The history of typography has shown that careful treatment of typography
can enrich written languages by adding various expressive qualities,
such as emotion and tone-of-voice. We envision that the additional
dimension of time in digital media will further enrich the communicative
power of typography. Text is no longer limited to static forms in
digital communication. Typographic form can change in size, color,
or position over time to better express its content. For example,
adding a small vibration to the word please suggests begging, or a
small child struggling with the power of her emotion. Although animated
text has been used in TV commercials and in film, the potential of
kinetic typography as "written language" has not been fully explored.
Our study of kinetic typography tries to extend the repertoire of
written expressions by integrating traditional typography and a new
method of text presentation. In particular, we have been inspired
by a presentation method called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP).
Using RSVP a reader's focal position is fixed and text is displayed
serially. Research in RSVP suggests that humans are able to read text
in RSVP form as fast/comprehensive as reading a regular text. Reading
an RSVP message is like hearing, in that it allows us to temporally
manipulate typographic forms as a reader reads each word or phrase.
Because of the relatively short history of kinetic typography, we
began by generating a wide range of examples. Through those explorations,
we have just begun to identify a set of design issues that are important
for the creation of kinetic typography, including: tone of voice &
typography, motion & emotion, representation of personality, descriptive
model/language of time-varying forms. We envision that the results
of our work will be valuable to professional designers as well as
to design education.
In addition, we have begun to believe that kinetic typography can
potentially become a means for ordinary people to express their messagese.g.,
using e-mail. In other words, we do not consider kinetic typography
to be exclusive to professional designers. If we provide an appropriate
tool, people could better express their messages using kinetic typography.
With this premise in mind, we have recently begun developing an tool
for writing kinetic messagesQi.e., a special word processor.
Existing writing styles have largely been shaped by a static mediumQnamely
paper. Once humans possess a tool to write/express kinetic messages,
it is conceivable that we will witness some changes in the way we
use languages. Will we use the same writing styles in kinetic typography?
Can an effective writing still be effective in kinetic typography?
Such questions can only be answered as a result of many years of social