a fixed way of doing this—
the video afterwards. So, this is my first ever animation.
meaning do you add with motion?
as it all depends on the idea. If we are doing a piece
I say the first animation I have made. And then that is
where the music is an important lead part, then we
my introduction of I will say animation in typography
Graeme: This all depends—and I think has to ulti-
would work on some rough motion ideas but would
as well, because I was like, Okay: my name is a poem
mately be underpinned by a strong / sound idea or
then develop in line with the music. Other times you
right and there’s a letter I in my name, but then eyes
concept before you start any motion work. We use
might focus on the animated element and then add
also eyeball. So that’s basically how the whole con-
motion in different ways—sometimes to add meaning
some music to it as an addition and in this instance the
cept came together. Because it’s like, you know, it’s a
sometimes not. It all depends on the brand, the brief,
music would be secondary to the animation itself. So,
portrait so I have all five flying around at the end of the
and the project itself. What motion does allow you
in this regard we would look to adapt our approach to
day if you know end up in my name, so that became
to do is better tell a story and within that it’s impor-
suit the idea at hand.
me. So that was like, you know, like a personal sto-
tant to get the balance right. For example, sometimes
ry plus a personal typographic expression. Yeah, so
motion may be used to add an energy rather than a
that’s sort of where it all came from. But then I don’t
specific meaning. Other times you might take a dif-
love making animations. It’s not one of my favourite
ferent approach where you are looking for the motion
things to do when it comes to like, super complex
ones because I felt like it’s funny because I gave a
ending. And then the process, yeah, that means that
day, actually, like, 26 I animated 25 letters, that they
talk a few years back, you can check this one out, too.
it gives you a way to add another layer of narrative into
all animate into z, because I’m the last letter. So, like,
It’s a table graphics, I gave a talk on typography. And
the storytelling that you want to do. And for me, and I
these are all the letters that you know, animated into z.
then one of the reasons I don’t love animation is the
think all type lovers, that type can do so much of sto-
You know, so like, I think, um, when it comes to type,
amount of time that you spent in it’s not worth how
rytelling of its own. Already, then, if I can add duration
it’s because of the form it’s still flexible, it allows you
much time it gets come out. For example, surely that
to it, it becomes a story. Or it can tell more of a mes-
to take advantage of the form, and then use that as
animation that you saw, probably took me two months
sage than static and that’s one of the main reasons
a tool to deliver the message that you want to come
to make, but it’s like, you know, 30 seconds. So the
that I decided to animate type. That being said, that’s
across. And I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I
animation that you see me making, it’s probably like,
like one way of thinking, and then a lot of my work, if
animate, you know.
you know, 10 minutes, 15 minutes for three seconds
you look at them, they’re looping animations, right?
You know, one more thing that would be helpful for
of an animation. So like, That, to me. It’s like, not fair,
They’re all seamless loops. And then that the other
you, okay, is that I, one of the reasons that I play with
you know, like the trade-off. It’s not fair. Okay. But,
side of me, like I like to play with people’s eyes and
type the way that I do, it’s because I’m super dyslexic.
um, but I will say, the outcome, it’s worth it. Like, that’s
heads, like I want to f*** with them, you know, I want
I actually, like when I look at letters, I see them just as
the thing, you know, like, I felt like, every time it’s like,
them to be confused. I want to not know how this has
shapes. Okay, so I think that’s why one of the reasons
oh, my God, this is not fair. But at the end of the day,
been made. I want them to really, like get lost in some-
maybe I become a designer because I see them not
I see what it looks like. I’ll say, you know, what, fine.
thing that I make. And that’s the other side of the story.
really as words, I sort of see them as like shapes. And
Yeah, that’s the thing. But I will say, from that anima-
also, the fact that I’m from China. Third language, like
tion was like the kicking point of my, you know, ani-
Interviewer: So maybe it is not conveying a sto-
these two parts has played so much into how I see
mated type expression. Everything really started to
ry anymore, but a conveying a sensation, like
power because you know, Chinese, it’s a hieroglyph-
take off once I started working at Sagmeister. I didn’t
something that would not have been experienced
ic, right? Like every meaning. It’s, you know, every
finish my animation class; I just learned the software
letter, it’s from an ancient drawing, you know, the, our caveman as, so like, I sort of see English letter in some
and dropped my chops off. I don’t like it. But when I started a Sagmeister, I was the only one on the team
Z: For example, well, I’m gonna share the screen for
way. Also, it’s that, like, I felt when you write it out,
that can animate. Okay, so I just animate more and
one more time. Okay. I can just show you what that
you can sort of see what it could mean. And then and
more and more and more and more, and then how I
talk is when I gave it at Typographic. And it’s not like
that’s why I’m trying to get out of it. You know, like, for
became an animator.
Um, so, let me see. So, this was one of the first ani-
example, what was the one? Like if you type the word
mation that I made, okay? And it’s a letter Z, yes. But
yay, like, YAY Okay. all caps. It looks like someone is
Interviewer: And so, what do you what do you add?
it’s abstract, you know. So, it’s a letter Z, however you
crying. Okay, so, yeah. I mean, so like, my, my life has
How, why do you add animation to a typographic
look at it, you know, without it fills up, but then once it
a lot of like, that. If I look at a word, I will see, like, how
thing? Is it just because it is what you asked from
fills up, it gives you a different dynamic than how it was
can I make this word makes the most sense. Like, for
you? Or is it like, there is something in the in the
before, right? Or, you know, or you know, that there’s
example, in the word sleep right? The two E looks like
project that you suddenly feel like it needs to be
ways to play with letterforms that changes perspec-
eyes closing. Yeah. So, I can use that as the base of
animated? And what does it add to the project?
tive, like this M doesn’t matter how you twist a turn, it’s
a foundation to express the work just with the word
still the same exact M and that you see from before,
itself. I see. Yeah. So, you hear it. You look at the word
Zipeng: Yeah. So, um, one of the fundamental men-
okay, or, you know, there’s different ways to, you know,
and it’s like, already a picture in itself.
tioned things about animation is animation, at least in
play with layers. There are ways to add, like, you know,
After Effects or an animation in general, but mostly in
a message like this, I made for pride, you know, like,
Interviewer: Did you did you animate Chinese char-
After Effects, it’s from point A to point B, what happens
there’s so many possibilities of animated typography
acters as well?
in three, right? So that means you have a start and an
could do. And this one is a project I did for my birth-
44⬜ 9.2.3—INTERVIEW WITH ZIPENG ZHU
Z: Like I definitely animate Chinese I would say like
really bring out the animation and then to really, like,
tions, every single, it’s made of that one. Design, Okay,
the animations, I make in Chinese are less…How do I
celebrate what each process is. So, I think me that’s
this one graphic, And that, to me, was like, a way to
say this? I do animate Chinese. Right now. Like I sort
something that’s kind of like a choreographer, it’s like,
really celebrate the culture and they really liked to
of how do I say this? Like, the opportunity like I tried
you know, I think, you know, if you think about Black
embrace the culture, you know, because everything
to pick right now because I’ve lived here for you know,
Swan, like there’s a few moments are just so iconic.
that we do, came straight from the source of where
11 years my English brain it’s a little bit more dominant
And then like, I think I like to think when I make ani-
the culture is coming from. Yeah, therefore, we’re real-
than my Chinese brain. Don’t get me wrong. I think in
mation that I would have created those moments for
ly paying tribute and then being respectful for that.
Chinese language all the time. But right now, definite-
each animation that I make.
ly like if you ask me, you know, if like a hot water trip
Interviewer: It was just really, really impressive. The
on my skin, my first response to say f*** instead of
Interviewer: And actually, that brings me to that
other thing that I really enjoyed was the electrica.
f*** in Chinese. I don’t know if you had this moment.
work you did for the Jewish Museum?
Like, apocalyptic animation that came with sound
Because, um, there’s one day I think I think the second
as well it’s, is it a thing that there’s quite frequent in
year, maybe the third year I’m here. Yeah, like, just one
Z: Yeah, that was that was kind of was quite a long
your work? Would you like, have sound design as
night I had a dream in English. Yes, I woke up in the
piece and you look at it and it felt like you were just
a symptom as animation? Would you do the sound
middle. And I was like, What the hell? And then more
explaining the whole process of a branding work
design yourself? Or? What comes first? Like, do
on like, my English became the more dominant part
through the abstract patterns turning into tape that
you think of sound first and then the design comes
of my brain, you know? So weird. I mean, I am glad
that that is really a word that was like mind blowing for
with it? Or like the opposite?
because I think for Latin based language, it’s more
me. Yeah, so um, so for this kind of thing. Like you, you
complicated because you just share so much similar-
walk your way through the patterns first and then you
Z: Um, it’s so funny that you asked this because, like,
ity because I speak Cantonese and Mandarin like that.
went into typographic animation?
