Kinetic Typography: What It Is, When to Use It

A recent content marketing trend has seen the development of a creative method for presenting information in a text format. Known as kinetic typography, this new content type utilizes moving text to communicate complex ideas, statistics and information. Rather than relying on power points or word documents, kinetic typography represents a creative means for organizations to promote themselves and to present information.

What It Is

Generally presented in a video format, kinetic typography pieces are multi-media stories that allow creators to accompany text with music and images. Also referred to as motion typography, text is timed in a manner that introduces motion as an element of its presentation, as cited by David Dreshfield.

Unlike plain text documents, motion typography gives you more freedom to communicate as the motion and appearance of the text can help to convey your message. The text in these videos is often accompanied with animations and images to tell a story or to communicate an idea via multiple elements.

kinetic-pepsiA Brief History of Kinetic Typography

The first use of kinetic typography in a marketing campaign was Pepsi’s introduction of its new logo in 2009, according to Slocum Design Studio. As a part of Pepsi’s “Refresh Everything” campaign Pepsi released this video to present the newly designed logo and to convey an energizing message.

The video presented text of different verbs and optimistic images with the new Pepsi logo appearing within the O’s of each word. Not only did this video present the new logo, but it captured the theme of Pepsi’s newly energized marketing efforts. By simply using moving text and a logo, Pepsi’s commercial shows the power of kinetic typography in telling a story.


Educational Uses

Given the broad range of information that already exists in a text format, kinetic typography is being used in numerous industries and for a variety of purposes. Educational messages and videos are one example of how kinetic typography can be used to further engage content viewers. This hybrid of text and video content is the perfect medium for explaining facts and communicating important statistics.

One instance of kinetic typography being used for an educational cause comes from Clarity Way Rehab’s video about the War on Drug Communities. This drug and alcohol rehab center has done a great job of using kinetic typography to make people aware of drug-related statistics and encourage donations to the United Nations Foundation.

If this information were presented in a traditional text format it would simply read as a boring list of statistics. This alternative allows Clarity Way to incorporate relevant images and powerful music to help deliver their message. Images of people, graphs and the temporal presentation of text work together to make viewers aware of the problems that drug agriculture creates.


Promotional Content

Educational messages are not the only pieces of content dominating this powerful technique as businesses are using kinetic typography in their content marketing schemes. A creative medium that presents statistics and detailed information is an intriguing element that can be included on a blog or on a company’s YouTube account.

An example of a promotional execution of kinetic typography is this video from CJ Pony Parts promoting SuSTAYnable Vacations. In their video’s content, this Ford Mustang parts dealer shows the economic and environmental advantages of taking shorter trips or discovering local destinations as vacation alternatives. This content piece helps to communicate CJ Pony Parts’ interest in social responsibility and serves as a tool for giving viewers helpful advice.

The information used to create this video would be a jumble of individual graphs and statistics if it weren’t for this creative and coherent presentation method. Statistics about travel, environmental conservation and vacation expenses appear along side moving images of planes and other common vacation imagery.


Music Videos

Displaying the lyrics of songs is another example of the ways in which kinetic typography is being used to present information. Music videos that utilize motion typography represent a coming together of music and the visual presentation of the song’s lyrics. This animated music video for Jonathan Coulton’s catchy song “Shop Vac” serves as an example of this use. The movement of the lyrics on the screen and the animations that accompany them help to tell the singer’s story about his current relationship.

A specific example can be seen when the singer references going downstairs and being isolated from his wife. When the singer reaches that part of the song his words are displayed in text that appears to be descending a set of stairs. Animations that feature a map of the singer’s current town and real brand logos also add to the story and make it seem very realistic.

Kinetic typography has emerged as a means for brands to present text in a creative and powerful way. Whether you wish to present statistics, tell a story or to combine multiple media elements, this blend of text and video can suit your company’s needs. Considering the growing importance of content marketing, it won’t be a surprise if kinetic typography continues to develop and become a typical element in marketing campaigns.

About the author

Lexie Lu

Hello! My name is Lexie and I have a fervor for design, writing, and coffee. I graduated with a dual major in Creative Writing and Commercial Design, and through those grueling study hours (facilitated by coffee, of course) I always found time to write for myself.

My posts feature design trends throughout all industries and show how the field is always changing. There’s never a dull moment in the design world!


  • Have you ever seen anyone incorporate elements of kinetic typography into an actual video? like… say as an intro and then normal video content? We are developing a video and I’m thinking of how we can incorporate kinetic typography… but we have already existing video clips of interviews and b-roll our videographer captured that we’d like to sandwich in between the graphic/moving words.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for commenting! That’s a really good question… most of what I have seen are examples where the whole video is done in an illustration/kinetic text style. But it could totally work with regular video footage! Something to look into would be lyric music videos, which sometimes use the kinetic type style right over top of real life footage — it’s maybe not the best example in the world, but I know the lyric video for Burnin’ It Down by Jason Aldean uses a very simple kinetic type (the text seems locked in place as the video pans) and I’m sure other lyric videos do unique things, too. The effect is pretty powerful!

  • Kinetic typography is really helpful for many things, especially for the educational purpose.
    Your points are valid and very helpful. Thanks for writing such a lovely article.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.