Staff is a personal project that was initially part of another composition. A few months after, I decided to edit the lettering and animate it with After Effects.
At first, this lettering was part of a traditional quote lettering called « Dogs Have Owners, Cats Have Staff ». The quote displayed several styles of lettering; expanded sans-serif, narrow serif, and italic script.
A few months later, I decided to extract the « Staff » part from the composition to use it as a standalone animation. Indeed, the monoline nature of this piece was ideal to render the kind of results I wanted.
I spent some time reworking the piece to make it look better, smoother and more precise. The stem of the « a » was redesigned to be a loop, so it could be smoothly and seamlessly animated. The two « f » were readjusted to be more consistent, and were brought farther apart to respect the overall kerning. The final curve was smoothened and the underline was adjusted to be parallel to the baseline. In addition, some overall minor edits were made to make the lettering look as fluid as possible.
I first filmed myself drawing the lettering piece to understand how the hand moves. Speedups, slowdowns, timings, all these parameteres must be taken into account when you’re trying to digitally recreate a natural motion.
It took me a few days and eight iterations to get to something truly convincing. The result is a smooth, vigorous animation inspired by urban graffiti.