I really see myself as a one of the persons that has
Sometimes I get confused.
Well, I am gonna give you the whole story of Jewish
the worst taste in music. Like my like, I have been told
Museum. Okay, it was the first project that I worked
many times. I do not have a good taste in music, which
Interviewer: Okay, one of the things I was interest-
on. Okay, as a professional graphic designer. All right.
is it’s fine.
ed in is whether you would look at animating type
So it was, the first project I worked on. Sagmeister is a
in the same way as like, somebody would design
first project I worked on ever since I graduated. So, it
Interviewer: You’ve got a Billie Eilish t-shirt on,
choreography or a play? Do you think of type as
was just a lot going on. And then even more so is that
that’s not bad!
like human bodies?
it was a cultural institution, right. So, like, that part, it is very crazy, it’s because, you know, I’m not Jewish,
Z: Yeah, so like, you know, like, but you know, like, I
Zipeng: Um, I don’t think type as human bodies. But
and then, you know, all of a sudden, like, I have this,
listen to a lot of pop. Okay, you know, like, that’s most
there’s one thing that I would say I’m similar as a cho-
you know, gigantic museum project in front of me that
my, you know, I’m not super experimental. I like some
reographer is that when it comes to a bigger piece,
I not only need to deliver the past, but also really play
sassy rap, and then some, you know, Billie, and then
yes, to me, it’s all about balance and contrast and the
respect and tribute to the culture that this museum is
that’s about it. And it’s a musical. So, it’s like a very, like,
drama and, you know, in the arc, right, so I would, for
representing. And then that is very, I would say, intim-
I would say, fundamental kind of, like, you know, music
longer, bigger animation, I usually planned out differ-
idating, and crazy and difficult, so the whole concept
thing. But it’s funny, because every time I show, like a
ent key frames, and what like the most important, like
of the identity, it’s based off the sacred geometry,
collection of the animations, I make it, and everybody
moments that I want to focus in type, okay, so I know
where the Star of David originates. And we use that
always asked me about the music. And that’s why like,
how can I basically it’s, instead of just from point A to
to basically build every single thing out of the identity,
for me, because it’s like, I really do not think I’m good
point B, it’s like, Point A to Point B to point C to point
whether it’s the logo type, or the pattern, or the extra
at this. But somehow people seem to like it. So, the
D. Like so all the key states, right, okay, from that I can
typography that we’ve made, the icon or the illustra-
music goes both ways. For electrica is the opposite.
I have this idea that of this type. I want to make a cra-
Interviewer: What to do you mean when you said
zy pulsing type. I just have the idea. No, that doesn’t
that animation wasn’t actually your favourite thing
make it. But then once I designed the whole alphabet,
to do in design. So, what is it that you like best?
I said, Oh, you know what, maybe I should make like
9.2.4—Transcript from Interview with Liza Enebeis, Creative Director of Studio Dumbar, Rotterdam. Tuesday 19th January, 9:30AM, London Time.
a specimen of the tape. And that was the moment I
Zipeng: Um, it’s, like, I think when I say like, animations,
was like, Oh, it’s missing music, but then I don’t want
not what I like, it’s the fact that I don’t love making long
Interviewer: Basically, came up, found your agen-
to use any I don’t want to use any instrumental I don’t
form animations. Okay, I like the tiny little ones. I like
cy, and it’s just very much spot on my research,
want melody. No, I just want sound because like this
the trippy ones I make because I think those are fun to
because I’m looking at them looking at designers
type does not it’s not rhythmic. You know, it’s cha-
f*** with people, you know, um, but to me, right now,
that work with branding and motion. And so yeah,
os. You know? It’s just noise. So, I decided, like, I just
um, my, like, the one that’s on top of my head is like,
so I’m just trying to get to get a few insights from
literally type in, like on YouTube, you know, electric
if I can come up with like, a clever pun, for like, either
designers basically. And, yeah, my first question
sounds, and then I just found bound a bunch of them
for like merch store, or for like, just social in general.
would be, is your agency are mostly focusing on
and that’s put them on top of each other. That is where
Like, that’s what like, kind of excites me like, the other
animating for branding? Or is it just because that’s
like, Electrica came from. However, that being said,
day. So Chinese New Year, it’s about to happen, right?
people are asking for it?
um, for, like some of the other things that you’ve seen,
So, this is gonna be the year of an ox.
that I’ve made, I can send you a link. Like we have a
Liza: Our main focus is creating identities for differ-
reel last year, like, everything that we’ve made for like
And then, um, I had this idea. That is instead of the year
ent companies. And, and it’s not that every brand that
a longer form animation, either the soundtrack is pro-
of the ox, It’s the Year of XOXO. But then in XOXO, the
we do, we also have motion, but a lot of it. But before
vided to us, or like, sometimes what we do is like, after
word ox is still in it. Okay, so like stuff like that. That’s
I think the majority of projects, we also have motion
the storyboard, like the key-frames are approved, the
why I’m interested right now. How can I play with puns
that goes with it. And I think motion really enhances
first thing that we do is look for music. Okay, and then
both in Chinese and English? That to really make a
the experience of the brand. And especially because
like, this one, I don’t know if you saw the variable type
thing out of it. Okay, that’s where my brain is right now.
now 99% of our communication is digital. Motion really
animation that we made. Yeah, it’s like a trap music.
And that’s really exciting because, every time I think of
helps also connect the different platforms, it creates,
It’s really cool. It’s really hip. Okay, for things like that.
something, I’m so clever. Like, that’s my that’s my like,
it’s an extra layer of identity. For example, I mean, you
We definitely spend a lot of time on finding the music.
how my what excites me the most right now. Um, and
can’t have a screen and have things that are static. I
And like, even though I think I have a very bad taste, I
I have a Few, like, potential personal projects that, like
think that’s, I think that’s what is so great about screen-
know what I like, and I know what I don’t like. And that
I’m thinking about ideas for, it’s, you know, not exactly
based work, you can tell more than more than one
was one of the things I can say you a link, hold on. I
like the birthday animation that I made, but in a similar
story. And so, motion really adds to the experience.
also, by the way, I just sent you a bunch of Chinese ani-
realm of concept, you know, it’s just a strength that,
mation that I’ve done. Like, by all means, I care about
you know, it’s basically a project people would look
Interviewer: Okay, yeah. That that’s answering
music a lot, but I don’t know a lot about it. So usually, I
like was like, why would you spend time making this?
my one of my main question about the benefits
just ask the people that work with me to like, who has
of motion? So, you are adding meaning? Do you
good taste to take a deep dive on, on the music, but
know what sort of meaning you are adding?
more so I just have to really helped me to, you know, find something that truly works with it. I’ve sent you a
L: What brands needs to express for example if you
link of the Adidas one where I think the music is real-
look on our website, there’s a project called cumulus
ly good. To use it for our reel like, I really spent time.
pond. There motion is really almost explaining the idea of, of the whole project. It’s an area in Amsterdam, where different companies come together to
46⬜ 9.2.4—INTERVIEW WITH LIZA ENEBEIS
exchange ideas to work together, and it’s all about
YLA, which is for men, the men’s or the boys and the
ments, but I’m not sitting there going Oh, like, no.
exchanging content. And so, the motion literally shows
women’s team, they also have these arrows. So that
You know, I’m not. I don’t you know, I mean, other
the exchange. I think, if you did it in a static way, it
principle, just continues through the entire branding.
people talk about motion related to music, but defi-
would not be as strong as when you literally show
nitely, there’s a reason and motion place have a big
what does that mean when you’re working together?
