What are motion graphics? How are they used in day-to-day modern businesses? What skills do you need to look for in a motion graphics designer? Let’s dive right into some of these questions.
Motion graphic design is an area of graphic design. Simply put, it’s the creation of moving graphics, which can be in the form of text, shapes, illustrations, etc.
So, is motion graphic design the same as animation?
Yes and no. Although the two essentially mean the same thing (creation of moving graphics), they differ in complexity. Animation usually involves a more detailed storyline and is associated with complex art forms such as films, video games, or music videos.
However, motion graphics design has a vast application in the digital marketing world these days. In fact, many businesses are using motion graphics in their marketing efforts.
Here are a few ideas on how to use motion graphics in your marketing efforts.
Where is motion graphic design used?
Let’s get a better understanding of the full scope of motion graphics design by looking at some of its most common uses.
Film & TV titles
One of the first famous examples of motion graphic design is the opening sequence of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
Although this may not seem as impressive to contemporary audiences, it’s still a perfect demonstration of how motion graphics can enhance basic design elements (lines and text).
Not many businesses will need film and TV titles. However, it’s still worth mentioning as one of the most common uses of motion graphic design.
Although animated logos originated on TV, these days, they’re commonly found in the online space.
As you may know, a logo is much more than a piece of graphic design: it’s a visual representation of your brand identity. It should communicate what your brand stands for (what it does, why, and how) and who is the target audience (are they young professionals, kids, or academics).
If done well, logos stay relevant for years, despite trends changing. Just think of logos like Coca-Cola, Apple, or Google, which have been more or less unchanged for decades.
Still, we all know that the key to successful marketing is to keep up with the trends. So what can you do to keep your logo trendy but build your brand image on the solid base a poignant logo design gives you?
Create an animated version of your logo!
This area of usage of motion graphics builds on the previous one since kinetic typography is needed to animate wordmark logos.
Still, the application of kinetic typography is much broader than logos alone. We have little patience for reading online: some recent studies claim the average is around 55 seconds across all industries. Other findings are even more disheartening: a 2014 study by Chartbeat suggested that 55% of website visitors read for less than 15 seconds.
So, if you want to send an essential message to your audience, you can’t afford to bury it in a long-form piece of content.
Kinetic typography is a great way to enhance your website, ads, and social media and to make your messages stand out
Getting people to read something online is difficult. Getting them to click on your ads is often even worse.
Now compare that to the fact that we see around 4,000 to 10,000 ads daily, and you’ll get a general idea of how difficult it is to get people’s attention with your ads.
Luckily, motion graphic design can significantly improve your advertising efforts. Here’s how:
- Rich media ads have a much lower number of accidental clicks (13%) compared to static ads (38%) (Fat Finger Report).
- 86% of marketers say videos have helped them generate more leads (Wyzowl)
- Video ads drive a 48% higher sales rate than static ads. (VidMob)
Here’s a fantastic example of an ad created for Uber. Adding simple motion to different designs creates fun, memorable ads to target users locally: something that’s a relevant concern for the mobility company.
Remember all that talk of people’s short attention span and an unwillingness to consume written content? Explainer videos are a superb tactic for overcoming that hurdle.
An impressive 69% of consumers say they’d prefer to watch a video to learn about a service or a product, and 84% of them have made the purchase after watching an explainer video.
This type of motion graphic design is prevalent in B2B and SaaS (software-as-a-service) businesses. When you don’t have a physical product, an engaging video can be a perfect way to help customers understand your offer.
Here’s a great example of a graphic video from Ahrefs. The short video hones down the message that this company exists to solve a real problem for its clients. And it shows the service in action, presenting the main value proposition through a series of simple animations.
Infographics are informative, easy to understand, and shareable. What’s not to love? Infographics are the fourth most shared type of content, and along with other visuals, they can increase sales by up to 80%!
So how do you harness this potential even better? Motion design.
Interactive, animated infographics do everything any good, static infographic would do: only better. People will be more engaged and more likely to share and remember the information much better. Even if it’s a simple pie or bar chart, adding a motion element could be an excellent way for users to engage with your data.
We have an article on infographic-driven websites that includes several examples of beautifully designed graphic animation for infographics.
User experience design
Stellar UX design is all about meeting the user’s needs and enabling them to solve problems quickly.
Motion graphics design can be a tremendous ally in this process. Instead of writing down instructions on a web page, why not add moving arrows that guide users through the onboarding process? Instead of static images on social media, create animated Instagram stories that tell potential customers about your businesses in a memorable way.
As you might suspect, the possibilities of using motion design to enhance user experience are endless. Of course, make sure you don’t overdo it, especially in web design, as motion graphics can significantly slow down loading speed if they aren’t created properly. Hiring a pro is always advisable rather than resorting to online templates.
However, remember that a little can go a long way with motion graphics. Here’s a pretty mundane example of a download button that’s still a fantastic example of a stellar user experience design.
The animation makes the button and, therefore, CTA more eye-catching. However, the best part of this design is the download process depicted with simple animation.
What skills does a motion graphics designer need?
Now that you know where graphic motion design can be used let’s talk about the skills a motion graphics designer needs to create it.
What are motion graphics, again? Well, as the name implies, they are graphics that move. So, it’s logical that a motion designer must also be a graphic designer.
This is a pretty broad term, though. Graphic design is a vast field with many different types and fields of application: anything from typography to web design.
Does a motion graphics designer need to be a master of all of those? Definitely not. But, they should have a firm grasp on some basic design principles and experience designing graphics, whatever their use may have been.
You understand that they are closely related, so you must wonder, which is better, animation or graphic design as a skill to look for in a motion designer?
The short answer is animation. Many talented graphic designers could come up with stunning designs but couldn’t create moving images. So, unless you want to hire a graphic designer first and an animator second, you should definitely ask for previous experience in graphic motion design.
Not all motion graphic design is done in 3D, but this is an extremely useful skill if you’re a motion designer.
As you may have guessed, 3D modeling is the creation of three-dimensional objects in simulation software (such as design software). These days, you’ll see a much smaller number of 2D animations in films. However, it’s dominant in marketing and motion branding processes.
If you’re not interested in 3D animation, then the question of which is better animation or graphic design probably has the latter as the answer. In 2D animation, artists create sets of drawings that are joined to create one second of animation: usually, a single second of 2D animation requires 24 frames!
In 3D animation, there’s an additional step called modeling, which involves creating 3D objects and then adding movement to them, either by creating frames (which is rare) or in a professional software.
As you can see, graphic motion design has many applications and can be a good tactic to include in your design strategy.
Keep in mind that motion graphic design starts with stellar graphic design. If you don’t have a skilled designer on hand, or want some extra horsepower for your team, be sure to check out our unlimited design service.