Font’s Unusual Creative Kinetics

Thursday 26 August 2010, 9:54 pm   /////  

Two recent hit songs on the Web are the tribute “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” by Rachel Bloom and the non-tribute “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo. Perhaps after me and you – us, them, him, her, and it will be next?

The typographical treatment of “Fuck You” in the video is much more straightforward than in the well-linked “Say What Again” video by Jarratt Moody, which sets dialogue from Pulp Fiction to animated type. The words and letters in “Say What Again” aren’t demanding to be read as insistently, and they’re doing so much that it’s a joy to see them in motion. When there’s not as much happening, getting presented visually with the same words that are being sung to me seems a bit like having someone slap me repeatedly while saying “Slap! Slap! Slap!”

Of course, type can be used with music to do other things besides writing out the lyrics. An even simpler typographical treatment can be seen in Flash pieces by Young-Hae Chang, including the excellent “Dakota.” In those, though, the text doesn’t repeat something in the audio channel, it proceeds at a rapid pace but is legible to the attentive viewer, and it all makes for compelling reading and listening. By the way, in case you think I’m wandering off topic, the first word of “Dakota” is “fucking.”

I wonder if a straightforward animated type video, a sort of blank slate, tends to encourage remixing and the creation of new videos? In any case, Cee-Lo’s song has already been mashed up with other videos. You can see what the last scene in Dirty Dancing is like when set to that tune, for instance.

Oh, and let’s not forget Ray Bradbury. This purports to be a picture of the famous writer watching Rachel Bloom’s video.

2 Comments »

  1. To complete your Cee-Lo entry:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HI-ZMjn9d8&feature=player_embedded

    Cee-Lo NES parody.

    Comment by Ms Blue — 2010-09-30 @ 11:50 pm
  2. I love this one. The audio track isn’t repeating what the text is doing, it’s authentic to the 6502-based NES in both channels, it’s funny, it presents obfuscated “obscene” words (presumably because they wouldn’t have gotten the Nintendo Seal of Quality otherwise), you can dance to it … the only thing that would have made it better is a shout-out to Racing the Beam.

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2010-09-30 @ 11:59 pm

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