Interviewer: I’m coming back on the one that you
role. It’s also a sort of way of telling a story, you know,
Because by working together, you also create new
talk to me about the Cumulus park. Actually, when
like, I think choreography, I mean, in a way similar,
forms. And that’s what is you see in that project? In
I was looking at it, I was so puzzled because the,
there’s like, you can create a lot of tension with it, you
other projects motion is using a more subtle way it’s
as you say, like, so there is like letters changing, but
know, pulling pushing, repetition. I mean, if you have, if
not explaining an idea, but it enhances an idea for
to change they take pieces from each other, which
you’re creating a motion piece for 10 seconds, 30 sec-
example, DNAD festival. The concept of the whole fes-
is really cool. How does that work? Is it like a pro-
onds, or one minute, it takes you need to think about
tival is called imagine everything. So there, we show
gramming or did you animate all the bits together?
your steps of one to five seconds piece is very differ-
the word imagine, which is quite static. And when we
ent to a one-minute piece. Yeah. It requires another.
want to show everything, it’s something that really
Liza: It’s a mixture we use. Well, it’s coded, it’s pro-
Yeah, you need to, so I think writing out your story,
opens up okay and bring introduces new things and
grammed, and we use processing and then through
and what are the, you know, the ups and downs, like a
that opening. Also, we show that through motion is
that, we created an application. I think you can see it
movie, you know, there is, you know, there’s the hero,
really shows that feeling of everything so, so you can
also on the website. And that’s with that application,
they tried to kill him, you know, he saves, he kills the
use it in many different ways. Like either to explain
you can change the size of the dots, the shapes of the
bad guy. It’s the same thing in a way. And you’re doing
things literally, or to evoke a sort of emotion is just like,
dots, the speed that it has the exchange. So, it’s not
that in. In Motion, you’re making a longer piece other-
I think when you use motion is just like how you use
only, that’s interesting about motion, motion doesn’t
wise, I mean, for shorter standing for a logo, animation
colour. You know, when you pick certain colours for
mean that you’re only using After Effects. You can use
stuff, like an entire story. But still, there is something
organisation to represent certain feelings, the way you
any tool to create different experiences. Now we’re
that keeps you keeps you looking even in the sim-
design motion also evoke different feelings or emo-
experimenting more using coding, okay, to create
tions very hard or very, as a different rhythm gives you
different motion experiences.
a different feeling of it’s very soft.
Interviewer: Yeah, it’s a bit like a title sequence ? Interviewer: That really adds like because usually
Interviewer: Um, what about, there was anoth-
you transform a letter into some else but here that
L: Exactly. Okay, what do you reveal? When you’re
er one that I saw? For club Brugge. How did that
letter is transforming and also exchanging with
what you’re doing it? It has to always link to the thing
motion come up?
the other one. And I was just like, Oh, I have not
that you’re designing for. It’s not, we don’t design, we
seen that before. That was really cool. Okay, um,
don’t make a motion and then go, oh, maybe it’s for
Liza: Yeah, club Brugge is the champion team in Bel-
my third question, that’s something I have found a
that. It’s really, the core of the motion is connected to
gium. And they have this motto. Now it’s in my won-
recurrent theme, basically, with typography being
what the identity stands for? What does it mean? Yeah.
derful Dutch, which is in Dutch, it says keep going.
often related to human body, I was just also look-
And it’s that continuous movement. Over, it’s a con-
ing at how kinetic typography might be related to
Interviewer: And actually, talking about branding.
tinuous movement. So, with that, we created these
dancing. Or choreography. Do you? Do you think
So, like, either it’s a looping animation, or it will be
arrows that are moving, it’s also the, you know, it’s the
of designing as a choreography? When you when
as you said, a longer one. Do you do it sometime
nature of the sport, the action. And that became the
you think of animation for text?
along with sound or music?
motion property for everything that we design. So, if you see club Brugge socials, there’s this movement
L: Not necessarily. Yeah. Not necessarily. Not literally
L: Yeah, lot of the times we can mention, I think sound
of arrows. If you then look at the Club NXT, and Club
dance. But definitely move. I mean, definitely move-
really helps. Okay. Of course, because it really enforc-
es the motion that you see. And vice versa. And we
design the sounds, but we’ve can do sound editing.
dance and move in personification or otherwise can
commissioned musicians to write specifically the
Okay. You know, we’re not musicians. I mean, we play
deliver humour, style, and character. Motion tracking
pieces for the for the project that we’re working on, I
music, but we don’t “play” music.
techniques now delivered by software can make this
think that can be really exciting. You really can change the whole moods by the sound itself. Unfortunately, when it comes to showing work online, like on social media, if you go onto Instagram, and usually there
kind of approach a whole lot easier.
9.2.5—Email response from Jon L., Advantage London, advantagelondon. com, 12 January 2021
nobody watches things with sound. So, you need to take care of where you use it.
What would come first, motion design or sound design when designing an animated logotype? For the reasons of the question above one would
imagine that if pursuing a choreographic style route
I hope the below will help!
to your animation that the sound would likely come
Interviewer: I see. Okay, and how does it work with
first given that is going to lead the idea. Consider-
sound. Do you get the sound designed you do the
What are the benefits of motion of type in graphic
ation must be given those two users and how they
animation or the other way around?
design, and more especially in branding?
view animation as devices cannot be controlled by the brand. If users opt to have their device on silent
Liza: Usually, in the process like closer to the end. And
Animating text in a branding context can bring per-
or muted, then this is something that has to be taken
then it’s really working together because then you sort
sonality and expression to a message. This is efficient
into account when planning an animation in order for it
of adjust the sound to the motion but just the motion
and memorable—conveying sometimes complex
to stand alone without the need for all senses. Subse-
to the sound so it’s really. It’s really a working together.
themes or concepts in a short space of time.
quently, leading an animation with sound design could present some problems for this reason.
Interviewer: Okay. So, you already have like the
How do you add meaning to a typographic design
motion designed but then you need to tighten it?
/logotype with motion?
9.2.6—Email response from Holly Farndell, Accounts Manager at OMSE, omse.co, 19 January 2021
L: Yes, when it’s complete. Okay. And then we also
Everything stems from the idea. We would ask some
start brainstorm. You know, it’s also if we commission
questions before commencing:
of course. A commission Sounds designer, if we just
1. What are you trying to say?
take sounds, I mean, we have to use stock, for exam-
2. What tone of voice do you want to use for your
ple, or there’s no budget or however and we are given
Thanks for reaching out and for the kind words!
a sound space, then we select the sound piece and
3. What do you want the audience to do once they
Of course, we’d be happy to help. Please see our
start building the motion around the sounds piece
have received the message?
answers to your questions below:
because we have no, we cannot change the sound
4. What attitudes do you want your audience to imprint
so easily, you know? Oh, it really needs to. It depends
in their minds after viewing the messages conveyed
1. What are the benefits of motion of type in graphic
on how you start.
by your brand?
design, and more especially in branding?
Interviewer: Cool. Um, and so, is all the animation
Do you think kinetic typography could be seen as
Kinetic typography enables us to go into a new level
work and programming done inside the agency?
of detail, words especially can take on more meaning than just in the written sense. From a branding POV,
Yeah, everything is internal unless it’s so incredibly
The arts have definitions for a reason, but choreo-
it means you can further explore how something is
busy that we will have to hire somebody. The only
graphic techniques can be applied to typography but
experienced and really push an idea.
thing we don’t do internally is sound. Okay, we don’t
are never going to be truly choreography. Making type
48⬜ 9.2.6—EMAIL FROM JON L.
2. How do you add meaning to a typographic design
1. Motion type in branding is another ownable asset in
each other should have the same tone and character.
/logotype with motion?
a brands toolkit, we are moving so much more into a
Brands always have characteristics, and these should
digital world and typography is such a key bit of what
be imbued in everything the brand does.
I think that actually, you start with the idea and then
brands are using. When done right it can be a short-
Hope that is in some way helpful!
what form that idea should take. If an idea leads you
cut to the brand in your mind, can create emotions,
All the best, Dan
to create a typographic design or logotype, it should
and can make information a lot more digestible. When
be clear what your parameters for play are and where
done right it should be a really seamless integration
you could take things. It really hard to try and bake
and part of the brands make up. Some brands can lean
meaning into a design once it’s completed!
on typography more than others, but all should really
9.2.8—Email response from Sebastien Camden, Camden. Work, 11 January 2021
have something ownable with a thought through ani3. Do you think kinetic typography could be seen
mation style that they can use across multiple platforms.
