Developing a theoretical framework for understanding the communicative value of typographic elements


Media & Communications Design


  • visual communication, typography, multimedia


It is accepted that design is moving away from static, two-dimensional outputs to multiple hybrid media which play out in four dimensions. This shift away from design as an art of composition to one of choreography “involves understanding how the conventions of typography and the dynamics between words and images change with the introduction of time, motion, and sound”(Pullman in Heller 1998:109).

Time-based media enable words to move as if living, thereby extending the expressiveness of traditional typographic language. The communicative value of time and motion as powerful and persuasive design elements must be explored and understood in order for designers to create meaningful four-dimensional design products.

This paper will briefly describe a theoretical framework for understanding and analysing the communicative value of moving typographic elements. The framework is loosely based on film theory and is designed to enable students to critically evaluate the choice and use of animated or dynamic typographic elements in a moving image product. 

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