Behind The Project: Liquid Type in Motion

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke to Ruslan Khansanov, a graphic designer & digital artist living in Russia. His “liquid typography” – animated letters that come to life and fade away before your eyes – has captivated the Behance community. Click here to see the type in motion!

What was your inspiration for this project?
Inspiration came from a wine logo I was designing. For this logo I drew the letter “D”. I used different tools and materials. Finally I settled on ink and brush. I wanted to achieve the spreading effect, as if on a bottle of wine that had been sitting on the sea’s floor for more than a century, and the letters on the label flowed, forming patterns. For this, I drew with ink on wet paper. I had some interesting options, but nothing too interesting or lively. When I washed the brush in the bathroom from the remnants of the ink, I began to draw the letter “D” on the wet sink surface. The letter literally come to life – fine black lines instantly flowed overgrown with gray patterns like coral and then disappeared like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and then dying.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
In one hand, I had a brush with the ink and in the other hand I had a camera to catch the most opportune moment. I got better results when the letters washed away under the stream of water. For each letter, I took about 50 shots. Afterwards, I processed each frame in Photoshop and then animated it. I was especially impressed by how the ink spots were dancing exposed to water, a bizarre dance of life, between birth and death.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?
Yes, there were a lot of nice letters, blog posts and several book publications. The best part is communication. It is a pleasure to talk with designers and artists from around the world. This is a great opportunity for joint projects.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
Each letter is unique and can’t be repeated twice. In total I made more than 5,000 images for this project. Many letters I painted over and over again to get the most interesting plasticity, texture and dynamics.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
There is no limit of perfection. Every time I look at my projects, I thin that I can do better now. “Liquid type in motion” is a little bit rude and harsh, the letters there are trembling. Considering these shortcomings, I made a new project “Liquid calligraphy”.

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
Before this project I had published two static fluid type projects, “Au revoir type” and “Micro type”. They were pretty popular. I expected that animated version of fluid type will attract attention too, but every comment, every article is always a surprise to me.