And Sometimes by Christian Bök

The London-based graphic/digital/motion designer Tom Martin says,

MA project looking at visualising the spoken word using kinetic typography. I chose the poem ‘And Sometimes’, which itemises every English word that contains only consonants, as hearing it spoken is an entirely different experience to reading it.

It was published in the book ‘Eunoia’, designed by its author – so in order to best capture his voice I based the video on his design. To capture the rhythm of the poem, I redesigned the type based on the wave pattern of the audio.

As the object of this exercise was to recreate the spoken word, I then distorted the audio so it does not clearly repeat the visuals, yet still enhances the unusual atmosphere of the piece.

Christian Bök is a contemporary Canadian poet, whose book Eunoia “won the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, and which has been said to be ‘Canada’s best-selling poetry book ever,'” according to the Wikipedia, which also includes this charming detail: “He was born ‘Christian Book’, but changed his last name ‘to avoid unseemly confusion with the Bible.'” There’s a Flash version of Chapter e from Eunoia at Ubuweb.


  1. Reply
    Tom Martin 21 September, 2012

    Thanks (belatedly) for featuring this. I like the fact you categorised it as animation – I wasn’t too sure how to describe it myself!

    • Reply
      Dave 21 September, 2012

      Well, I should have a “kinetic typography” sub-category of animation, I suppose — there are a lot of people using type animations to envideo poetry and spoken word. Of course, most of them are fairly unimaginative compared to yours.

  2. Reply
    Tom Martin 26 September, 2012

    The thing is, I reckon it could fit many categories – animation, animated video, animated typography, kinetic typography… none necessarily better than others. I’m just interested to see how other people interpret it.

    And thanks for your last sentence – I’m particularly pleased you said that, as part of the reason I did this was as a reaction against the kind of videos you describe.

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