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Motion Graphics

What is Motion Graphics?

Motion Graphics is not purely animation or video. It uses text as a major component. Where motion graphics end and full blown animations begins is up for debate and has been wrestled with since motion graphics very first came on the scene. But the simplest explanation is that whereas animation is an umbrella term for moving imagery, motion graphics focus on giving movement to graphic design elements. You could describe it as graphic design which is animated, or graphics in motion, hence motion graphics. 

A clear example of motion graphics are creative opening or end credits to some films, where sound, text imagery and motion all combine to make a more interesting visual feast. However one place where motion graphics has made a veritable splash is in marketing. 


With the rise of social media and online content driving traffic to companies  and increasing sales, good motion graphics can help you stand out.

Uses of Motion Graphics

Where can motion graphics work for you?

There are a variety of different ways in which you can use motion graphics. Both subtly and in more prominent ways. Here are some of its uses:

Branding

Considering one's brand should be at the centre of any business's decision making process. Every move you make or decision you take should serve to communicate and reinforce your brand. As motion graphics can hell you do that by inserting personality and visual interest into your marketing, website and media. Your brand will include guidance for your brand identity, the styles included in that how and how they ought to be applied. It will also explain your key values and tone of voice. So much of this will be communicated through your brand styles, but motion can elevate your brand. A simple bounce motion or movement of text can reduce the need to say anything because you can see it instead. A single word animated in a way that is cute or humorous can convey a lot of meaning in a second. Idents are commonly used to introduce a brand at the beginning of a piece of media, whilst subtle web animations on a website can create a sense of fun and silliness, or quiet polished professionalism.

Telling a story

Animation is arguably best known by many for its ability to tell a story, think of animated films. Motion graphics are just as useful for this. When teamed with sound the motion graphics can be used to enhance, clarify or contrast with the story. Each of these options will change the response that is elicited purely through the graphics and how they relate to each other through motion. By doing this you can take a single piece of audio and completely change the effect it gives in order to elicit the response you want. For example a song about what wonderful life it is whilst teamed with infographics about poverty in our cities would be telling a different story to the same song accompanied by the lyrics bouncing into view with birds and bunny rabbits. One uses contrast to create a story with a twist, the other reinforces the story we expect.

Creating awareness


As a population our attention spans are becoming greatly reduced and so being able to grab and hold an individual's attention is important. Our eyes are drawn to motion and so a shirt video which smoothly and succinctly outlines a point is far more likely to stick in the mind then a flat immobile ad. This is simply because the same graphic presented as a flat stationary image only engages sight for a second whilst a moving collection of images presented with audio will engage sight and sound creating a bigger impact. As discussed with branding motion gives you images and text their own personality, and as social beings we are far more likely to become emotionally invested and intrigued by something we can personify. Inanimate objects are far harder to engage with emotionally than animated ones. 

Explaining a concept 

Sometimes we have to communicate complex concepts succinctly. This may be in order to educate or convince a viewer. Long verbose explanations can lose the listener or reader.  Motion graphics however are great for making dryer data based presentations to stakeholders far more interesting. A display of graphs is far less rivotingg than all singing, all dancing infographics which engage with each other in creative ways and use smooth transitions to pull together seemingly disparate concepts. 

Demonstrating a product

To demonstrate usage of a product or service can be very difficult on paper or through text alone. Think of trying to construct something from lego or an Ikea flat pack. Closely linked to story telling, this channel of use is incredibly popular on social media platforms and for marketing purposes. Following instructions on paper only taps into one kind of learning style, whereas your user may have a different kind which works better through trying it themselves, watching someone demonstrate it or repetition. Additionally a practical demonstration with bulleted text where the illustrations from the printed instructions are suddenly mobilised is often far clearer to understand especially where there is subtle difference in motions required.



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