1. What do you think are the benefits of motion of type in graphic design, and more especially in
as “choreography”? 2. Meaning should always come from the brand itself,
branding? How would you decide to apply motion
Yes, when you look at the work which DIA has creat-
from what makes the brand different and ownable,
to the design and if not, why?
ed for Squarespace. It’s interesting to note that a lot
something no-one else can use. We try to imbue some
of this work and the movements are actually inspired
of this meaning into the animation and typography
Animating typography is to me, an amazing way to
styles of all the brands, so Courtney was all about
bring character (no pun intended), uniqueness and
impossible geometry of what he does so it made
fun to a brand or a composition. Since every brand
4. What would come first, motion design or sound
sense to do a typeface that mirrored it. A lot of the time
now almost requires having a robust online presence,
design when designing an animated logotype?
you see fairly similar logo animations and typography
and since technology as lead us to have screens in
animation, the best ones for me are when the anima-
places with high traffic (i.e., Subway and bus stations),
tion style is really considered and tailored to the brand.
brands have been seeing for a couple years now that
It really depends on what idea and feeling you are trying to get across. You could use sound to inspire
animating their brand assets and visuals is a great
your approach to motion, or alternatively use motion
3. In a way yes, it’s often used for messaging so needs
way to catch the attention of the potential audience.
to define what sound would be appropriate.
to have a flow to it, needs to look good but what is
Whether it’s on their iPhone or computer screen, or
I hope everything above answers your questions, and
more important is the message you are trying to get
simply while they wait for their transportation. Since I
best of luck in writing your dissertation, sounds super
across, are people reading the content and under-
am known as graphic & motion designer, brands often
interesting! Thanks + take care, Holly
standing the message and does it evoke any kind of
reach out to me to animate assets that I would need
feeling towards that brand (fun, dark, kiddy etc.) there
to create or that are already existing. So, taking that
are so many visual cues in animation that is a short cut
into account, I never really need to decide or to push
in people’s minds to a tone / feeling they should be
for graphic elements to be animated, it’s pretty much
having. When paired with really good copy writing it
always the goal. Sometimes though, after a couple
is such a powerful tool.
iterations of an animation, I might propose not to ani-
9.2.7—Email response from Daniel Kennington, Jones Knowles Ritchie, 18 January 2021 Hi Bertrand, Hope you are well, someone forwarded
mate a certain word or sentence because it makes it
this onto me and thought I was probably best placed
4. I think this can be either way round if I am hon-
illegible. This would usually be due to a time constraint
to answer. First thanks in taking an interest and sounds
est, as a visual agency we often start with that side
imposed on the animation. Being able to understand
like a great dissertation, think it is something that is
but ideas on how things move can also come from
and read the type is always the priority... Unless it isn’t!
becoming more prevalent in branding and we will see
audio. They both should feel like they come from the
I’ve had multiple projects in the past where reading the
a lot more of it in the years to come!
brands values though so even if done in isolation of
information wasn’t the exact goal of the promotional
video. It was rather conveying a mood, an energy, or
dancing, but I’ve definitely imagined that the letters
have a very obsessive professional writing. As a lot of
a visual impact to the viewer.
and words were dancing and that they needed to be
these graphic designers do. It matters, you know, and I
“on beat” or else it will appear as clunky and “off” to
had a new band with some of my friends. And I was the
one at some point, I was the one that started to make
2. How do you add meaning to a typographic design /logotype with motion? What meaning do you add with motion? When we’re talking about branding and logos/logo-
the posters. Okay, so I had no computer in the 90s in 4. Do you design the motion of logotype in regard
my in my home. So, I started with yes to copy paper
to the sound/music of a brand? Or is it more likely
and open. And that just cutting and pasting and all that
that the logo design influences the sound?
I, this was a moment when I discovered the beauty and the complexity of like, Okay, this is so this detail here.
types, I always present motion as an additional asset for the brand to use to strengthen their brand. I ask
It can actually go both ways; it really depends on the
I mean, from that moment, I became like a typogra-
them to see it just like the colour and typography
piece you’re creating. If it is a logo animation, then the
phy lover, like, so then. I studied journalism. That was
choices that have been made, and/or the shapes or
sound design would likely come after the animation.
not my path, I think. But I started that. And then I went
assets created. Those are all things that we know and
Unless the client demands for his logo to be animated
into graphic design after that because I love to paint.
expect to see in a brand today. Motion design is simply
on a specific, already existing music. That would be
I knew I wanted to be a painter, and I was very bad at
another great tool to make your brand more singu-
the same for an explainer video. I’ll design the video
that. So, I studied graphic design, and then step by
lar, differentiate himself from the competition and/or
until I have a complete storyboard, then create an
step I became motion graphics designer. I was like, I
deliver a better and more accurate message or mood.
animatic (animated storyboard) and add the official
don’t know. Yeah, it was because my first internship
music or a place holder track on it so the client as a
was in Spanish television. Okay. In Canal+, it is French,
Let’s say you’re doing a brand for a local library named
good idea of where the project is heading.
but we have in Spain too. I know. Yeah. There were I
“bookie” that has an online store for customers. After
But in the case of any video that would use an already
was in the broadcast design department. Okay, so it
the brand has been done and the logotype, the colour
existing music, I’ll always ask for the track first as it’s
was graphic design for television. So, the animation
palette and art direction have been all approved, you
going to be the core and main inspiration for the type
was part a very important part of the mix. And the fun
could also offer a charming logo animation that would
animation. In that case, you can use all of the creativity
aspect of all this is that at that moment, I didn’t like
transform the two o’s of “bookie” into blinking eyes
of the track at your advantage: sync movements and
animation. I really thought it was a phone that was
for two or three (you can imagine a very slick and not
animations to specific sounds and sections to make
very technical. I love to watch it. But for me, it was so
at all tacky animation here). Then the “bookie” logo
it punchier and impactful. Let me know if that works
difficult. I knew I wanted to make flyers and posters,
could loop from time to time on the website. Maybe
for you. All the best!
because all of these complexities, but they were very
the two eyes become the preloaded when pages are
kind my colleagues and they teach me some mini-
loading on the online store. There are many ways that you could expand on that idea to make the user experience more unique and slightly more memorable.
mal aspects of animation. From that I started to build
9.2.9—Transcript from Interview with Borja Holke, Madrid, 2nd February 2021, 4PM London Time
that. Because when I went to like, step by step, and some point, this is the typical moment when you see another’s studio professional, work about something that you love. I don’t know what was the first because,
3. Do you think kinetic typography could be seen as a choreography? Do you look at letterforms like
Interviewer: My first question would be how did you
you know, this is this is how it is you know, animating
the body dancing?
get into doing animation for typography?
typography is not nothing, not something new right. Now, the way that it we are doing it now, it’s kind of
You could say that! Rhythm is definitely something
Borja: That’s a good one. It’s like, I always explain that.
new, some levels of technical complexity or even the
crucial when it comes to type animation and motion
I’ve been obsessed with letters from when I was a
aspect of how the movement gives some expression
in general. I’ve never really seen letterforms as bodies
teenager. And I’m very kind of really obsessive. So, I
to letters. You are it feels new is important. So, when
50⬜9.2.9—INTERVIEW WITH BORJA HOLKE
I saw that this is becoming a trend. I was okay. I know
another layer of expression, you know, that you add
think of other ways to make the word move and
how to design I love typography and I No, I need to be
on top. And you need to be careful, too, because it’s
a graphic designer when I see a trend that I like, yeah.
also another layer of complexity. And sometimes too
It’s not like I trained it, when I see it just always looking,
much complexity. Doesn't add something but it makes
Borja: I said, it depends. Sometimes it’s something
you know, for surfing, you know? Yeah. Okay, because
a whole mess. I think these days that people are used
very literal. I have a series of animation that was about
my wave is my wave. And, like, you know, you know,
to a lot of visual stimulus. Visual very complex things
walk, the text literally walks. Okay. I was working from
ways you can do very difficult in the technical aspect
they are used to. Because if you if you follow these ani-
an online live library. It’s like, it captures motion. It’s
work. But it’s more about having the minimum skills.
mated posters, we can agree that a man or a woman
realistic. So that’s very literal. And then other times,
My desire was to be a graphic designer that animates.
in the 19th century. They can’t read anything. It’s like
it’s like, it’s just everything about communication cam-
And then the main part for me is like, you know, being
they would say WHAT IS THIS? But we are like training
paign, it is about elegance, class, and stuff. So, you
from concept or painting from feeling the aesthetics of
our eyes to this more complex. For me it’s another lay-
need to add something to the title. So that it’s very
the typeface or is more about how you give us a sense
er of expression. The meaning that you want or even
subtle, very elegant, very calm. And also, sometimes
of the word is not like, no, it’s not so difficult. That’s
sometimes is very beautiful because there are things
if you work more from the from the feeling, not adding
why then I proposed the rest of the platform, okay to
that are very subtle, but they add to the concept like a
something that is a part of the message as a state of
make, because now there are plenty of people teach-
maybe something is all about speaking or something
mind. Are you are talking to young people in display
ing. Amazing tutorials, but then you asked not many.
that’s expressive and you add a very short movement
on a cell phone? Everything needs to be very flashing
So, there was like, adapting space to think that’s why
there. So no, like, very flashy or Yeah, you can add
very loudly. So, you know, it depends. Well, no formula,
I went there, my stay. But so, um, so when I see trend
meaning, you know to the communication.
you know, you need to see the whole scene.
that I like, I jump into that straight-away, yeah. Interviewer: Yeah. Great well actually talking about
Interviewer: Um, quite interesting that you talked
Interviewer: That’s super interesting. Okay. And
meaning. Could you tell me more about how you
about words that walk. When you animate typog-
so actually, yeah, I’ve noticed your courses. I’ve
add meaning when animating?
raphy, do you also think about it as maybe a cho-
already subscribed to one, but I haven’t started it.
