Transforming Type: New Directions in Kinetic Typography

Transforming Type Cover Art
Transforming Type Cover Art

Transforming Type: New Directions in Kinetic Typography

By Barbara Brownie

Film credits, television idents, interactive poetry, and motion graphics are examples of kinetic or moving types in Transforming Type. Typographic sequences can present active and reactive letters as the screen increasingly mimics the properties of real-life environments. These settings provoke new debates about the distinction between motion and change, global versus local transformation, and the relationship between word and picture.

Barbara Brownie investigates how letterforms transform on-screen, as well as the effects of these transformations, in this fascinating research. She distinguishes motion from other types of kineticism, citing examples such as Kyle Cooper’s title sequence design, kinetic poetry, and MPC’s idents for the UK’s Channel 4, focusing on the transformation of letterforms into other forms and objects through construction, parallax, and metamorphosis. She claims that each of these kinetic behaviours forces us to reconsider our beliefs about the nature of alphabetic forms and the spaces in which they exist.

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