Kinetic Typography

time-based media design
Spring 2019


purpose —
To capture the essence of the poem “Thoughts in the Silent Night” by a famous Chinese Poet, Li Bai, only through moving typography. The objective of this time-based project is to visually and effectively communicate the meaning, mood, and emotions through an animation created using adobe after effects.

concept —
I wanted to create a sense of elegance in the poet’s thoughts in the darkness. I made the overall mood dark and went with a black background throughout most parts of my video since the poet is describing thoughts in his mind at night. Thus, black becomes the dominant color in my video. In addition, I also wanted to capture the sense of moonlight as described in the poem and thus decided to use yellow as a spot color, along with white that has a very very slight warm tint of yellow. About my choice of typography, I used a calligraphic font, Zapfino, to capture the elegance I wanted to portray. But throughout the process, I realized that if I only use this single font, the readability of my text and sentences becomes a little hard to understand and therefore I made picked a san serif font that goes with Zapfino and used that as the main font for my text. Overall, I hoped to create a sense of smoothness and elegance with my animation’s rhythm and compositional flow and also added a soft background music which I feel matches the mood I wanted to express.

the animation —




storyboard —

personal insights —
I originally used a light gradient background during the second line of the poem, but it ended up feeling a little weird and popped out too much. My initial intention was to capture the color of “frost” in that line, but it ended up creating a disharmony in the overall mood compared to the rest of the video. As a result, I took out this background color change at the end. Throughout this process, I learned that sometimes people might react or feel differently with this kind of color change and thus it is important to think about it from various perspectives and make adjustments accordingly. I realized through this experience that sometimes it is possible to over-complicating things and add too many unnecessary elements and thus sometimes keeping things simple can actually communicate more effectively and keep the focus on the center.