reography? Or do you think of the letters as like Borja: It’s like all these motions to me. So, it’s like, you
bodies? Like human bodies? Maybe like making
Borja: It’s not it’s not difficult. It’s like, because you
need to know what you’re communicating? Or what’s
them dance? Or is it something else?
freak out when you see all the buttons in, for exam-
the concept? And then you choose everything from
ple, cinema 4d. Yeah. Like when you go into a plane?
there is like to choose a colour from there. Yeah, like
Borja: Yeah, sometimes, like, for me, this is a good
you have something very serious. Not pink. So, in
question. Because choreography for me, a lot of
Interviewer: I’ve got like 4 question. But we can like
terms of colour, you have to make sense. And then in
times is super important. As a concept, you know,
go around it. That was my first one is like, what do
terms of the motion is the same. You need to do need
not only for kinetic typography, for motion, say, for
you think motion adds to typography?
to work from the concept to add something to the mix
graphic design movement. It feels better if it’s a cho-
is not making it for the sake of it you know. I know how
reography for me in general. I think it’s like in society
Borja: Yeah. Depends, you know, for me, there are
to animate. So, I have this here. You also have this case
if things move together. They work together. Yeah,
different approaches to this. The most obvious one
of people asking you to add Motion because they want
it’s very pleasant to watch. And you can also come
is attraction. It’s mostly only something that attracts
to attract the eyes first. For me, see, I always try to work
to the opposite. You can learn to doubt, and you can
attention that’s it. In a very fast paced world, every-
on top of the different tools of a graphic designer.
work with stuff that doesn’t go well together while
body’s gonna race. And even because of the size
they move, but that’s normally communication you
of this, you need to attract attention. So that’s one
Interviewer: So, how do you add meaning? Do you
don’t want that. It depends, choreography all the
thing, but for me, it’s not the main one for me is like
literally illustrate the word with motion? Or did you
times as I said, I made this for fun experiments when
you animate letter thinking on a particular character, public figures that it’s a super good exercise to make because with movement, you can portray these per-
9.2.10—Transcript from Interview with Steven Scott, Creative Partner at TwoFifths Design Ltd., 13 January 2021
sonalities and put into something larger or more acute.
so I am just about to put it on the site) Again we have created a kind of motion for that. The flow one that I have done, we had originally designed that as a piece of type. We could not get it working at all. It is really
Steven: I used to be the head of digital design at the
interesting when you look at it because when you see
Interviewer: My last question is when you do an
union advertising. I moved into digital because that’s
it without the animation in it, it is a really odd-looking
animation that goes with sound or music, what
the way everything is going. I started building web and
logo. But your eye obviously, because of the wave
comes first? And how do you make each other
worked my way through that.
running through it, your eye creates the turn of the
interact with it?
When I started in the agency It was to do graphic
f and creates and create the turn of the a and I think
design in brand identity. We have now moved more to
those are some kind of gifts. It says exactly what it is
Borja: It depends, you know, when I worked in Canal+.
web. We have been super busy because of everything
doing it relates to the subject. I don’t really think that
Sometimes it is because of the work flow, or of where
that is going on for online shop. It has been good.
deep into these that was just something that organ-
to work. I remember working again in Canal+, and
ically grew out of how could we do this? I originally
then I had this work flow that we define designers go
Interviewer: What do you think are the benefits of
had the word flow actually quite similar to what you
first. And then from the animation, the sound design-
motion of type in graphic design, and more espe-
have done with your logo CF (Steven looked at my
er work on top of that. Okay, but it was not like, it was
cially in branding? How would you decide to apply
portfolio website) What it was it had a wave going
just like, it wasn’t wait last. It’s not something that you
motion to the design and if not, why?
through it and it sat on a block. The wave kind of it almost distorted the word so it looked like the word
can because they, it’s like a factory. But you need to have these super good friends, great sound designer.
Steven: One of the ones you pointed out the Flow
was floating in the wave. We went through a lot of
Okay. When we work together, we try to be or work
philosophy identity that we have done I do a lot of
development and that was the simplest form we could
at the same time in a way. It’s like, yes. Or maybe it’s
AfterEffect work myself. Basically, I try to put anima-
find. It is probably one of my favourite logos, the way
like, but we need to have a briefing and everything.
tion on everything I do now. Especially whenever there
that we could mix all the media together. It works so
We know the scene where it’s going together because
is an identity that I design I will always cost and do a
well. If you try to force motion into something, that is
it’s kind of dialogue. Yeah, the sound designer and the
motion version of that identity. With the media that is
when becomes difficult as well. I guess it is interesting
motion designer. And at the end, there is sometimes
now available you have to have some kind of move-
because I do not think that deeply about animating.
sound designer works on top of the animation. Okay,
ment in your identity or something available to use
It is just something now that we tend to look at when
because it’s super important to synchronise. And other
if it requires it. I mean especially at this time as well;
we are doing it. If the logo itself does not want to be
times it is the other way around. You work on top of
we are working at the moment with National Trust of
animated we might do a simple, really simple thing to
the sound because of the beat. The timing aspects of
Scotland, so we just made an identity for Burns Night
it. It is a difficult one because I guess it’s almost like a
things. That’s the technical aspects. It’s how you solve
In. So, what they are going to do is they are going to
natural thing for us to do. There is a few we have done
things. First, the animation, some important things
have is live streaming form the Burns cottage in Alloa
that I guess are typography. Transforming change is a
that the Sound designer and motion designer, work
and again they are going to be using a lot of screens
company who came to us with the identity we did not
together understand what they’re doing. They’re in
and interaction through the virtual portal. You have
create it for them. They actually came to us for us to
the same boat. You know?
to have something animated otherwise it just looks
build their website. We really built their website. But
ridiculous when everything else being video and dig-
then just to add something nice to their identity we
ital to have a static logo. So, I think that’s why we now
just animated it in a way that they could animate it in
try to tend to put movement into everything we do.
or animate it out. Whenever they do a presentation to
There is always going to be a need for that type of
someone, they can click on the first slide and have the
media. (I have actually just finished the case study,
logo animated. That’s all. It is kind of basic level, that’s
52⬜ 9.2.10—INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN SCOTT
kind of what we would do to a logo. We animate it in,
are thinking in that way, it only elevates the client as
charge what I want to charge for that logo. We have
and we animate it out. It does not relate to the fact that
well and their brand and how that works.
done alright for the rest of this job because there was
they are interior designer or that their name is bell and
I will go back and see other examples. The stuff we
a lot of motion work in it, things like that. But again, it
swift, it is just a simple animation to give motion into
have done for Red Bull, the escape room. We tend to,
was after we created this logo, we thought why don’t
their logo. And then we have other once Transform
the motion we do comes out of the fact that I want
we glitch it and make it. That was a free template from
and Change. These guys what they do is that they go
something nice for my website. This one here which is
AfterEffect and dropped the logo in it. We tend to just
into companies and they basically deal with mergers
the Future Business forum, these are the future heads
put motion into everything we do.
or if you company is going through a large change
guys that deal with big conferences and summit like
and needs to do redundancies, these guys come in to
that. I only created that logo but for myself I then
Interviewer: Do you think that kinetic typography
help you with that transformation change within your
myself they created a motion for them. And once I had
could be seen as choreography.
business. So, when we were creating this, the idea of
done it and that they have seen it on my site they are
this was that the logo was constantly changing and
now use they motion that I have done for my website
Steven: Yes, definitely, in fact any animation I approach
developing moving to the T and the C from trans-
as part of their logo as well. It is funny how things work
I almost see it as kind of form, A lot of the easing that
forming change and whenever it turns into it always
out. A lot of the times, they have not asked from me to
you do, it starts fast and then slows done, and those to
show the T and the C from Transforming Change. So,
do motion and they are not looking at doing anything
me are kind of human kinds of action. When I animate
the logo itself is constantly changing. That again we
in motion, but I do it for myself anyway because it is a
it, I always think of it as a stage. I always think of the
don’t do anything with the type itself it is more the ico-
nice thing to kind of have. The white hat logo, these
design as characters on the stage and the animation
nography of it. So yeah, that again as soon as I started
guys I work with the Edinburgh Escape room guys and
works in that way. When you start the PLAY (which is
thinking about that that. As soon as I created one of
they had originally a square space website. Now they
the play button as well) say it is a play on the stage and
these logos flat, I thought that would be really cool if
have 70 different franchise across the word. They have
your start that play running, […] If I have got an S on
we put down and we started moving the blocks that
a website of every one of them. Because we built the
the screen and I press button and the S appears on the
always create the T and the C. That kind of developed.
first one, we were recognised as a Squarespace expert
screen, I guess. I have never thought of it in that term
So, lot of them started as flat logos but then you can
and asked to build 30 of them and it just moved on
as you put it but yeah definitely, I would absolutely
see the potential in them moving forward. So, this is a
from there. We have now done a vast amount of sites
see kinetic typography this as choreography. You are
really nice little identity that worked well. And again, it
for other people. This one here was just a template that
choreographing that type, definitely. But it is interest-
works really nice flat as well. You know it is kind of flat
we downloaded from the internet and put their logo
ing you said that because when I am animating, that’s
form T and C. There document we created this kind of
into. There was nothing behind this at all. The whole
exactly how I tend to see things. There are characters
negative elements into it, so you still see the T and C in
idea of this was that they created a world champi-
in my score, those characters come into play.
the cover. So yeah, that again that was quite a nice one
onship escape room down in London and it was for
to work on. These are kind of clients that do not have
Red Bull. And because we were the design agency for
big budgets so, we always try and maximise what we
escape, we got involved in doing this. That was all a
could do for them. You are maybe talking an hour to
hacking operation that had gone wrong and that was
Steven: I would love to work with a proper sound engi-
spend on AfterEffect. It is not too much a cost to the
the idea behind this logo glitches and digital glitch.
neer to do this. We have done one where we created
client. But it really elevates the brand a little bit more.
