Collab Viz — Typography Studies

Samantha Rauch
4 min readMar 31, 2021


Studies of typography for Collaborative Visualizing

For March 31, 2021

I finally figured out a grid system for the K that I think works. I tried gridding it out over a square divided into quarters and into thirds, but the proportional grid that I made by fitting the K in a rectangle and creating lines at vertices and intersections works much better for quickly creating the form of the letter. Very roughly, it’s about three units wide and five units tall.

For April 7, 2021

We met up yesterday to figure out what we want our animation to be doing. We’ve decided on having a scene where the e sneaks up from behind the a and bounces on it, the two wobble a little bit, and then the k comes from offscreen like a ninja star and cuts the a and the e in half.

For April 7, 2021

We got our first animation done! We just focused on keyframes with a low frame rate to get the basic idea down, and we have lots of places to improve on for next time. We did each letter on its own sheet of tracing paper, then laid them on top of each other and scanned them (after an hour and a half of searching for a working scanner on campus), then complied them into a gif.

We’re actually quite proud of it! It’s so satisfying to see it actually come together into a moving picture.

Our points of improvement for next time are:

  • perhaps split up the animation into three parts and have each person take a section, instead of trying to compile letters, or:
  • have the backmost letter colored in the darkest and the frontmost colored the lightest, so all of the letters are of a similar darkness
  • have the K intersect the letters more visibly (add a line to show that it’s slicing them)
  • perhaps have the k come in at a more flat angle to the viewer
  • have a and e get visibly sliced in half and fall into pieces when they hit the ground
  • have a and e moving somewhat when K comes through

I am quite proud of my little K! I think the spinning motion looks great, as does the little wobble at the end as it’s stuck in the wall. I do need to refine how it interacts with the other letters.

For April 12, 2021

For our final animation, we did all of the letters on the same layer of paper so we wouldn’t have muddling issues from the multiple layers of tracing paper. We filled in the spots between the keyframes to fill out the rest of our animation, then scanned each of the frames and uploaded them into photoshop to turn them into an mp4. It was a very slow process, but here’s the final animation!

It went pretty well overall! I think having a bit more time to work on it, so we wouldn’t have to have drawn so many frames in a short period, might have produced a better final product — we definitely had some errors we had to correct while we were scanning, like missing frames and weird placement, that probably could have been avoided if we had some time to step back from all of our drawings. We also figured out that establishing a consistent ground plane would be useful, since we had to do so much adjusting while scanning to ensure everything lined up.

On the whole, though, I think it turned out nicely, and Emily and Olivia seem to think so, too. It was a cool first attempt at hand-drawn animation.