Meta Typeface Animation


For this animation, I wanted to lean into FF Meta’s usage in map and transit signage, continuing the theme of my spread. I would be utilizing bright yellow as my main color with black and white as my supporting colors. I also wanted to utilize the iconic subway lines as my main graphic of transitioning from scene to scene within my animation. I want this animation to reflect the characteristics and attributes of the typeface; I did some storyboarding to create a general framework for what I wanted my animation to look like.

Many of the scenes are still in progress because many of the details regarding each of the scenes have yet to be sorted out. I’m still not sure as to how transitions will be applied either. However, the key aspects are there: history/introduction of typeface, descriptive adjectives, typeface analysis, real-world application.

I have a short narrative I want to cover in my video as well; it’s the 50-word essay I wrote at the beginning of the magazine spread project.

FF Meta is a type family designed by Eric Spiekermann as the antithesis of Helvetica. It retains many of the qualities of a humanist typeface, while also introducing interesting nuances in its form. The small details and intricacies in its tracking, curvatures and stroke reveal a playful, dynamic, and elegant typeface.

However, I also wanted to add some information about how FF Meta is used in map signage for public transportation in Europe.

On top of the storyboarding and the script, I also was tasked with finding music for animation. I looked through a variety of different genres but found that jazz/swing music fit the aesthetic I was aiming for. I have a playlist with some songs that I find would be most interesting for the animation. You can listen to them here.

I also have a royalty-free song I am debating on using because it is locked behind a paywall. Listen to that here.

Currently, I am leaning heavily towards Just One Dance by Caro Emerald,
Hey Pachuco! by Royal Crown Revue, and Finger Poppin’ by Horace
Silver Quintet.


The past few days since last class, I worked on digitizing my storyboards and creating assets for After Effects. I started working from the middle of the sequence as Vicki advised. It would help me inform the decisions at the beginning and end of the animation as well.

Here are some assets I’m working on right now:

I’ve also started working on animating a few small details within each of these scenes. I made the yellow behind the p in playful slide on the l. I also had the bracket appear and disappear.

I have yet to sync the movements of my scenes with music—I settled on Hey Pachuco! instrumental.

For now, I’m still not sure how I’m going to be connecting scenes, but I have a good general idea of how the animation as a whole is going to pan out. I think there are a few issues with the overall flow I still need to figure out.


For the past week, I have been continuing to add to my animation. I was able to get some helpful feedback from Vicki during our one on one meeting as well as from Yoshi during his office hours. There are a few things that I want to highlight and a few things I’m still working on. I’m making good pace, with around half of the project done and 6 more days to go!

Here are some screenshots of some of the scenes I am close to finishing or am currently working on. I have 2 more scenes that I still need to finish placing into after effects and a good amount of refining transitions etc to do.

opening scene
intro to typeface
the antithesis

This one is slightly off-center and it's really bothering me right now.

transitions off the page
showing type variation

Still thinking about how to connect this scene to the previous one.

transition to italics

Make this more engaging, play with the meaning of the words

typeface element analysis

I might change these words to just the ABCs to condense because I am pretty short on time. Also, using bold and playful does feel redundant.

more typeface analysis

I will be simplifying this scene.

Crit 10/10–11:

  • Make things more cohesive, transitions → using the triangle arrows
  • Transitions need to bring the piece together
  • Make sure that colors are readable
  • Make sure things are centered and aligned
  • Change bold and playful in character analysis to synonyms/ less repetitive
  • Maybe to just the ABCs?
  • Check font sizes
  • Make first scene more dynamic
  • Create more interaction between the meaning of the adjectives and the motion of the adjective/ make it reflect what it means a little bit better
  • Pacing is good

I’m planning on getting those last 3 scenes in today and start refinement.


I was able to finally finish my video today after quite the long work session stretching from Thursday to today. I’m pretty excited about the final product though! Here are some steps I took to finally get where I am today!

I got a lot of feedback from Vicki, Dylan, Langston, Jina, and Yoshi about my video, which really helped me shape what my video looks like today. Here are some notes I took during those critiques.

I also worked on creating and refining scenes that I felt needed to be reworked or tweaked to better fit the narrative and pace of the music.

This transition was really boring at first, so I decided to zoom out and then have the letter pop out again on the beat.

I adjusted the position and tweaked the movements of the subway lines in the following scene.

Vicki pointed out that there was a really long period of time where nothing was happening; I decided to input the stroke weights for each of the fonts.

I added some playful animations to better reflect the definitions of the adjectives in this scene.

I had the bar come up to show the x-height, and I from letter to letter with the definitions of what was happening.

I got rid of the large yellow lines happening in this scene and had these yellow circles pulse on the beat instead.

For the final scene, I wanted to simulate moving past objects and buildings in the distance when sitting in a train car.

Here's the final product! Can’t wait for people to see it during the showcase on Monday night!

I also managed to do some reworks to my final spread. I needed to fix some typesetting issues, kerning issues, and overall composition tweaks. I added an extra paragraph detailing how Meta was being used today, did some more type analysis on the f at the bottom right of the first page, shifted the circles around to adjust to the introduction of more type, increased the column width and adjusted typesetting accordingly, and de-hyphenated the February in the first paragraph.

Here’s the final spread!



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