The Late Movies: Kinetic Typography

The Late Movies
The Late Movies /

Kinetic Typography (“moving text”) has been around for at least half a century — movie title sequences often feature some form of moving text, and there are tons of famous examples. The Stars Wars opening crawl is one of the most famous bits of kinetic typography ever. (And if you want to go back a bit further, Saul Bass’s work on Hitchcock’s North By Northwest is considered a seminal moment in kinetic typography history.) These days, kinetic typography has evolved into a YouTube phenomenon — there are lots of YouTube videos of famous scenes or speeches rendered using animated text. I have collected a bunch below; if you have a favorite, post it in the comments!

Also, props to fellow blogger David Israel for noticing this trend last October. (He pointed to a rather internet-famous Stephen Fry speech rendered in kinetic typography.)

Social Life, With Friends

From a poem by Kenneth Koch:

You want a social life, with friends. A passionate love life and as well To work hard every day. What’s true Is of these three you may have two And two can pay you dividends But never may have three.

Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First?”

“I Don’t Know’s on third….”

Jonathan Coulton’s “Shop Vac”

“It’s loud with the shop vac on.” The creator of this video estimates it took somewhere between 500-1000 hours (!). There’s a lot going on here, and it’s all very, very good. If you’re not familiar with Coulton, check out “Shop Vac” on his site.

The Dark Knight

“It’s not about money, it’s about sending a message. Everything burns!”

V for Vendetta

“I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.”

The Matrix

“This…this isn’t real?”

A Clockwork Orange

“Cabbages…knickers…uh…it’s not got a beak!?”


There are zillions of these. Got a favorite?