Using Type Animation: A Beginner’s Guide


Key to any animation is the story you’re trying to tell.  And a good story?  Well it’ll need words. Type animation, or kinetic typography is the way to get your content seen. In fact, the need for type animation skills is increasing every day.  In fact, according to this recent study, 69% of people scrolling through video content on their Facebook newsfeed or through Instagram reels are watching those videos on mute. That means not animating type is that much more likely to get your potentially relevant content disregarded by the audience you’re trying to reach.

Think Design

Well the world of kinetic typography is a large one.  You have to decide what your priorities are for the text you’ll be animating.  While a lot of type animation software will help you make different kinetic typography projects, there’s still a lot of work for you, the creator, to do.  You hold the keys of design in your hands.  Using type animation strategically isn’t the same as just animating a couple of words on a screen. Consider the following guiding questions as you’re making some intentional design choices for your project: 

  • If your kinetic typography for design or function?
  • Who is your target audience for your type animation?
  • Are these videos that will be primarily written content or will you have animation or video to help share your vision? 
  • Do you want certain words highlighted to sell your point?  
  • Will you want your words to be dynamic and center stage to the party itself? 
  • Do you need a consistent look or do you want something that shifts with each word or phrase?

 All of these design choices, and more, are now in your hands as you move into the world of kinetic typography.  Ensuring your vision gets met is a must.

Find a Type Animation Software

Depending on some of the design choices you’ve made, you’re going to need to pick a software. You have a lot of different options to choose from, and along the way you’ll be balancing out your design with ease.  While some of the easiest software will get your animated type project done quickly, more complicated software will give you the ability to refine your vision and take your kinetic typography to the next level. 

Starting with a software like Canva Pro or PowerPoint is a great way to play with letters and see what some of the software can do for you.  These tools will allow you to use standard animation tropes and see some basics on what your type can do for you.  If you’re looking to simply add captions for functionality, this could be a place to start. 

When you’re ready to graduate, more advanced software for kinetic typography will let you make a lot more design choices. Adobe After Effects is a big player in the world of animated type.  Other new software, like our own animation tools from Vidalgo, offer similar levels of both creative freedom and AI support.

Get Inspired

The truth is great art is not made in isolation- and that means the same for kinetic typography.  While you wait to develop your own vision of animated typography, it’s ok to mimic some of the work from other artists.  Even when you work to model your work after someone elses’ you’ll still see your own unique design shine through. Look through brands and artists you respect to see what they’re coming up with.  If you’re still stuck, check out some of these awesome examples to get inspired:

Write it out.

Perhaps one of the most standard types of animated type is where the letters seemingly write themselves out on the screen.  You can play around with the speed and style that the letters emerge.  Perhaps a font that replicates handwriting could help you develop that human touch.  Or alternatively, a more quick sans serif could help show power and clarity.  Check out these examples:

Use imagery.

Strategically using imagery can help show your audience more of what your words are trying to say to them.  It can also be a great way to highlight potentially confusing text- like an interesting brand name or something from another language.  For example, using some graphic of animals to highlight your local zoo’s mission statement.  Check out some of these examples that let imagery do the heavy lifting:

Spark intrigue.

Another fun way to engage an audience is to create some type animation that leaves more left unsaid.  This is a great strategy for logo design (BACKLINK).  It can help your organization look professional and offer some sense of intrigue.  It can also subtle convey an aesthetic such as approachable, cute, or edgy.  Check out these examples, including our own from Vidalgo:

Lean into your letters.

One of the joys of typography is the many ways you can make different letters move. O’s can roll, M’s can jump, and T’s can race across the screen.  Leaning into the specific letters you’re trying to animate can make for some interesting results.  To use this strategy, really look at the letters and words you’re trying to animate.  Try them in different fonts and ask yourself how they could move creatively.  Check out these examples that put letters in action:

When you think of kinetic typography, you may not consider the wide world of dynamic letting out there, but the truth is this art form is on the move.  Animated type and other forms of kinetic typography are even out there on the NFT marketplace today.  Despite our advancements in technology, letters and words are simply not going out of style.  Be bold and try out some of these interesting styles with your brand or content today.  Animating type is still an important part of how we share information in the modern world.

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