+44(0)20 7164 6431
+44(0)20 7164 6431

A beginners guide to kinetic typography

Kinetic typography is one of those things that you see everywhere without realising it. It’s on TV commercials, website landing pages, and so much more. In fact, it’s one of the most widely-used forms of animation, and a fun tool to create moveable text that will add impact, visual interest, and develop emotional connections to your digital and video projects.

An increasingly popular form of motion design, moveable type is eye-catching, and holds the attention of the audience through stimulating the senses. It’s helped by the fact that people are naturally drawn to words, and always find themselves wanting to read them. The techniques required to create kinetic typography are complex, and take time to master, but when you take its growing popularity into account, it’s well worth investing the time and effort.

Let’s dive deeper into the world of kinetic typography, and see how you can use it within the design of your next brand video.

What is kinetic typography?

Essentially, kinetic typography refers to the creation of moving type or text. It’s an animation technique that makes letters expand, fly, move quickly, move slowly, grow and change. You can have your text move and change in subtle ways, or create elaborate sequences with lengthy bodies of text.

With advancements in web design, accessing kinetic typography has become much easier, resulting in an explosion of its use by businesses across different sectors. After wowing audiences through TV and video, websites and web-based videos have adopted the practice, and now we’re exposed to it regularly, with the increase in internet speed and broadband has made this even more possible.

Although used for a range of reasons, kinetic typography is usually adopted to add emphasis to some aspects of content. When your design needs a boost, kinetic typography offers a cost-effective solution to creating a unique visual, especially when visuals aren’t already in place.

Kinetic typography was initially used on the silver screen in the late 1950s, with its first use traced back to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 movie North by Northwest. The legendary director’s follow-up Psycho again used kinetic typography to great effect in its opening credits. In both films, Hitchcock used the power of kinetic type to convey a mood, rather than using the screen to pass on information.

Movies continued to use and develop the trend of using kinetic typography, and it eventually became commonplace in TV as well, not only for the credits of shows but commercials as well. Today, it’s also successfully used for web design, mobile apps, and online videos, with businesses using it for advertising, spreading brand awareness, and helping with brand storytelling.

Why use kinetic typography?

Kinetic typography is a fantastic and fun little tool that significantly helps to make the plain seem incredible. However, as with any other trick, it should be used for a particular purpose that achieves your goals, rather than to the point of overkill. It’s proved especially useful in business, helping them to create emotional content, adding character and capturing attention. Kinetic text adds dimensions to plain, static script that would otherwise be off-putting to the reader.

The way you choose to make your text move will provide an additional way to communicate to the reader. You can make it louder by changing the size and weight of your letters, using contrasting colours, or even mimicking the vibrations of sound as you raise or lower the volume of the narration. You can also imitate human motion, attaching text to objects and shapes and moving it in a way that creates a sense of character.

Kinetic typography in action

Below, we’ve put together a few of our favourite examples of kinetic typography in action that we think you’ll enjoy.

The first is for Rimmel’s new brand of lipstick, Provocalips.

Working with the concept of ‘provocation’, we designed a bold typographic style, which was intermixed with video footage and imagery of lips. The colour palette of bold reds and pinks was chosen to match the Rimmel range, and blocky motion graphics and lighting effects were used throughout, moving in time with the upbeat soundtrack. In the final packshot, we then animated the full range of products.

First, we see the bold titles spelling out “Ready To Provoke?”, with a follow-up question, “Ready For Kissproof, Lifeproof Colour & Shine?”. Then the product itself is revealed with a dynamic packshot, with the lids on both ends removed, allowing the viewer to see the product inside.

Next up is a vibrant splash of colour in the form of various pink and red shades of CG liquid being thrown together, as the caption on the screen reflects these striking colours. We then show a sequence of images of the product on lips, with bold key messages being shown. This style of video is perfect for social media, as it is eye-catching and bright, helping it stand out on people’s busy timelines, as well as quick and easy to take in.

Our next example offers a very different feel of kinetic typography — an animated video for a new Football Fan App.

Starting with a football field, the video takes the viewer on an animated journey through the rapid history of the way fans have watched and interacted with the beautiful game. We see a radio, then a television, before following the rise of the internet and social media.

With big, bold typography, fast-sweeping camera moves, and large-scale representations of social media, we tell the story with real impact. However, kinetic typography is at the forefront of the design, letting the viewer know that football is taking over the world, and social media is where it’s all happening.


Get in touch with Frantic today to discover how we can get your business to stand out.