Have you ever sat down with a group of friends and chatted for awhile, and then someone stops the conversation and asks “how did we end up talking about this?” And THEN all of you think back to the string of thoughts that brought you from the beginning of your conversation to the present? 

It happens to me a lot. And that’s why I love/hate YouTube. (Please be patient, this post may take awhile to load.)

See, I started out on this amazing website that explores the art of opening movie credits. The guys at The Art of the Title Sequence not only talk about opening credits, but they’ve also gone so far as to post the actual footage from what they are analyzing. 

So I had the idea of exploring the art of TV opening credits, which usually decide for me whether or not I’ll waste a half-hour to an hour of my life watching whatever it is you wish to show me. I thought of the TV shows I watch, and my favorites aren’t necessarily visually pleasing, but they do have great opening themes. 

The Office

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Arrested Development

These really stay with me, and make great ringtones. But there are also show openings that are so visually stunning that I can’t help but be mesmerized:


The Tudors (LOVE this show)

And my absolute favorite – a show I’ve never even watched. But the wonderful Thomas Newman did the theme song, so how could I not love it?

Six Feet Under

So, this all being said, I will now digress, just like I did during my *extensive* research on YouTube for my favorite TV openings. Here’s how it went:

While trying to find the opening to “It’s Always Sunny…” I came across the video below that both grabbed my attention and cracked me up:

Then BAM! A whole new world was opened up for me. While I’ve seen stuff like this on TBS ads, I’ve never actually seen it done by anybody else. When I looked up “kinetic typography,” I found that a lot of people have posted about this topic. Let me be one more.

There aren’t enough examples on YouTube, so if you know of more please let me know. Pretty much, if you go here and watch this amazing video, you’ll find related videos everywhere. After watching nearly every one I could find, I came to a few conclusions for successful kinetic type experiments:

1. All caps works wonders, especially if you are fitting type together. Lowercase forms just look awkward, especially when you have ascenders and descenders. 

2. San-serifs work well for sounds clips that include yelling, bums, commands and thugs. Serifs work for the sophisticated villians (i.e. “V”).

3. Add depth. This includes: bending type (changing perspective), blurring out a text layer and adding another on top of it and adding texture. 

4. Texture rocks. So do gradients. Just something other than flat color. It’ll add excitement.

5. Add movement. Not just the addition of new words, but rotating and speeding through a sentence helps create dynamic movement, as well as zooming in and out of phrases. Adding illustrative elements and lines that follow the flow of text help as well.

6. Timing. Make sure you have this right, otherwise that could be pretty awkward.

The Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels clip is basically the most visually interesting example of kinetic typography I’ve seen on YouTube, and I can’t wait to see more.