Kinetic Typography: What It Is, When to Use It

Posted on January 21, 2014 | Updated on November 7, 2022

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 presents a creative means for organizations to promote themselves and present information.

What It Is

Kinetic typography, also known as as motion typography, is generally presented in a video format. They’re multi-media stories that allow creators to accompany text with music and images. 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. This is done to tell a story or to communicate an idea via multiple elements.

A 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, people use kinetic typography in numerous industries and for a variety of purposes. Educational messages and videos are one example of how you can use kinetic typography to further engage content viewers. This hybrid of text and video content is the perfect medium for explaining facts and communicating important statistics

Wake County Public School System provides a great example of using kinetic typography for educational purposes. You’ll see moving typography throughout the video, meant to highlight different positive aspects of the district.

If the school presented this information in a traditional text format, viewers would simply read it in a boring list of facts. This alternative allows the administration to incorporate relevant images and powerful voiceovers to help deliver their message.

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 company’s blog or YouTube account both offer the perfect platforms to creative medium that present statistics and detailed information is an intriguing element.

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

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.


  1. Rachel Hiles on January 13, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    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.

  2. Scarlett on June 6, 2017 at 4:55 am

    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.

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