Kinetic typography is another name for moving texts, and according to Wikipedia, it is an animation technique mixing motion and text to express ideas using video animation.
While there are many software available for rendering motion to texts, notably Adobe After Effects and Apple Motion, it is possible to create attractive kinetic typography video with PowerPoint.
Here below is an example of kinetic typography in PowerPoint.
We are going to look at some of the fonts that are popularly used for text animations in PowerPoint.
Before that let’s understand the 3 main features of kinetic typography, and how PowerPoint fits in this design work.
Motion Typography, Static Font Size
It’s a dynamic layout. And what happens is that the text elements move in relation to one another. The sizes usually don’t change, and the letters and words that make up the texts are separately animated to move relative to one another on a 2D plane.
Scrolling typography is an example of motion typography that scrolls the view area, which can be made to recede or advance, but the font size per se doesn’t change.
This is another example below where you can see how the texts are animated separately in the video.
Motion Typography, Dynamic Font Size
Here the font size changes in addition to text elements moving in relation to one another. This is possible when the software you use allows a particular text to have multiple text sizes through animation.
This particular animation is perhaps not possible in PowerPoint as of this writing.
You might say that some animations like zoom in/out do change the font size. True, but the font size doesn’t actually change, it simply undergoes ‘temporary’ transformation owing to the animation it is subjected to.
Adobe After Effects is the ideal tool for creating motion typography with dynamic font sizes. There is a lot you can do with AE, though for me PowerPoint is the first choice for making text videos.
Text Animations on Layers
This is the key to creating any kind of kinetic typography with any tool. The eye-catching animations are most often achieved by compositing layers of texts so that either individual letters or words can be animated separately from the rest.
In PowerPoint you can create any number of separate text elements (same with images, clip arts, etc.) on the work area in a particular slide. You can then control the animations for each element separately. What’s more, you can render any number of animations to each element in the same slide.
Sounds confusing? Take a look at the following animation.
In this animation there are 11 text elements – one to ten and the ampersand symbol ‘&’.
Eight of these 11 elements (one to eight) have 4 animations each – zoom in, grow, move, and fade out. The last 3 elements have 2 animations each. So altogether there are 38 animations that are happening very close to one another – in fact they overlap as they rapidly occur automatically.
The point to note is, all of these animations happen in a single slide.
The way to control or modify individual animations is to work on them in layers, for otherwise it will be pretty damn difficult to do.
Font Selection in PowerPoint for Kinetic Typography
As I have mentioned above, changing font sizes is a difficult proposition in PowerPoint. Since the space to work on is limited, it is therefore necessary to look for fonts that are slim but stylish, and very legible.
In the following paragraphs I will be discussing what fonts I use for my text animation video, and why.
Serif vs Sans Serif
Would you select a serif or a san serif font?
Refer the image below (sourced here) to understand which is which.
Although opinions vary I personally favor sans-serif fonts for kinetic typography. Many experts say that sans-serif fonts are better on the web while serif fonts are easier to read in printed works.
Take a look at the font samples below.
Bebas Nueu is an elegant uppercase sans-serif font designed by Ryoichi Tsunekawa, and released for free use in January 2010. It comes with 5 variants – Bold, Book, Light, Regular, and Thin. Download Bebas Nueu here for free commercial use.
Myriad Pro Condensed
Like Bebas Nueu, Myriad Pro Condensed is also a nice-looking sans-serif font, and available in both uppercase and lowercase. Myriad was first created in 1992 for Adobe. Later the web version of the font came out with 5 variations of which Myriad Pro Condensed is the one that I use often for kinetic typography. Download the font here.
Using Other Fonts
A few other fonts I use time to time are the Kozuka Gothic Pro (especially Kozuka Gothic Pro EL, L, and M), Franklin Gothic Medium Condensed, and sometimes even the geometric style of Century Gothic.
You’ll notice all the above are sans serif fonts, but you’ll agree that sometimes you may need a bit of variation in the fonts if only to break the monotony.
The following image gives you a glance of the different font faces.
Truly speaking there are so many fonts that work well with motion typography. Fonts like Impact, Oswald, Unica One, Raleway, Roboto, etc. are many people’s favorites (see the following image).
Many of these are available at Google Fonts which has a collection of more than 700 font families as of this writing.
See the following image.
Ultimately, everything comes down to how you design your kinetic typography video in PowerPoint. Once you do some practicing you’ll get the feel on how to go about.
Your feedback is welcome.
Leave comments below on how you create kinetic typography with or without PowerPoint.