236 animators. 1 type designer. 1 bouncy cheery typeface that you can have for free. But what will do you with it? The creator of Franchise Animated typeface project is back with Mobilo—an animated typeface created collaboratively, with three versions of each character by a different animator from all over the world. The bold weight is free to download in exchange for a social media post, and, with three variations for each letter and number of the codex, is incredibly flexible.
In the world of typefaces, that’s a bit of an alien concept. “Type design is a very systematic process by nature,” says Jeroen Krielaars, creator of Mobilo and Franchise. There’s little room for experimentation, and even animated typefaces tend to follow relatively strict systems.
Krielaars says, “Animation is a medium that has the power to surprise the viewer. With Franchise Animated, I tried to bring this element of surprise to the world of animated typefaces. I tried to pack as much randomness into the project as possible by inviting a different animator to animate each individual glyph. Mobilo Animated takes it to the next level.”
There aren’t too many people out there creating animated type right now, and Krielaars looks like he’s leading the movement with his type foundry Animography, a one-stop shop for 37 quality animated fonts. This was also the case in 2013, the last time Krielaars spoke to The Creators Project: it’s a small niche, somewhere between animation and typography. But it’s likely to grow.
What’s changed since 2013? Most notably, kinetic typography in video is exploding. It isn’t a new concept, but with more videos being designed to share well—and soundlessly—on social media and Web ads, a captivating visual hook is de rigueur. Flashy kinetic text catches the eye and delivers the message.
For this project, Krielaars brought together a who’s-who list of international animators, along with type designer Alfredo Marco Pradil. Pradil created the Mobilo typeface in eight weights, and they added a simple, clean animation for the regular weight. Animators were assigned specific characters in the bold weight.
The conditions were simple: animations had to use the provided four-color palette; the animated glyph had to be complete at frame 25 (one second long); it had to be 500 by 600 pixels; and no third-party plugins or extensions were allowed. The final results were compiled in an After Effects-ready archive, ready for implementation.
With three variations for each character, along with the simple regular-weight animated glyphs and the variety of static weights, Krielaars hopes Mobilo will be flexible enough to serve a wide range of projects. “I’ve seen its predecessor Franchise Animated in some pretty cool projects, including a TV channel’s branding,” he says. “I’m curious to see how Mobilo Animated will be used in real life.”
Download the entire bold-weight Mobilo typeface in exchange for a social media post, or purchase the regular weight and static faces.