Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing type for legibility, part of After Effects Guru: Animating Typography.
Choosing the right type for your project has just as much to do with where you're going to be using the type as it does the style of the type you're going to be choosing. So let me show you what I'm talking about. So if we look in the Project panel, you notice I have four compositions here. There are two main points that I want to cover. We're going to talk about Serif fonts and Sans Serif fonts. And then we'll talk about how they're actually laid out on the screen. And how that'll affect how they're viewed when you're looking at them through different monitors. So let's start by double-clicking on the Sans Serif 1 copy.
Here you'll notice this typeface has a very clean and modern look. Now double-click on the Serif 1 composition. Here, this is more of a classic timeless look and you can see the serifs. They're just little accents at the beginning or the end of each letter. This is extraordinarily helpful when you have a lot of small type on the screen. Let's double-click on Sans Serif 2. Now notice in this version of the title, I've overlapped the type one word on top of the other. Its my personal preference when I'm overlapping type to actually go with a Sans Serif font.
I think it's a little more clean to read and its not quite as distracting. If we go ahead and double-click on the Serif 2 composition, you can see while this has a more traditional look, its a little bit harder to read. All these serifs gives a lot of extra information that you don't necessarily need. Now, if I did have a client that was very particular about wanting to have this kind of classic, timeless look, what I would do, is just select layer 2, or Seasons type, and go ahead and just change that, to a sand surf type face, like aerial black, or aerial.
Now this makes it a little bit easier to read, but you have to decide for yourself, stylistically, if this is the look you want to go for. I do mix Serif and Sans Serif type faces quite often and we'll learn a little bit more about that later as we cover visual hierarchy. Now the last thing to consider are the sizes of the screens that this is going to be viewed on. Let's go ahead and go back to the Serif 1 composition. I want you to look at these serifs. Notice how thick they are. There are other serif type faces that have very thin serifs.
If I were creating this for broadcast for, say, standard definition or an interlaced format, I would try and stick with a thicker serif like this. Thinner serifs sometimes create ringing in your type, and that's something you want to definitely avoid. Since we only have two words on the screen, this is going to be relatively easy to read, whether you're looking at it on a small device like an iPhone, or a really large flat screen television. It's going to work just as well across any device.
So when you're considering what typeface to use for a project, there are always a few things to consider. What image are you trying to project? Clean and modern or classic and timeless? But don't ever forget the technical aspects. How busy is that graphic and what's it going to look like on all the different monitors that your content might be projected on?
This course was created by RHED Pixel. We're honored to host this content in our library.
- Exploring the emotions of animation
- Choosing type for legibility
- Creating a visual hierarchy
- Working with text animation presets
- Animating cameras
- Creating high-energy animations vs. subtle, smooth animations
- Animating multiple lines of type
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Where is HyperNURBS in the latest version of CINEMA 4D Lite?
A: In CINEMA 4D Lite R16, released September 2014, they changed HyperNURBS to Subdivision Surface NURBS. The feature is still located in the same place.