A lyric video is a music video in which the lyrics to the song are the focus of the video. Though the integration of typography has been a part of music video creation for decades, it is only in the past few years that lyric videos have been considered a separate entity. Commentaries on the validity of lyric videos have been popping up on blogs across music cultures, and MTV recently added an awards category for lyric videos to this past year's Video Music Awards.
Lyric videos typically are released along with the release of a musician's new single. Sometimes the lyric video is all that is released along with the audio. These videos in a way are the modern day version of a lyric booklet tucked away behind the hard plastic front of a CD case. The typography of the lyric videos help to promote an artist through reflecting the artist's identity in the typography's style and animation of the letterforms. This strategy is similar to that of a CD case design. Lyric videos range in detail from a clean font set against a simple background to a full-scale production including sets, special effects, and the physical creation of the words. The style of the videos and the designer's decision to keep it simple or go all out are determined by context.
The rise of the lyric video makes sense as most musicians and record labels utilize video-based websites such as youtube.com to promote their music. As physical products such as CDs become less popular, digital visual collateral has grown in prominence. Artists still need outlets to visually promote their music and are constantly searching for innovative avenues that better coincide with popular media platforms. Lyric videos are important to keep on one's radar as they are a part of the design field's gradual transition from print design to interactive and web-based design.
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