Student Film Looks At Typography From Paper To Screen

With the current interest in web fonts the title may be misleading, because this time we are talking about type from paper to the movie screen. Set to the music of Claude Debussy and Georges Delerue, From Paper To Screen was created by Thibault de Fournas as part of his final year graduation at the ESAG Penninghen in Paris, France. The objective of the video was to develop a typographic narrative that is accessible to everyone, not just designers and typography buffs. This is not Thibault’s first feat – you may remember him from his animated Futura specimen and the superb trailer for Peter Bil’ak’s Karloff family (which made 3rd place at the Typomania Awards 2013), both in collaboration with Thibault’s friend Christopher Van Wilson.

From Paper To Screen from Thibault de Fournas on Vimeo.

Thibault de Fournas | “We had three months to develop our end-of-the-year projects. I started working on the animation in April and finished by the end of June. It was a fun assignment as I already wanted to do something with title credit sequences for a long time.”

“The whole video was created in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects. I tried to prepare the pre-production as meticulously as possible. First I wrote a script in the form of a little story, then I proceeded to illustrate this story with typographic panels, a little bit like flipping the pages of a book. In the first part dedicated to print I developed those pages just like I would for publication design, all the while whilst trying to sustain a strong relationship between text, page lay-out and animation. In the second part I let myself be inspired by existing opening titles. I ended up watching hundreds of them; some of them are tributes to classics (Psycho, North by Northwest, Brazil, …) others are original pieces created specifically for my animated short. The hardest part was identifying the typefaces used for films from the beginning of last century. Some of them I never managed to find, like Crazy Gun foir example.”

Thibault’s animation is very classy. It ignores the typically showy effects in favour of functional and aesthetically refined transitions and animations. The contrast between the “paper” and the “screen” part is clear but not jarring, keeping the video together as one consistent piece of animation. Unfortunately the text is marred by a couple of spelling mistakes. Although this personally annoys me quite a bit, one has to remember this is a student assignment by a French non-native English speaker. Yes, Thibault could have spell-checked his work more carefully, but could just as well have created a flawlessly spelled French piece. Instead he chose to broaden its appeal, also to an international audience, so let’s maybe forgive these few minor flaws.

See Thibault’s two other typographic animations below.

Futura, le spécimen animé from Thibault de Fournas on Vimeo.

Karloff, convergence of beauty and ugliness from Thibault de Fournas on Vimeo.

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