Project-4: Typographic Evolution: Classifications in Motion | Art-341: Motion Graphics / Fall 2013

Posted by: Ping

Technology: After Effects CS6
Project Description: Create a series of two animations, with two compositions, that work together as a single time-based piece, visually examining the structural and historical differences between your choice of two typefaces.

Project Requirement: Animations should be sequential (old typeface to the recent), and each should capture and express the distinct visual qualities and personalities of each font.

Project Objective
This assignment uses time-based media to identify, classify, and highlight the differences and similarities in typographic classifications and anatomy. Via the use of shape, space, tempo, sequence, movement connections can be implied, crated, and interpreted in new ways. Students are encouraged to be as creative as possible with this assignment, to inspire a sense of play, while clearly communicating an underlying message via their choice of content via dynamic kinetic expressive typography.

Project Strategy and Entry Point

• Which comes first, the typefaces or the content? Are fonts chosen first and then content to suit them? Or vice versa?
• What is the content? How is the concept driven by the content? What typefaces best suit that content?
• Is new meaning derived from the combination of content?
• How can animation benefit the communication?

Project Process

1. Choose two different typefaces, each from different periods of history that reflect their time of origin. At least two choices must be part of the following classifications:

Old Style, Italic, Transitional, Modern, Sans Serif

2. Be certain the two choices span a fair range of time. (For example, not all typefaces can be from the 1960s.) Refer to Typographic Design: Form and Communication by Rob Carter, Ben Day, and Philip Meggs as a reference for typographic classifications.

3. Choose a piece of writing – seventy-five words or less (paste the paragraph into Microsoft Word to count) – from the time period of each font. Content can be a short paragraph from literature, a poem, a quotation, a news story, or an important text from history. How does the content relate when strung together? Create interesting juxtapositions in meaning via the content, such as news information or poetry. How can an older poem be contrasted with a modern one?

4. Choose sound/music – not necessarily from the time period of the font – that reflects the personality and weight of the typeface and content. What kinds of sounds merge with an old style font? Or with a sans serif? Sound and/or music is used to synch animations and set the tone for the content.

5. Animations should visually explore how each of these typefaces is distinct, and explore comparisons of these differences (and/or similarities.) How are these characteristics exploited? Focus on a single aspect of each typeface that makes it unique – what are the advantages of using time-based media to show this? Characteristics such as ascenders, decenters, strokes, stems, terminals, serifs, loops, eyes, crossbars, etc., are aspects to hone in on. Refer to Typographic Design: Form and Communication as a reference for detailed descriptions of type anatomy.

6. Lastly, the end plate (last frame of the animation) contains the credits: typeface, date, designer, writing, author, sound/music, and artist.

Concepts to be explored in this project include:

  • Typing with Textacy (P-364)
  • Text Along a Path (P-369)
  • Text Animators (P-370)
  • Cascading Animation (P-374)
  • Text Position in Z axis (P-376)
  • 3D Text Rotation (P-377)
  • Per-character Align to Camera (P-379)
  • Wiggly Selector (P-386)
  • Decoding Effect (P-389)
  • Expressive Text (P-393)
  • Text Presets (P-434)
  • Gradient Overlay (P-439)
  • Creative Float (P-457)
  • Applying 3D Text, Mask, Blurs
  • Offsetting text in 3D space
  • Using Layered Illustrator and/or Photoshop files as comps in the footage window.
  • Using an Adjustment Layer and Nesting Composition
  • Applying Particle World
  • Applying Trapcode Form

Technical Specification:
1. Program: After Effects CS6
2. Duration: 90 seconds or less
3. Size: 640 X 360 Square Pixels
4. Frame Rate: 30 FPS
5. Video Output: QuickTime for online critique / F4V/FLV for website
6. Video Codec: H.264
7. Audio Output: 48 kHz / 16 Bit / Stereo
7. Edit Specs:
• Resolution: Best
• No Stretch

Related Source:

Project Dateline: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 (Final Exam Day)
Class Meet on Final Exam Day: 1:30 p.m. ~ 3:20 p.m., December 11 (Tuesday)

  1. A-341 Project-4: Typographic Evolution | PXSTUDIO – blog
    A-341 Project-4: Typographic Evolution | PXSTUDIO – blog
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