Animated Typeface – Knewave

It’s that time again where students in Term 3 at VFS Digital Design get to work on the Animated Typeface project. Recap: It is a collaborative class initiative where each student makes a second long animated sequence for 3 – 4 glyphs. This time League Gothic was used and this typeface was created by Tyler Finck.

These sequences needed to be 25 frames long using three or fewer of the chosen colours. It has been amazing to see the incredible work.

To view the full project, please check out:

Knewave Animated Typeface

Here is what some students have to share about their experience:

Jay Lee

Jay Animated Type Screenshot

The Animated Typeface project was my first time learning cel animation, and it was a fun process experimenting with frame by frame animation in Photoshop.

For the J and the L, I wanted to have fun with the shape of the letters; the J looked like a saxophone and the L like a bent arm. I found great references for the final look of each item, which helped a lot in visualizing them from the start. In the end, I added some small details like the motion blur and explosions that gave life to the animations.

For the O and 4, I wanted to play with fluid animation with frame-by-frame, which turned out to be pretty challenging to make them smooth and convincing. Again, it was necessary to find great references to help with the natural motion of the fluid, and the look of the final pieces.

Lastly, for the !, I just wanted to have fun and go berserk with a tornado, using very wild, and random lines to animate the chaotic reveal.

Overall, I loved the process of the typeface project, and I hope to expand more on cel animation techniques in the future.


Ignacio Florez

Ignacio Animated Type Screenshot

I was really excited to work on my animated typeface. The font that we had to work with, Knewave, was really curved so I knew I had to approach it as organic and fluent as possible. I decided to work with frame by frame animation in Photoshop. The whole idea was to make one second animations for each letter. I had 4 letters: “H”, “I”, “P” and “Zero”.

I remember I started with the “I”. I tried to approach each letter to animate around an object that had similarities with the shape of the letter. With the “I,” I imagined a match and how you would light it up with a quick flick. I did this one without a reference, and tried to stick to some main rules of animation in order to make it look fast, and smooth. This one was practically done in one sitting; it only needed some tweaks some weeks later. Then I moved to the “P”, one of my favourites. I printed this letter and made a recording of it with my camera. I then continued to cel animate it.

Ignacio Animated Type Screenshot

The “H” was a lot of fun too. I got an image of a helicopter and rotated the letter and the image, playing with the opacity. Then it was just a matter of imagination and frame by frame magic.The “Zero” was the most problematic. I thought I could repeat the same approach I had with the “P” so I printed it, and had someone bite on the paper. I then tried to make the “Zero” transform into a donut and make the person an animated character that bit on the donut. It didn’t quite work though. Fortunately, I found a good reference for a nice donut so I animated my number to morph into it, and then I imagined the bite but with no character.

Overall I’m really happy with the outcome from this project, and I can’t deny it helped me understand how to work with animation with Photoshop.


Adriana Ogarrio

Adrianna Animated Type Screenshot

I love to imagine surreal situations where characters are the protagonists and responsables of a good concept.
Animated Typeface was one of my favourite assignments. It was a really fun and challenging project. This was my first experience building a 25 frame animation in Photoshop. I started to experiment with this technique, animating different characters.

For the letter C, I decided to create a hairy monster frame by frame. I played around with his “mood” adding some motion lines, telling you a bit of his personality.

I think I was hungry when it was creating the letter B, so I decided to delight my time by animating a mini cake; it was difficult animating the melting pan. After feedback from my classmates and teacher, I cake craving succumb.

For the letter X, I played around with the concept of an electrocuted type, forming bones within the form, and playing with an alternate background, hence creating fast blaze.

For the number 1, I followed the shape of type, and create Natty duck; she was so on hurry that she didn’t realize there was a glass in front of her. The assets were created in Illustrator and animated in After Effects.


Jenjen Chen

Jenjen Animated Type Screenshot

Animated Typeface was one of the assignments we had during term 3. When I first got my letter I was thinking more towards something that looks like the shape of an E, and the number 7. The font we got was a bit challenging to work with, however I came up with the shape of a harp for my 7 and a balloon inflating effect for my E.

I first created my assets in Illustrator, and I brought it into After Effects to animate. I mostly used masks, scale, and puppet tool for the jump-up jiggling effect for my 7, but when I was trying to do the same with my E, it didn’t work the same way because using the puppet tool, you will highly get an error if you have complex animations.

The feedback I got for my E was that it kind of looks like a four-legged animal, so I changed my idea to a dog. The idea of an E transforming to a dog also came from the balloon effect that I failed on previously. I know I couldn’t animate that in After Effects, so I chose to do it with cel animation. I first illustrated the final position that I want the dog to be in, then I placed the letter E to the background behind the dog. I start reversing the dog drawing toward the shape of the E. Every time I moved the shape closer to the E, I created a new layer. At the end, I brought it into After Effects to see how smooth the animation was, then went back to Illustrator to correct it.


Gallery of Animations:


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