Ever changing Motion

After listening to endless examples of what kinetic text it, I decided to go out and find some for myself. Sifting through clique videos including all sorts of poems and short stories, I came to the conclusion that with a little revamping, almost anything can be made into a form of kinetic text. For the sake of this blog, I will be referring to kinetic text as motion typography.

In terms of the classroom, we were first introduced to “moving text” in the poem Dakoto, which is considered moving texts because it is set to music. Motion Typography as a whole is previlent today because it takes place in 3 dimensions. Not only is there height and width to think about, but videos are also expected to create the illusion of depth. The way in which the words move within the work is a work of art in itself. One would not think that something so seemingly simple would have many rules and regulations. This type of typography is used in comercials, movies, and as an art form.

There are four different approaches to motion typography, each focusing on a different approach. One is the literal illustration of language, in which the text on the “page” are embellished as to expend the actual meaning of the words.  Often the words are presented with visual props that go hand in hand with the theme that the words are trying to present.

The next approach is the rhythmic pattern of language, which is pretty self explanatory from its name. Where ever there is motion, there must be some form of pattern to that motion. In this aspect of typography, the rhythm of the words is the focal point of the piece. The actual meaning of the words does not matter as much as the way in which they are presented. Words are layered upon words to create the illusion of a three dimension “canvas.” As one might have guessed, music is extremely important in this context, as it must establish some form of pattern to create the rhythm.

Other types of motion typography focus on the personification of language. This incorporates some of the above approaches, but looks at the way in which the words are presented, not just what comes along with them. Fonts, the size of words, and spacial differences in the letters are all key aspects. Emotions within the text become translated in the fonts and typography.


Lastly, polymorphous aspect of language is a type of motion typography. Yes, it obviously incorporates all of the above features into the text, but without regulations or boundaries. Here, the words have no pattern to the way in which they move, which where the polymorphous arises from.

As with any art form, a work must have all of these aspects to be successful. Though each approach may be represented in varying degrees, they are still there, just in a different way. Motion Typography is a fresh way of viewing classical works. Tired of reading the Odysseus for the millionth time since high school? Find the typography version of it and suddenly its interesting again (that is, as interesting as Greek men killing each other can be).


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