Again in terms of the logo, the logo itself is 4 hats, but
a glitch effect for the tattoo logo company.
When someone is looking at that, they are looking at
it also looks like a mine. We did it in 5 minutes. I pulled
We use Garageband for the sound like that. We can
that now thinking, these guys they have not just have
out a white of the shuttle stock, turned it on its side,
do that It is very interesting to do that. The little bit of
a logo, they are really thinking about it, these are pro-
flipped it 4 time and he was just like that is perfect,
glitch trying to find the little sound that do that. We
fessional. Someone else with just a flat logo and one
let’s just go with that. That literally just took 5 minutes
worked with a sound designer, but it would be for
business card and that kind of things. So, I think if you
that logo, and it is a nightmare because I can’t then
a 90sec explaining animation. I have never thought
Interviewer: Do you work with sound? Music?
about using it on typographic animation. Sliding
cal decisions, placement, typography, colour, have a
it. He said, okay, you can extrapolate this theory to
sounds, There probably is, it could quite nice if you
profound influence in the connotation and annotation
others things like visual or musical or whatever, other
have something like that. When I associate sounds
aspects of the message. So by designing this stuff dif-
languages or other systems, but he uses it mostly in
with something. It is for longer animation rather than
ferently, you either emphasise the message, you send
a linguistic style. The funny thing is, although at the
such a short piece. Normally you see like an animated
stuff to the background, even just by creating a hierar-
first view, the semiotics the American system seems
logo, they might have a TV screen in their reception
chy on your page, you can change the message. So,
more practical, then it’s not very usable, because it
area, and it might just be their logo playing, a lot of
my idea is since we are so efficient designers in doing
doesn’t have the base that the linguistics have that
the time there is no sound associated with the logo
this with typography on a page, how would we do it
then you can apply to other things, if you want to go,
playing. But there is nothing saying that you could
with movement? So, for better efficiency of commu-
let’s say complex. So, I actually, to understand the
not do that. There is a place for sound design in ani-
nication, the designer must dominate his elements of
concepts Pierce was clear sometimes, but to actually
mated logo type.
the demography, the spacing, the colours, the fonts to
use evolved stuff, the best is Saussure, the French guy,
guarantee the efficiency of communication all about
okay? So, I’ve studied the semiotics and semiology
Interviewer: For the tattoo artist you created the
the methodology for motion graphics projects. So,
visual perception, which is very important if you must
sound to make it work with the logo animation?
our primary objective is to establish a method to be
understand how the brain sees movement. There’s a
used as a functional grammar which is something that
very good book, a very good article that I can send
Steven: Yes, we did that. But it can also be done the
exists. In theory, which means it’s a system that func-
you, which is about the neurology of kinetic art. Have
other way around.(…)
tions like a grammar, but it’s not a complete gram-
you seen that?
mar. So it’s not a grammatical system like the English
9.2.11—Transcript from discussion with João Aranda Brandão, PhD. Graphic Designer, Lisbon, 7 December 2020, 11 AM London time.
language or the French language, which is let’s say
Interviewer: I don’t think so. Actually, that sounds
closed circle, but the functional grammar is something
really good. I was looking into it, but I haven’t found
that uses aspects of the grammar of a grammatical
any precise article about this yet.
system to function. Okay? So specific for designers working on motion graphics projects. So this is my
João: It’s not very recent, but for understanding how
João: The idea is that we want to turn this into a meth-
idea. So here I present the results of my PhD research,
the brain processes movement, whether it’s actually
odology or a system for expression in motion typog-
while displaying methodology, theoretical contextu-
moving, or it’s something that represents movement,
raphy. So I have this presentation that I made for that
alization. So we read lots of books, and stuff. And the
this is pretty good. Okay, this is short, and you can
Congress where that paper you found was published.
idea is mostly I read about semiotics and semiology.
really quickly stop so it’s good. And then I started stud-
So my idea is to actually show you that presentation,
You know, there’s two theories of meaning. One is
ying animation and movement. And I started collect-
and so that you can see and understand a little bit
called semiotics developed by a guy called Pierce
ing all the kind I decided I was gonna collect all of the
more what I’ve done in the PhD. And then you can, you
in the United States, and another one called semiol-
movement variables in and it’s whether because the
know, maybe ask me questions and stuff. It’s called the
ogy, which is developed by a guy named Saussure in
variables let’s say, on the page, they’re kind of simple
human factors and ergonomics conference. So this is
France. You’ve heard of Saussure?
like x & y positioning, size, colour, fonts, and other
the idea that when the designer creates a project he understands the written text, not as is just the part of
things. Obviously, you can grow this a lot, but when Interviewer: Yes, I have. Yeah.
a message. So the thing is, when I design the book,
you start studying, so I decided to do a collection. I started studying relevant cases, state study cases like
and I’m trying to represent the book, or the title or the
João: Okay. So the funny thing is, Pierce will explain
opening credits for films and things like that, which
poster, the text there, I don’t ignore it, you can’t ignore
things clearer and in a certain more obvious ways for
are very interesting. And they have a lot of meaning.
the content, you must understand and work towards
a designer, visual designer, whether Saussure, most-
Okay, they represent like, it’s a horror movie, or it’s
this content towards this message. So, all the graphi-
ly apply this theory to linguistics. And he didn’t apply
something movie or it’s a romance and then I started,
54⬜ 9.2.11—DISCUSSION WITH JOÃO BRANDÃO
okay, I need to understand first the variables and then
change across time. Okay, change across, you must
a stone. You can change the weight of that stone. So
I’ll do the other thing. So I started experimenting with
have time and composition. Without these, there’s
this would be a small pebble.
motion variables. And the thing I found is they’re kind
nothing, okay. And you need to change a variable,
of infinite. So you have like, just like action. Yeah. Okay,
or at least one of these three columns. So you can
but then it can be erratic. And it can be nervous, it can
change a spatial animation, which means this trans-
be shaky. It can be. So it’s not just x and y, it’s a lot
lation, it means translation of movement, like place-
João: Okay, so I, when I started analysing, and I’ve
more because the way you use it and the way it inter-
ments, rotation path scale. So either it was something
done like, I’m sure that 10 times more. And I said,
acts with time, it’s completely different. Okay? And for
goes on one side and goes to the other, something
movement can clarify the meaning of a word. This is
instance, rotation, you can have three axes. Okay? So
is on one angle and rotates to the other, something
very important. And this is very usable when you’re
with the same axis, I haven’t changed the axis yet, I’ve
is small and becomes big, something moves along
doing things. So you have a word that might have two
just changed the location that the axis is and I’m rotat-
a path or something. So unless there’s a change on
meanings, you can by adding movements. Without
ing it off. And then off of the axes. So this is just one
those things, you don’t have animation, but you cannot
changing the colour or the shape of the word, you
type of rotation applied to the axis now I’ve changed
have any of those changes. But you can have a square
can actually clarify the meaning of the word or move-
the axis. But I applied differently. And I just changed
turning into a round shape, or an eight or you need
ment can intensify aspects of the meaning of the word
the axis or I put the axis on the entire word or just
to be so there’s like, there’s no movement across the
moving. Movement can actually illustrate the meaning
one on each letter or something. So even just rotation
page or the screen, there’s no rotation, but the shape
of the word movement can contextualise the word
understanding of another that was multiple axis. Yeah.
