Kinetic Typography

Kinetic Typography


An animation technique involving moving text, usually accompanied by corresponding speech



The first form of kinetic typography can be dated back to 1899 in the work of George Melies in his advertisement work (Bellantoni and Woolman, 1999). This was only accomplished due to the advent of film and graphic animation with the possibility of matching text and motion emerged. Before 1960s the only form of typography in a moving image was static text appearing in slides and subjected to cinematic transitions. But Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959) is the first feature film that scholars recognize to extensively use kinetic typography; it was created by Saul Bass. The opening sequence consists of animated text ‘flying’ into the shot and faded out. However, Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) also uses motion graphics in the title sequence, they use a zoom on the words flying in and out of the shot against film footage. A similar method of kinetic typography was used by Bass in Psycho (1960) another Hitchcock film.

(Bellantoni, Jeff and Woolman, Matt, ‘Type in Motion’, Thames & Hudson, 1999.

North by Northwest (1959)

Vertigo (1958)

Psycho (1960)

Since then Kinetic typography has been used in many films, TV shows and TV advertisements.

The ‘Get Smart’ TV series running from 1965-1970 opening titles used kinetic typography.

F-150 Crazy Smart

World Rugby Shop use kinetic typography in many of there ads here are a couple

Kinetic Typography in films

As you have seen kinetic type has been used in films and now they have become very sophisticated, here are a few

The Matrix (1999)

Spider Man (2002)

Big Fish (2003)

007 – Quantum of Solace (2008)

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Other people’s work with kinetic type

But kinetic typography doesn’t just stop at  film, and TV. People have created their own, some have done their own version of an opening titles, others have taken well know speeches from films, etc. Here are some that I have come across:

Opening Titles

Life of Pi

Nightmare before Christmas

How To Train Your Dragon

Speeches from film

Pulp Fiction

Full Metal Jacket

Pirates of the Caribbean

Sherlock Holmes – Fighting scene

V for Vendetta

Zombieland Rules


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