If you work in video production or any creative business, you most likely look at vertical video like a dirty stray cat. By that I mean, you still recognize it’s a cat/video, but you’re not sure if you should touch it or not. Well, I took one for the team and approached that tall drink of water, formerly known as vertical videos. Besides an overarching feeling of looking like an idiot while designing in the wrong format, here are a few things I learned.
1: It’s fun to work with a different size canvas.
2: It opens up a new way of thinking about composition.
3: It looks great on a phone…if viewed properly.
4: A well thought out vertical video is still impressive due to the newness of it.
1: You hate yourself for doing it.
2: Using long words suck due to lack of horizontal space.
3: It looks like crap on desktop.
4: It makes your video thumbnail look like garbage until in full-screen view.
So after stating those pros and cons, if you are still thinking about making a vertical video for yourself, here’s some tips on how to make the same stupid mistakes I did when I began. As for the feeling you’ll get that you are cheating on your horizontal video girl/boyfriend…you’re on own there, pal.
1: Create a grid that breaks your video into three sections. (Top, middle, bottom)
2: Overall, keep things focused in the middle of the screen.
3: Avoid small type.
4: Test on a phone when mixing your audio.
5: Make it short…even shorter than when doing horizontal videos.
6: Find a fun way to ask viewers to go full screen at the beginning.
Sorry for making you read all this, just so I can tell you this, but…screw vertical videos. For those who claim it’s our future, I think you’re wrong. I think it’s something people say when they want to pretend like they can predict what the next generation will be into. The truth is, we will have many more screen sizes as the years pass, and as video creators we’re going to have to start making multiple versions. The hardest format to design for in the future will probably be triangle videos. When that time comes, I’ll be writing a blog about how much I hate that too.