The Video Camp

Why Typography Matters in Video Production

If there is one thing I wish someone told me at the very beginning of my career, it is – learn typography.

And surprisingly, unless you are studying graphic design, no one is going to warn you that if your typography sucks – you’re in big trouble.

Typography is the art of designing for any reading experience. You see it everywhere β€“ websites, slides, print, videos.

I believe that having a basic knowledge of typography is better than having crazy editing skills. The reason is simple – start with the basics.

Wait, I thought video production is about filming, editing and crazy transitions?

It really depends on the type of videos you make, but text is almost always needed to display information, and typography is what makes this text look good. Let me illustrate this with an example.

If you look at this Apple commercial, for example, what they did is they made sure that the typography is 100% beautiful.

On top of the nice fast-paced type, they started adding “extras” in the form of footage and animation. But what makes the video look so sleek and premium is actually the nice, fast-switching type.

What has typography to do with making videos?

In a video where you have text, typography is equally as important as sound, because it takes care of the reading experienceΒ πŸ“–, just like sound does for listening πŸ”‰.

Typography is the art of making text look appealing, readable, as well as visually balanced. It involves the choice of font and its style – from size and color to line height and letter spacing.

Good typography combines multiple text elements together in a composition.

Where does typography apply in video?

Titles and Intros

from "Abstract: The Art of Design" E03

Lower Thirds

from Vox YouTube channel

Closed Captions / Subtitles

from SAP's "Designing the Corona-Warn-App"

Text Callouts

Text callouts
from Andres Vidoza's "Are Ultrawide Curved Monitors Worth It?"

Typography for Brands

Typography takes many spots in every video, and helpsΒ emphasize the personality and brand identity of a comany. Whether using a specific font, letter spacing, or a specific style like all-caps, using and applying typography in your videos will identify who you are and keep you aligned with your brand.Β 
Β 
Let me tell you a story…Β Last year we wanted to create something special for International Women’s Day, and since the time was so short and the lockdown was already approaching us, we came up with the idea to make a short video that highlights the strong and inspiring women from our stories throughout the year, usingΒ nice typography and large titles.

So what was so unique about this video?

πŸ‘‰ We reused old footage to come up with something new
πŸ‘‰ Inspiring titles and dynamic music, no need for voiceover
πŸ‘‰ We were able to get it done fast, ready for 8th of March

Just like most companies, SAP has it’s own brand guidelines which suggest the use of a specific font, color and composition. Following those guidelines ensures that you keep the brand’s personality in every aspect, including typography.

What brand guidelines look like?

There are many ways typography can go wrong, that’s why brands usually define “do’s” and “don’ts” Let’s take a look at what Dropbox’s brand guidelines look like:

Here is anΒ example from Dropbox, using their brand typography.

How to apply good typography?

πŸ‘‰ Make sure that you are aligned with the brand guidelines.

πŸ‘‰ Use good pair of fonts – this website is all about that.

πŸ‘‰ Pay attention to line-height and letter spacing.

πŸ‘‰ Keep it simple – less text at once.

πŸ‘‰ Make sure that your text is readable.

In conclusion, here is a videos that explain typography very well:

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