itself can change, or you can have properties of the
defining its meaning, which means if you have a word
So just rotation is so complex, and it’s just one, let’s say
shape, which means the colour can change the back
out of context, you don’t understand the meaning. But
type of movement that decomposes in so many types
you can change the transparency can change, or other
then you add the movement as you would add, let’s
of movements. So I think, on one hand, the designer
kinds of shape filters. So I believe these are the three
say a phrase or something else. And it adds contents,
must understand this language, these elements. On
main things that you can change Okay, over time in
the movement can do the same. And movement also
the other hand, there’s just so many that so and then
the composition. So this basically, for me, simplifies
highlights a word in a given space. So if you have a lot
there’s given the camera, this is just a short version
everything. Yeah. Okay. So, and then I decided that
of text, and I’ve done tests with that, a lot of texts and
of what I presented in the PhD, I’ve put much more,
or I thought that this would be easy. And then I would
there’s one word moving. Everybody reads the word
but then you don’t have time to this presentation was
be changing semantics. And, and my like, hypothe-
that’s moving, and everybody else ignores everything
his 15 minutes presentation, I have everything else in
sis was this. If you have two different variables, you
else. So you have like, a phrase with five words. And
Portuguese. So it wouldn’t be that interesting. So you
have one meaning, but if you change the variables,
you have the last word moving. And you ask people,
can tilt the camera and the way things are perceived
you can change the meaning. And if you use different
did you see that thing I’ve projected? What was the
if you move the camera, completely different if you
variables combined in different ways, so, there you
first word? I don’t know, the first one. The last word
actually move the elements. And the thing is, although,
can even have a different meaning. So you have all of
was something but not the first one. So movement
the canvas is 2D our perception that there’s space,
these variables that are in this order. And if you change
highlights so it emphasises and it also helps me the
and there’s 3D, and you can even focus on something
them, you get me, okay, so I started to experiment
hierarchy. Okay. So I said, Okay, there’s hierarchy here.
else. So there’s so many variables. So infinite variables,
with meaning. You know, those very simple exercises
So let’s do hierarchy and hierarchy can change things.
and there’s also the typographic variables and stuff.
that you do in graphic design that you have You like
So I found also this, this phrase that I think it’s very
So there’s just so many things that you can do in rela-
a word? And you must represent the meaning of the
true that every designer has a visual hierarchy that is
tion to other stuff. So at the end of this, I decided we
word. Yeah. So I decided to start painting basically. So
implemented to guide viewers through the message,
needed a simpler way of looking at things. And this
I started the light. And I make things light. But then I
and help them understand what information is most
is my table. So this is kind of my simplification stuff,
said, but light has another meaning, right? So maybe
important, this dictates which elements of design will
which is to have animation movement, you must have
you can have you turn on the light. Or even you have
be emphasised, and we hope it will all be laid out. So
Interviewer: Yes, yes and this one is heavy.
I do a lot of books. As you can see, behind me, there’s
according to their movement. So basically, we’re just
danger. It's to do with our instinct, maybe of hunt-
many, many, many of these books are designed in my
changing the movement. But the reader spectator is
ing and finding food. And so it has to be like the first
company, and I’ve done them over and over. Last time
perceiving the words in different ways. According to
instinct is to perceive movement first. So it’s just so
I counted was like 75 books. And we’re always doing
their movement. The reader focuses and memoris-
powerful. Yeah. And you can find quotes for that. You
hierarchy, like even an index, you must do the hier-
es parts of a phrasing detriment of others, accord-
can Google Arnheim.
archy at page front page title, the cover of hierarchy.
ing to the moment, so they might remember a part
So okay, let’s do it with the text. And let’s see how it
and not remember the other. So about the Las Vegas
interferes with meaning. And it interferes a lot. Okay,
one. Maybe it’s something Oh, it was something about
so “woman... without her... man is a beast”. And then
being in Las Vegas. And the first one was like, Oh, he
João: Yeah. when you start the chapter on movement,
“woman without her man... is a beast”. So, because
was speaking, he was very important, because he
yes. Just says that. Yeah, okay. So, right there. Yeah.
I’ve changed the hierarchy and the rhythm. In one
was the speaker, you know, and it was the same sen-
So, out of all of this, I was kind of stuck in my PhD. I
video, I’m saying that man is a beast, and in the other
tence. And I’ve done tests with this very annoying, I
was understanding that it means all of these things.
video, I’m saying woman is a beast. But the phrase is
remember, I have this thing moving a lot. For me, I
Yeah. But as a designer, I couldn’t like to plan these
the same. So I’m basically changing punctuation by
was like, I had this test, it was a really, really long time.
things. I was basically using my instinct. So yes, okay.
changing the hierarchy and the rhythm of how things
And they had the wording read everything in white
Yeah. until I kind of crossed this knowledge with a
are shown. Yeah, this is the reverse. Because you’re
words in red and the word moving. But I said, what was
grammatical knowledge especially semiology from
showing the same sentence, but the public is reading
the word in red, and most people didn’t even notice.
so soon, okay. So, what he says that when you want
something else. Yes. And you can always say, Oh, it
And then I had this thing that said, If you can’t make it
to express or characterise things differently, you use
was written there. But that’s not what I have in mind.
good, make it big. If you can’t make it big, make it red.
what was called the figures of speech which you can
And this was like a Max, a, you know, a way of higher
which you can you can exaggerate something you can
pricing things in graphic design. Yeah. So different
do a paradox, you can do in writing you can objective
animations applied to the same phrase, can produce
right, which put lots of adjectives to make something
João: I’m speaking in Las Vegas, because I was in
readings, okay, which means different meanings. It
very, very, you know, so all of these figures of speech
Las Vegas. So this was very narcissistic, because I
actually, if people read things and understand things
or or how do you call your writing techniques?
was speaking in Las Vegas. Yeah. Okay. Or I could go
differently, it actually is meaning something different.
like I’m speaking in Las Vegas. So I’m not important,
So I understand that. Movement is super powerful, you
but Las Vegas is so we can just change the entire per-
know, it’s and the other thing I’ve reached, the con-
ception of people just by emphasising or, or doing a
clusion is that it’s more powerful than size, or shape,
João: You plan in your head, and you say, Okay, I want
hierarchy. And I made this very ‘kitsch’ because of Las
or, or a lot of things that we were using posters. So
to change this meaning this way. And in text, I would
Vegas. Yeah. I like the word ‘kitsch’. I know it’s French.
in a lot of ways your movement is more powerful, is
do it this way. I would add adjectives, but in movement,
more versatile, and it captures more attention. And
I can add, I can characterise the thing with movement
then obviously, it’s not here in this presentation. But
instead of so I can use the movement to do things
when you go and read about the theory, and the per-
instead of writing more stuff. Yes. Oh, so. Okay. That’s
João: Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely something I liked when
ception of movement, we know that movement is the
enough. You see this, man, this guy’s mad. It’s like
George Bush said, Oh, the French don’t have it if they
highest stimulus, visual stimuli you can have. So if you
okay. That’s enough. So he’s punching the table, right?
don’t even have a word for entrepreneur. It’s like, okay,
compare the power of movement to colour or to other
Yeah. And then there’s that’s enough. I hope this will
it’s a French word. The English don’t have a word they
other elements, it’s been proven by other scientists in
go smoothly. Okay, this guy is very happy. It's a redun-
use the French. Okay? So the reader spectator per-
other ways that movement has more a bigger impact
dancy, you emphasise something that’s already there.
ceives words that make up a phrase in different ways,
in capturing your attention, because it’s to do with
Interviewer: yeah. Oh, super interesting.
Interviewer: Yeah, bizarrely it sounds English.
56⬜9.2.11—DISCUSSION WITH JOÃO BRANDÃO
Interviewer: That's how I found you actually.
Interviewer: Yes. Yeah.
