Clarendon Typeface Video

Getting Started

I was super…SUPER intimidated to begin this project because of my unfamiliarity with After Effects, and because of how short a time frame we had to complete our video before the end of the semester. I had seen so many typeface videos from the year above us, and it was always a project that I admired and was so blown away by, so I’m excited that it’s now my turn to create a ~hopefully~ respectable typeface video.

Finding Music

I knew I wanted my music to have a clear beat/beat drops to animate to, and I also wanted something upbeat, quirky, and impactful. I looked for a song with a lot of variations in rhythm so my video could have more interesting animations and transitions. I looked into the time period of the 1840s as a starting point for my search, but what the hell was even going on in the 1840s. Like nothing. So that wasn’t really helpful.

  1. a percussive beat that’s fast, bold, and flashy.
  2. piano music that replicates the Old Wild West saloons and 1800s classical feeling of Clarendon.
  3. more modern music with electronic percussion (if that’s a thing).
My fire cowboy playlist if anyone throws a Wild West themed party

Brainstorming

1. Writing the Script

2. Storyboard

I then moved on to creating my storyboard. I knew that if I front-loaded a lot of work and thought into the planning stages, it would be a lot easier for future-me animating in After Effects. I found it most difficult to get the timing right because I couldn’t gauge how long each animation and scene would take. Therefore, my storyboard gets increasingly uncertain and vague after the first 30 seconds because I started to get lost and overwhelmed in the music and the fast-paced rhythm.

The top two storyboards are two variations of the beginning of my video. I like the second (top right) sequence better.

Going Digital

Following my storyboard, I began incorporating color and imagery into my digitalized compositions. I wanted my visual language to correspond with my adjectives, with striking and quirky text, and the motif of the circle overlay pulled from my spread.

After Effects Time!

I underestimated HOW LONG it takes to literally animate one teeny tiny detail. I definitely struggled a lot in the beginning just to familiarize myself with a good workflow, and to get a feel for what movements I wanted to use throughout my video for consistency.

Feedback w/ Jaclyn:

  1. Really like “bracketed serifs” part, especially the tilted text is appropriate to Clarendon.
  2. Wished more time was spent on “Clarendon.” (3-beats) → maybe throw the whole word on the screen instead of it coming on separately.
  3. Storyboards: big R composition → could be fun to tilt the “R” when it comes on the screen with a bounce effect.
  4. For last compositions “the typeface of…”, the orange text can slide in horizontally.

Working Towards 1-Minute

For the next few days, my goal was to reach the one-minute video mark just to get all my content in After Effects to check the pacing. I wasn’t too concerned about small details, such as easing, but rather seeing where there were gaps in my overall video. Right now, I have a gap right after “Bracketed Serifs” that I need to figure out how to fill.

Feedback w/ Hannah:

  1. 0:05 Different sizes, different directions of transitions, and going between all caps and lowercase makes it a bit confusing and busy.
  2. 0:13 Place three dots right after “famous for…”
  3. 0:29 Maybe have the ball fall to the bottom of the screen instead of right in the middle
  4. 0:35 “Stylized…” is centered, but “The typeface of…” is left aligned → do either or
  5. 0:49 Company examples landed on “Tonka,” which isn’t as well known as other brands.
  6. Really like 0:20 and 0:27 transition!
  7. Maybe try bringing more illustration into the end segment, whether it’s punched out text or a background.
  8. More playfulness of text rather than straight horizontal across.

Feedback w/ Jaclyn:

  1. 0:05 Maybe all the words fit on one page like a word pile.
  2. Maybe try implementing the “Display” animation somewhere else as well
  3. Want to see a real “WANTED” poster (and more images!)
  4. 0:16 When “Bracketed Serifs hits, maybe float “Bracketed…?”
  5. 0:40–0:49 a little slow → don’t need the example companies because they’re scrolling too fast anyways
  6. Don’t really think more images towards the end of the video is necessary because the type already has really interesting animations for imagery
  7. Really like “playful” animation!

More Edits…

Hannah and Jaclyn both wanted to see more illustration and images throughout the video. However, I had a little trouble finding high quality Old West images with the same etching style I was looking for. I did, however, find a large collection of vintage etching style illustrations on Getty Images, and just photoshopped out the watermark (some of them cost like $500 for a “full size image” wtf).

Group Feedback Session:

  1. Really like the transitions and playing with scale, as well as matching content to the fast and slow beats.
  2. Like the orange ball motifs, although orange as a background gets confusing sometimes?
  3. For “ball terminals” scene, letters don’t appear on the first beat.
  4. “Rob Besley Slab Serif” is still too fast, and the image is too distracting. Eye also gets caught on the small overlaps as the words bump into each other.
  5. “Upturned foot” too hard to read.
  6. Pretty seamless overall video other than small issues!

Refinements

I was really happy to hear mainly positive feedback on my video, and relieved that I would only have to make a few minor tweaks before the final show. The main areas I wanted to work on were: “Rob Besley created…” (once again…) and “BOLD — end.” The ending scenes with the three adjectives still looks too messy to me, so I wanted to spend some time redoing that section to make all the movements sharp, snappy, and convincing.

And so, here is FINAL VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAYYYYYY! 🥳🥳🥳

Final Feedback

  1. Really liked playfulness and use of orange color throughout video.
  2. Animations feel very tactile which feels appropriate to Clarendon and images are appropriate to portraying Old West.
  3. Successful use of image!
  4. Very clean animation and well-matched to the beat.

Final Thoughts

Although I was kinda struggling finding an efficient workflow and figuring out After Effects in the beginning of the project, I’m really satisfied with my final video! After figuring out the direction and “vibe” I wanted to go with, the project was actually really fun, and the final result is so satisfying to watch and share with friends and family. When the words and movements match perfectly to the song, and it’s like you can hear the words and shapes and images moving (? i don’t know if this makes sense) and clashing into each other is so amazing to watch.

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