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Words that make sense: Visual arts film a sensory display of typography

Short piece serves as opening titles to Typophile Film Festival

  • The three-and-a-half-minute film serves as the opening titles to an international film festival on the use of type and typography
  • It was created by visual arts professor Brent Barson and 11 of his graphic design students
  • No computer generated images were used to make the film
  • Barson and his students have made the opening titles for Typophile for all five years the film festival has run

This short film, created by BYU visual arts professor Brent Barson and 11 of his graphic design students, serves as the opening titles to the Typophile Film Festival, an international film festival that features short films about the use of type.

Barson has been in charge of making the opening titles for the film festival for all five years it has run and has won numerous awards for past opening titles.

Looking to brand this year’s installment as the 5th version of the film festival, Barson and his students came up with a theme based on the five senses, and how they feed human creativity.

This opening title sequence took three months to create and involved working with several tricky materials: Jell-O, squash, laser-cut food and purple fur, to name a few.

The process also took a lot of patience: During the filming of a scene focusing on the sense of touch, student Deven Stephens’ wife, Michelle, held her hand up against a glass shelf without moving it or taking it out of the upright position for two and a half hours.

To learn more about the detailed filmmaking process and to see previous versions of the opening titles, click here.

The Typophile Film Festival screened in Portland, Ore., in August and is now headed to design and typography conferences in Phoenix (Oct. 23) and Mexico City (Oct. 29) later this month.

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