João: The funny thing is, when these things are mov-
because it’s really worth it because of all of the illus-
ing, if you have just a word or a poster, usually you
trations and he’s gonna talk just about pure animation
João: But then, okay. Okay, so you can be sarcas-
have multiple interpretations of things. And with the
and how to work it out. I think the book is very easy
tic. Ironic. Yeah. So sarcasm and irony are figures of
movement, you can get a really easy consensus about
to read. There’s also videos you can find online these
speech, yes, that you can use writing or you can use
what is the message. So, do you know, a guy called
master classes. He has if you find the animation, he
with your voice, “I hope things go very smoothly”, you
is his animation. What animation tool-kit is that what
know. And here, you can add, like, this is a paradox just because it’s funny sentences here, and it doesn’t
its name All right, okay. If you cry, Richard Williams, Interviewer: No, I don't?
because it’s round. And here, you can use zoomorph-
an emotion survivor, okay, that’s okay. I’ll screen and show it to you very quickly. Okay, share he has, yes.
ication, but probably this is not the characteristics of
João: So he is a director and the movie critic, he’s
Okay, this book, okay, animator survival kit. He has all
things. Or you can even use one of the payers,* which
very controversial. I’m pretty sure he’s from the Czech
these drawings, and all the understanding of how to
is representation of sound or of noise. Yes. So the idea
Republic. Okay. And he has all sorts of weird...Yeah...
place the key-frames and to develop the animation.
is you can plan to do these things, understand that
Let me send it in messages to you should chat with this
He has all of the very interesting stories that he tells
these elements, and there’s much more I had so much
guy. Okay, so he has a movie called The Perverts guide
because he’s worked with excellent animators. And
more. I had words that moved on to each other, so that
to cinema, you should you should find it because it’s
he has the animator survival kit guide here. So it’s this
the sounds would mix with another, which French has
usually easy to find on, you know, YouTubes or torrents
thing. And the funny thing is how he develops all of
a lot, because you connect words. And if you put two
or something. It’s a documentary, he starts by saying
these different characters. Some are, you know, exo-
different words, and you save them together, some-
that cinema is the most perverse art of all, because it
skeletons like these. So where is it like the watch, you
times it sounds like a third word, lots of jokes are based
doesn’t give you the liberty of interpreting it. He tells
should watch these videos, he has multiple lips. This
on that. So you can have all sorts of different styles
you exactly what to feel, at what moments so when
is very nice. Because it’s different. Okay, we’ll have
that you will find in writing. So this is my idea: that you
you see a movie, and it’s sad, everyone’s sad, when it’s
different so like, the legs have the skeleton, not the
first must understand the power and the expressive-
happy, everyone’s happy. You know, most movies are
ears. They’re soft. And women differently and he puts
ness of typography. Yeah. The movement applied to
not open to interpretation, to understand basics, you
like, everything that the cloth knows differently. And
backup my biography, then understand that you can
can get an interpretation on the story, but the motions
then they get bought the books differently. And he
completely change its meaning, even by the simple
that are being conveyed at every moment, yeah,
was the creator of a Jessica Rabbit. Character that
thing of changing the hierarchy. Okay, then you must
they’re very clear. And everybody gets them because
is super exaggerated, so he knows how to exagger-
understand rhythm and animation to do most of these
of all this. So he’s very interesting. You should see that
ate. Boobs move up and down as she walks. And the
things. But like, we can talk about that in a second. But
documentary The guy in his books are also quite inter-
blood, like from one side to the other. And it’s impos-
so with this, we can understand the semantic effect of
esting. He’s, he’s a weird guy. He was like defending
sible. It’s also very interesting when he has a dog. This
movement as applied to the digital typography. How to
Trump, and all of that recently, so It’s like, okay, I like
guy also functions very mechanically. Although there’s
manipulate and hear “manipulate” is the word it’s like
certain things, but not others. So I finished with this
somebody last and then there’s this one that doesn’t
perverse word manipulation. So you can manipulate
phrase, which is, from this book, it’s very interesting.
have a skeleton while the other one has. Yeah, and I
it to fulfil an objective and use motion graphics and
The trouble with words is that they don’t always say
like the dog because he says sometimes you have to
animation to communicate the message with better
what they mean, because you’re writing something
disengage that this is their spine so that they can do
efficiency than with another meeting.
and people aren’t understanding something else. And
certain things. So he tells all of his theory when you
this was my presentation. Okay. Super interest. Oh,
walk, watch these clips of the master-classes. They’re
yeah. So for animation, I would recommend you to see
all very good. They’re all very short, you should watch
the Richard Williams book on animation. You can find
them all. Okay? And obviously, there’s the DVDs that
the PDF online very easily, or you can buy the book
cost £760 I guess it’s the entire master class. I think
if you want to become an animator is a really good
you’d read into three in two hours, you’d be finished
with communication and emotion, and yeah, it’s not
deal. But not for you. You can probably just read the
with the book. So this part is all just movement, how to
designed. So emotional design is just design or design
book and watch the other videos. (...)Alright. This is
draw all of these movements and the legs if you want
thinking is just the way designers do things.
some guy that he worked with and he’s all saying it’s
to make it elegant or not. So that the summit would
Well, I hope this has been more enlightening, because
about the time and spacing. And he starts explaining
be silly somehow but the butt inclines to make it look
I think it’s not easy to explain all of these things in
the time and spacing in exercises. You should open
natural, how you know all of these areas of the body
words. I think. And I hope this makes a little bit of dif-
Adobe After Effects or Apple Motion or some products
because or else you look, you know, a lot of anima-
ference. (…) So I think you should read, you can read
and actually manage to do the bouncing ball. So, mak-
tion computer animation, they look stiff and horrible
those two, chapters, chapter two, and three, if you
ing this actually, instead of being a fixed wall going
because they haven’t read this book. Okay? A bad ani-
want to French like, and you can look at the rest of
up and down, you need to go route within “Boing,
mators need to read this book so that things look nat-
the dissertation, or the thesis and see if there’s some-
Boing”. So actually, controlling these expressions on
ural. If you’re not animating humans, you don’t need
thing interesting for you. There’s chapter five. That’s
animation is key to get the other typography expres-
to see how the breasts go up and the blood go up and
the active research where I also talk about animation.
sions well, and then he can do it, you can do it with a
down the normal hair. The hair and the foot inclination
camera with a coin, this will be a very different result,
of the foot is very important. That goes up and down
Interviewer: Maybe like the language come out of
this will start slow, go very low again. And then he has
the air that moves up and out and forwards in. So all of
like, transforming the typography? The fact that
all of these. He was like, suggesting music while they
these—I like this one when the woman’s…they cross
you will change, like you talked about changing
were animating and the guy said, What is your main
their feet. So remember when they tend to walk in a
shape, I guess there is also all sorts of effects that
question? Because he needs to, he says he’s not smart
straight line. So normally, fashion models cross their
can be put on the notation of type design.
enough to think more than one thing at a time when
feet, as the strippers, as the ballerinas because it gives
he’s animated. Then he has all of these. So these are
an elegant look to the old ladies of it.
João: Yeah, maybe when you change the font, they change the meaning you can read that on the Erik
the key-frames so there, it’s slow here, fast here and slow there. So that would be a movement that slows
Interviewer: I find it quite interesting the possibili-
Spiekermann his book, ‘Stop stealing sheep’ and
on the ends. And it’s fast in the middle, a very simple
ty of comparing how you move type and how you
find out how type works. It’s a very small book, and
movement. But this is how, let’s say the animator...The
animate a body in a way. Like the fact that you were
it talks about expression and fonts and how differ-
master animator sends his stuff to the menial anima-
talking about choreography and I quite like that.
ent fonts convey different meanings. He also has like
tors doing the work on The Inbetweeners, so he does
faces showing different expressions and so that will
the main drawings. And he says that those will move
João: Okay, so. So if you’re going to talk about chore-
be a really an Erik Spiekermann is like a typographic
like this. So this is like an acceleration or deceleration.
ography, you have to say that movement has to have
God’s Yeah. He is. It has great fonts. So that would be
And the rhythm of the key-frames understanding this
meaning or else listening to the music and having a
a good book for that. It’s very short. You can read it
language is very important. And then the text is not
ballerina stopped on the stage would be the same as
also very quickly. And I’m sure you can find a PDF for
very big, and you read it very fast. And then after a
would mean the same as the ballerina moving. We
it. So if you want understand connotation denotation,
while, it gets very human. So it’s not very important
know that ballet and I really like ballet. I guess you
of form shapes, yeah, you start with that, and then you
to us. But still, it’s good to read. And then. And these
can see guitars together on one slide here. And so
can probably find more advanced stuff.
are also the tables animators use, which are interest-
my great grandfather was a very famous Portuguese
ing to know. And I think it is important to understand.
musician. So ballets are really all about meaning and
Interviewer: Yeah, that’s, that’s interesting to ask
And then after a while, the book just becomes a huge
feeling. And, and I hate the notions of design think-
you. I mean, what you’re talking about is very much
library of drawings on how to draw and stuff. So this
ing and of emotional design. Okay, these are stupid
what I was hoping to find in my research.
is like you don’t need to read this part now because
notions and words for design when there’s no think-
it’s how two legs move. So I think the important stuff
ing, it’s not designed when there’s no interference
58⬜ 9.2.11—DISCUSSION WITH JOÃO BRANDÃO
TYPEFACES Segment by Krishna Kireeti, Typekiln foundry Movement' by Noel Pretorius & Maria Ramos, NM Type
PRINTED in March 2021 by Exacta Print, Glasgow, UK
Graphic Design Dissertation
Glasgow Clyde College 2020-21