Type On Screen: A Book Review For Motion Designers

Designers manipulate the basic parameters of typography on screen - weight, style, alignment, and spacing - in order to help users find the information they are seeking.
— Ellen Lupton, Editor, Type On Screen
Type On Screen

Books on typography are usually restricted to a study of the static implementation of text. Motion Designers are interested in how text looks when it moves, scales, and morphs. All characteristics a typographer probably did not consider when designing the font and typeface.

Type On Screen: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Developers, and Students, edited by Ellen Lupton, and written by a team of students at MICA is not a Typography 101 course, nor is it written specifically with the motion graphics artist in mind. The book is written more for a web designer or developer and how text is implemented across the web and the devices that deliver it.

This is no turn to this page and do this to make it do that formula book.  The book is meant to be read and studied. It encourages you to look further into typography and how it's implemented across all digital media.  

Of course there are bits and pieces about type anatomy, the use of type in headings and body, and a selection of best fonts to use on screen. There is even a section of 14 Favorite Fonts - a handful of which are good for broadcast design. There are a few real world examples in the book, but most examples and case studies are MICA student works.  

Inspired by the motion design in such films as Minority Report or Oblivion? A hidden gem is the section on Type and Interface. Any motion graphics designer interested in designing HUD and GUI for movies and television should consider this section a starting point as is goes over the basics of UI/UX wireframe mockups and the interaction of elements.

While there is no chapter called Type for Motion Graphics Artists, there is plenty to be discovered in each section for a motion graphics designer to adapt to their work. 

Don't forget to checkout my BEST FONTS FOR BROADCAST blog post HERE.

From the Publisher:

The long awaited follow-up to our all-time bestseller Thinking with Type is here. Type on Screen is the definitive guide to using classic typographic concepts of form and structure to make dynamic compositions for screen-based applications. Covering a broad range of technologies, from electronic publications and websites to videos and mobile devices, this hands-on primer presents the latest information available to help designers make critical creative decisions, including how to choose typefaces for the screen, how to style beautiful, functional text and navigation, how to apply principles of animation to text, and how to generate new forms and experiences with code-based operations. Type on Screen is an essential design tool for anyone seeking clear and focused guidance about typography for the digital age.

  • Ideal textbook for college-level courses in web design, interaction design, and motion graphics'
  • Packed with illustrations from the international design community
  • Accompanied by a companion website, www.typeonscreen.net, that provides live demonstrations of screen-based hierarchies, interfaces, logotypes, and animations