Tag Archives: typography

Em Dash Shortcut

Wow, I learned something really cool and easy to do today. To create an “em dash” using a Mac computer, simply click Option+Shift+Minus (the – key) and boom, you have the ever-cool em dash character! It looks like this: —

Windows users can also use the em dash character, but it is a bit more complicated. Access the emoji keyboard by clicking the Windows key + the period key and select the em dash character. You can also use the alt code combination Alt + 0151, but this only works if you have a number pad keyboard.

You can use the em dash in a sentence instead of a comma, a colon, or even parentheses. I’ll have to keep this in mind because I have an affinity for writing parenthetical thoughts. Em dashes can enhance readability.

You should not use an em dash when a hyphen is required, such as in hyphenated word combinations. To do so would make you a two-bit, no-account, good-for-nothing ninny-muggins.

Read the full skinny on when to use the em dash at The Punctuation Guide.com.

Kinetic Typography

I am working with Adobe After Effects in the motion graphics class. One of the popular uses of this software I’ve seen in putting type into motion – sometimes known as ‘kinetic typography.’ This week I’m looking at examples of this kind of work. I’m using this post to collect the examples so I can refer back to them. Maybe someone else can find them useful as well.

I found a post of 34 ‘Must See’ examples of kinetic typography, so I watched them all. I’m sharing some with comments below:

The Hush Sound – Lion’s Roar by Mig Reyes

We watched this one in class, and it is pretty flawless. The only thing I see that could improve it is doing the entire song. I seem to see a flickering effect, that simulates what you would sometimes see if you watched a movie through a film projector. I also like how things seem to zoom in and out. Everything is not on a 2-D plane, things appear to get closer and farther away as well.

Shine A Light by Bait

This one was amazing. One there are lots of textures and vibrant colors. I really like the simulated 3D effect. There is something like confetti floating around a rotating pyramid in the background. That would take a lot of work to create in AfterEffects. I wonder if some other form of 3D software was used instead?

You Are Not So Smart

This is a great book, and a great piece of kinetic typography. I really like how certain words are emphasized by using a different font or style of type. I also liked how words appear horizontally, but sometimes rotate for emphasis.


This one strikes me as more of an animation than what we would consider ‘kinetic typeography’ but I include it nevertheless.

Shop Vac


This one is really fun. Probably my favorite so far! We lead off on a simulated highway scene, with the text moving down the road in perspective. I’m blown away by the use of textures. Everything fits. For example, when the bathroom is mentioned, we see a fuzzy bathroom rug or towel background. I also liked how certain corporate logo motifs were used. The words appear, popping open like bubbles or something. Lots of graphics. Yes, this is my favorite so far.





This one makes me seasick. And I’m an ex-sailor. Who never got seasick.

Make It Better


I like the sound effects in this one. I wonder if I can somehow use sound effects like this in the piece I am planning?

Back to the Future


I like this one mainly for its simplicity.

Wouldn’t it be Nice


This one uses a lot of cute graphical elements in the classic Beach Boys song.

Ira Glass – Storytelling

I liked Ira’s message more than the typography on this one. While I appreciate simplicity, this one was too simple. I don’t think the type really added anything to the message.

Ok, I think that is enough for now. Now I need to move on to thinking about my own piece I’m planning. More on that soon…