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Transforming Type

Transforming Type: New directions in kinetic typography

by Barbara Brownie

Barbara Brownie is a Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, where she leads online postgraduate study in graphic design and illustration, and lectures in fashion theory. She has edited two collections of contemporary typographic work, Type Image (2011) and Type Object (2013). She has published articles in The Journal of Media Practice and Fusion, and contributed to Writing Design, edited by Grace Lees-Maffei (Berg, 2011). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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(ed)
Bloomsbury Academic, 2015
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781474246187
  • ISBN:
    978-0-8578-5767-5 (hardback)

    978-0-8578-5633-3 (paperback)

    978-1-4742-4618-7 (online)

    978-0-8578-5566-4 (epub)

    978-0-8578-5533-6 (epdf)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2017 2017
Transforming Type
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Transforming Type examines kinetic or moving type in a range of fields including film credits, television idents, interactive poetry and motion graphics. As the screen increasingly imitates the properties of real-life environments, typographic sequences are able to present letters that are active and reactive. These environments invite new discussions about the difference between motion and change, global and local transformation, and the relationship between word and image.

In this illuminating study, Barbara Brownie explores the ways in which letterforms transform on screen, and the consequences of such transformations. Drawing on examples including Kyle Cooper’s title sequence design, kinetic poetry and MPC's idents for the UK’s Channel 4, she differentiates motion from other kinds of kineticism, with particular emphasis on the transformation of letterforms into other forms and objects, through construction, parallax and metamorphosis. She proposes that each of these kinetic behaviours requires us to revisit existing assumptions about the nature of alphabetic forms and the spaces in which they are found.