Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Poetry Fuses with Motion Graphics Underground

As a way to repay the London commuters for putting up with all the delays and repairs as they prepare for the Olympics this summer, the London Underground tube system has developed short videos that will be playing in their stations. The videos all contain a poem that is aided by a short motion graphics animation. The project is called "Words in Motion" and will be playing for two weeks, it's being sponsored by Smile for London. They are hoping to renew an interest in poetry and writing through interesting visual cues; the animations also act as a way to catch commuters attention. The writings are by famous writers and a few have come through amateur submissions while the animations were done by some of the leading English animation companies. These top animators transformed them into 20 second typographic films.

An article in Stash Magazine noted that the artists were given no information about the prose when they selected which one to animation. This blind form of art ensured a more emotional engagement, as well as more democracy, for the artist about the animation. The aim is to produce inspiring and surprising work.

The sampling of the videos that they've put online have aspects of some of the things we have looked at for class. The second one (containing the alliteration) is one of the typography videos that mixes a word starting with c (shown in the middle) with a background pertaining to that word that seems to spread out of the word itself. All the videos will have a different style that mirrors the mood of the poem or literary piece.

Smile for London is also responsible for other art movements and projects that include visual animations. Here is a video that aired around last year as part of one of their campaigns.

A video on vimeo that contains all of the animations (running about 18 minutes) can be found here.


  1. Excellent post. I really like all the animations and I think they are a great source of inspiration for your own work. I hope everyone takes the time to see all of them and as you do try to figure out what sources and techniques are utilized. How would you do it?

  2. The head explosion was very unexpected haha