Typography Translates Ira Glass ...


I came across a video by David Shiyang Liu that plays off an Ira Glass riff on the creative process.

David, who is a filmmaker and director at the Melbourne studio Kick Kick Punch (no Kaboom), married typography with Glass’s verbal narrative to produce the video below.

Sure, Ira Glass’s voice by itself gives power to the narrative.

But the video takes the storytelling to the next level.

I connected with David for a behind-the-curtain perspective.



Lou: What inspired you to create this video?

David: There was an event called the 30 Days of Creativity that happened last June. It so happened that I was in a bit of a creative rut myself, and was encouraged to work on as many different forms of creative output as I could. It turned out that I had never made a kinetic typography before, and tried my hand at the one that eventually became the “Ira Glass on the Creative Process” video.

Lou: It’s cool how typography becomes the artwork in the video. Did you work with a graphic designer or typographer?

David: It was all me. Always loved typography, and Caslon was a highly underused font in kinetic typography, I feel, a domain usually reserved for more versatile sans serif fonts.

Note: Here’s a look at Caslon standing still. 

caslon font

Lou: Had you used this technique, verbal narrative + words, before?

David: Nope. It was a fun exercise, but it did take longer than I had expected. I envisioned that it would only have taken a day, instead of three.

Lou: Is there one part of the video that stood out in your mind?

David: Not particularly. The video as a whole was fairly intuitive to sculpt into words, and I just have to thank Ira Glass himself for that. There wasn’t any doubt as to what the words should have ‘felt’ like due to the way Ira spoke. It was his conviction in what he was saying that gave me a very clear idea of what it should look like.


I’m a big fan of typography as an asset for storytelling.

Putting type in motion brings fun and pace to the audio.

When Ira explains the gap between a person’s good taste and what he or she creates, we see this.

frenetic typography

Also loved the visual depiction of how “everyone goes through that (tough times)” with the type literally going through other words.

frenetic typography

We’ve applied the concept to some of our own work, but I’m inspired to do more.

Which I suppose is the point in more ways than one.

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