Innovative motion artists and classically trained graphic designers are using typography in groundbreaking ways. Digit investigates how motion typography has become an integral part of a wide range of creative output.

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The use of typography in film and broadcast is often seen as a lesser art than its use in print. However, it demands that the creators be fluent in the twin disciplines of graphic design and filmmaking to create work that is both pleasing to the eye and interesting enough to hold the audience’s attention. 
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“You can be a great animator and not be a great typographer,” says film title luminary Kyle Cooper, “but you’re selling yourself short to not have a design education.” 
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After a spell at R/Greenberg Associates, Cooper left to co-found Imaginary Forces. He has employed and worked with many of the leading lights of film title design. He currently runs Prologue Films, which he founded in 2004. 
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“I’ve never hired anyone that hasn’t come with a background in graphic design and type,” says Cooper. “There’s a lot of individuals that are fine animators, and are making things that move nicely but if you go through it frame-by-frame, a lot of the compositions are ugly.” 
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Some artists working in motion graphics and titles have a less strict approach to the medium. “Kyle’s been saying that for years,” says Jonathan Notaro, creative director at Brand New School.
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“You can see it in his work, that every frame is perfect and beautifully designed. In some sense I agree with that, but I think there’s also a different skillset involved.” 
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The skill that Notaro refers to is storytelling. Both Cooper and Notaro agree that the ability to present information effectively is key. “Type supports the idea,” says Cooper. “It supports the story that you’re trying to tell. But without a story or an idea behind it, it’s very hard to make a piece work.” 
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