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Project. Temporal and Kinetic Typography

Purpose. To isolate temporal and kinetic variables including duration,
pacing, simultaneity, transition, and gesture for in-depth review. To
develop sensitivities to these variables and their synthesis in complex
choreography. To explore how these variables enhance the meaning of a range of text messages (individual word to multiple phase). To contrast and synthesize print-based processes, variables, and prior explorations with those of time and motion. To explore the performing arts—theater, dance, cinema, sound/music—and to utilize established formal languages from each.

Assignment. Part One: Individual Word: Students develop a bitmap typeface and explore issues of screen-based readability at a range of point sizes. Then they animate a common conjunction (‘and’, ‘or’, ‘but’) set in the bitmap typeface. Since the letterforms are modular, students focus on detailed modulation of the component parts and not the entire letterform. :20-:30 duration, black and white.

Part Two: Multiple Words / Lists: Students design a title sequence with a
series of names and a main title. Maintaining subtleties in animation from part one, students choreography type and image with a focus on transition and editing. :45-1:00 duration, full color, sound.

Part Three: Multiple Phrases: Building on the first two parts, students
write and design a short documentary influenced film with focus on syntax and reading durations. 1:00-2:00 duration, full color, sound. Each part includes the exploration and design of scores for temporal mapping and note-taking. These scores include branching, cyclical, and compound structures in contrast to traditional linear storyboarding with key-frame notation.

Format. Compressed QuickTime, 15-20 fps

Time. 16 weeks, class meets twice a week for 1.5 hours


Tony Brock joined the NC State University, College of Design faculty in 1999 and has taught undergraduate courses in serial and sequential imaging as well as, introductory and experimental typography. On the graduate level, Brock has taught the New Information Environments studio. His research focuses on motion and interaction design for distance education. Brock's teaching and design have been published in AIGA's Loop, Typographics, the American Center for Design 100 Show and Design Beyond Design. Prior to teaching, he held positions in design and advertising in which he completing projects for a range of clients including Nokia, Philips, and Whittle Communications.

Tony Brock
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