We Rise

An excerpt from Alicia Keys’ speech visualized with typography.




the women's march

On January 21st of 2017, over 3 million people attended the Women’s March worldwide. Various artists and speakers inspired the crowds with stories of personal experiences, words of empowerment and messages fuelled with compassion and strength. Alicia Keys spoke poetically of the beauty and strength in femininity before performing her song “Girl on Fire”. Her speech recognized and thanked women for what they are and what they are capable of, while emphasizing that together they are unstoppable.

“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

-The Women’s March Vision





the Speech

The excerpt from Keys’ speech in the kinetic type composition is composed of a combination of repetition and powerful words. She repeats thank you four times, while connecting words like courage and strength to womanliness. She speaks in terms of we and our instead of me and mine to encourage togetherness and action. 

"I just want to thank you so much for your courage. Thank you so much for your womanliness. Thank you so much for you strength. Let us continue to honor all that is beautiful about being feminine. We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise...WE RISE!"





Kinetic typography

The kinetic typography piece reflects and intensifies Keys’ words by providing visual representations of the empowering message she is communicating. The composition incorporates clean and bold design, while using simple shapes and lines to create smooth transitions that carry the viewer’s attention seamlessly through the clip. 


visual design

The colour palette is inspired by the Women’s March branding of navy blue, orange and pale yellow, with two additional shades of blue and orange at reduced opacities. This keeps the speech true to its origin while allowing flexibility of design. These colours also allow for a bold design that is suitable for a politically driven speech.

The composition includes three typefaces, Source Sans Pro Light, Source Sans Pro Black and Abril Fatface. Source Sans Pro is a highly readable serif typeface and was used for a majority of the speech. The contrast between Source Sans Pro Light and Black was used to emphasize certain words. Abril Fatface was used for power words like courage, womanliness, strength, beautiful, feminine as well as all the roles Keys refers to. Dainty and flourished typefaces were intentionally avoided for these words as it would undermine their powerful meaning. Working with these typefaces created a cohesive feel while contrasting with each other enough to communicate hierarchy and pattern.




The transitions were used as opportunities to create interest and emphasize meaning while bringing it all together. Solid and dashed lines were used in conjunction with each other to wipe the screen clear of previous text or to create the illusion that the camera is moving to a new area. Circles were integrated throughout the design, including some with dashed outlines to create coherence with the solid and dashed lines. These circles help to connect the scenes together as a consistent shape and colour. They also move and change size in accordance with the lines to create seamless and interesting transitions.


Power in Number

The final lines where Keys says “We rise…WE RISE” is the most dramatic and powerful part of the speech. Using “we” again, she is alluding to power and strength in numbers, which is appropriate for the massive crowd that gathered that day. Hundreds of dots are used to represent people and to indicate the overwhelming amount of support for this cause.




Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator