Animography is no stranger to hosting great community-based projects and in this article, we catch up with the man himself, Jeroen Krielaars, to find out a bit more the company, how things have evolved over the years, and their recent “A word, a week.” project.
First, can you tell us a bit about Animography and how long the company has been around now?
I started Animography in 2010, shortly after creating Moshun, my first animated typeface. Moshun was an experimental personal project but it gained traction online after it was featured as a quickie on Motionographer. Soon after a few other platforms and printed magazines picked up on it. This gave me the confidence to explore the concept of animated typefaces some more.
After making two other animated typefaces, I came across another one on Vimeo. A really nice one by Oliver Dead. That’s when I decided to start a platform for animated typefaces. A place for collaboration, experimentation and of course selling our files.
Since then Animography matured a lot by constantly improving our collection, service and technical know-how.
Thinking of it, Animography might not even exist if it wasn’t for Motionographer.
It’s amazing how things work out that way! How have things changed since you first started this experiment?
The biggest change is that it has become my full-time occupation since last summer. Before that, I always treated Animography as an ongoing side-project. But it has gotten so big that I had to make a choice between doing client work and running Animography. I loved doing both, but the stress that comes with constant looming deadlines and endless client feedback was something that I could do without.
Now the only commissioned projects I take on are through Animography. Custom animated typeface for brands mostly.
That’s amazing to hear and sounds like a huge shift in direction, congrats.
Can you tell us a bit about the “A word, a week” project?
A word, a week. was born out of curiosity. We’ve been making and selling animated typefaces for years now, but it’s still pretty uncommon for us to encounter our animated typefaces in the wild. I was really curious about how our type could be used in different contexts. That’s why I invited different artists to just play around with our products. To see how they would use, or abuse it. I figured it would also be a good source of inspiration for people who already worked with our products. See how they could use certain typefaces in a different way.
How did this all come about and what was the original goal of the project?
I wanted to invite some friends I know from the community for some quick loops. Maybe repurposing client outtakes or spare parts of the animation. But things quickly got out of hand as they really went all out and made super complex work for this series. I never imagined that people would invest so much time in this project. The amount of hours dedicated to this project made me feel uneasy at times, but people seemed to really enjoy working on it. I’m super thankful for that.
When it came to selecting artists and doing outreach, how did you narrow it down?
I was looking for a wide range of styles and disciplines. I started reaching out to the people in my network that I admire for their specific style. Some focussed on 3D work, while others are more into illustrative work or kinetic type. I also tried to get some video directors on board but that proved to be a bit harder. The few ones in my direct network are always swamped.
Was there something specific you were looking for in each contributor?
Quality of work of course, and a certain signature in style. It should be work that inspires others, and not something that leans to heavy on chewed up trends.
As a whole, what has the response to the project been like?
The response has been really nice! Both from contributing artists and viewers. A lot of people seemed to enjoy the weekly supply eye-candy and experimental nonsense.
Finally, what’s next for Animography and do you have any new community projects on the horizon?
No community projects for now. While it’s a lot of fun and really valuable work, it does take a lot of time. Something I’m always short on. I always have too many good ideas for the time I have. This year I want to focus on making new animated typefaces, and refreshing older ones. But next year, who knows?