What's this kind of video called?
August 27, 2010 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Videos like the new Cee Lo video, where the text appears on the screen as the words are spoken - what's that style called?

I've seen them before, I believe there were commercials for AMC where they used scenes from movies in the same manner.

I'd love to see more of these and would like to know what words to use in my search.

(Also if you have any examples, I'd love to see them!)
posted by Lucinda to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Typography is the first thing that comes to mind. Search youtube for "Still Alive" typography for some of my favorites.
posted by woolylambkin at 4:58 PM on August 27, 2010

posted by metaname at 5:02 PM on August 27, 2010

I love this kind of thing too: I think of it as animated typography. One of the first ones I ever saw was Samuel Jackson's memorable speech from Pulp Fiction by Jarratt Moody. On Moody's site, he files this work under "animation."
posted by gladly at 5:05 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by chinabound at 5:07 PM on August 27, 2010

There's a (usually more dynamic) version of this called 'typographic animation' or 'kinetic typography'. See here, here, here.
posted by foobario at 5:09 PM on August 27, 2010

typography animation should be a good search term. One of the absolute slickest and most bad-ass examples of this is the video for Justice's DVNO. It makes me drool involuntarily.

I'm also big fan of the lo fi take on this technique.
posted by Mizu at 5:27 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd think the term could be the same as whatever was used for Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. More primitive, but same idea, right?
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 5:47 PM on August 27, 2010

gladly's link to the Pulp Fiction clip was the earliest one of these I remember. The first music video I know of was made (April '07) by a fan for Streetlight Manifesto's Point/Counterpoint, but it's likely someone made one that predated that one.

Like woolylambkin, at least in the ones I've seen, "typography" seems to be the watchword.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:15 PM on August 27, 2010

Pulp Fiction remixed using this method.
posted by schmod at 6:17 PM on August 27, 2010

I made an FPP about exactly this a couple years ago.

I don't think there's a term specific to the technique; generically it's animated typography, or whatever other phrase concisely describes it.
posted by ardgedee at 7:15 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

The phrase I've always used/seen things like this described as is "dynamic typography"
posted by fore at 7:38 PM on August 27, 2010

There was a recent car commercial with really similar typography to the Cee-Lo video (similar enough that I wouldn't be surprised if they were made by the same company, as the font and rhythm seem really similar). I think the company was Ford, but I can't remember for sure, nor can I find it on Google. Pretty sure it was a white background with beauty shots of trucks and the text included positive reviews and features specific to the vehicle, appearing in light blue.
Sorry I can't find a link, but I thought I'd mention it in case it rang a bell with anyone else.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:43 PM on August 27, 2010

I've heard it called "motion typography", too.
posted by bewilderbeast at 7:56 PM on August 27, 2010

When I saw the video, I instantly thought of Young-Hae Chang's text/video work. Apprently folks classify them as text-based animation, but seems like the term kinetic typography is pretty official:
Kinetic typography—the technical name for "moving text"—is an animation technique mixing motion and text. This text is presented over time in a manner intended to convey or evoke a particular idea or emotion. It is often studied in Communication Design and Interaction Design courses. Some commonly seen examples of this technique include movie title sequences and credits, web page animation and other entertainment media.
Some other examples I dug up:

Rage Against the Machine - Mic Check and tons of others

V for Vendetta typography

CLP's I'm So Trill
posted by jng at 11:10 PM on August 27, 2010

This post also lists a lot of great examples, musical and non-musical:


Check the comments too for more examples.
posted by jng at 11:17 PM on August 27, 2010

Hey, the Mountain Goats did a video like this for Sax Rohmer #1, but the lyrics are scrawled all around the room and various objects and the camera follows their trail.
posted by redsparkler at 11:56 PM on August 27, 2010

I fell in love with this style, and still love the first one I can recall seeing: The Faint - Symptom Finger.

It's not exactly the same, because it's not the lyrics themselves generally, but I think it still fits the overall idea.
posted by Stunt at 12:21 AM on August 28, 2010

The Ford F-150 ads with Denis Leary use this style: Smart, Control, Safety are a few of them.

Music video for Eric Hutchinson - OK, It's Alright With Me
posted by ALongDecember at 8:52 AM on August 28, 2010

A similar term I've heard is "kinematic typography."
Another example: Macho Box by MK12
posted by synchronia at 11:00 AM on August 28, 2010

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