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Use Kinetic Type and Avoid the “Next Factor”

You’re familiar with the Next Factor. It’s that feeling you get when you’re watching a video or a commercial and you are seeing the same old thing. Your reaction? “Thanks. Seen it. Forget it. Next!

Of course, there are multiple ways to enrich a boring commercial or video— improved footage, better photography, exploding 3D logos. But an often overlooked enhancement is staring us in the face: kinetic typography. Also described as “motion type”, kinetic typography is an animation technique mixing motion and text to present ideas through video animation.

For many designers, the creative use of type is the stuff of Typography 101. But it’s often left by the wayside when it comes to design for business applications. It shouldn’t be.  Dynamic type is a simple creative solution that can really pay off— getting your message across in a big way, whether for B2C or B2B.

Advertising and marketing success is gauged on the impression you leave with your audience. Will they walk away understanding your intent? Was your creative strategy effective enough to sway them toward purchasing your product or service? The old school ad rule of show what you’re saying applies today more than ever, as products and technology have evolved. So if you need to clearly explain complicated material or robust subject matter, there’s no better way than using kinetic type.

Arguably, one of the most memorable uses of kinetic type was the dramatic 1959 opening credits of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, designed by Saul Bass. And, more recently, the drama created by the title sequences of Star Wars and Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

What can we learn from our graphic forefathers?  When kinetic type is done right, you can’t look away. Through their use of animated, dramatic type sequences, they were able draw us in, tell a story, create a mood and evoke energy into their subject matter.

Current applications of kinetic type keep the action happening in an increasingly fresh way. Look at what Ford did with their F150 spot: Thinking

Freeland Foods took a straightforward approach with Go Raw. This is advertising that does its job; it grabs your attention and keeps it.

If you’d like to learn more about adding engaging video content to your marketing and technology initiatives, follow us on twitter @trellist or connect with us via

About Trellist

Trellist is a professional services firm delivering performance-driven business solutions that are flexible, innovative, and optimized to maximize efficiency and return. The firm consults on, and integrates, data with marketing, design, technology, and digital services for clients at the global, national, and regional level. Trellist utilizes a unique approach to business—from the firm's employee-shared structure, to how it partners with its clients. 


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