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Motion graphic design

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A photo of After Effects being used in motion graphics project
A photo of After Effects being used in motion graphics project

Motion graphic design, also known as motion design, is a subset of graphic design in that it uses graphic design principles in a filmmaking or video production context (or other temporally evolving visual media) through the use of animation or filmic techniques. Examples include the kinetic typography and graphics used in film and television opening sequences, and the spinning, three-dimensional station identification logos of some television channels. This art form has been around for decades, and has advanced in technical sophistication over time.

A motion graphic designer may be a person trained in traditional graphic design who has learned to integrate temporally evolving visual media into their existing design knowledge, though motion designers may also come from a filmmaking or animation background as these fields share a number of overlapping skills.[1]

Motion graphic design is often used in the film industry. Openings to movies, television shows, and news programs often use photography, typography, and motion graphics to create visually appealing imagery. Motion graphic design has also achieved widespread use in content marketing and advertising. With global technology firm Cisco projecting that 82 percent of all web traffic will be video by 2022,[2] marketers and advertisers have focused much of their efforts on the production of high-quality branded video and motion graphic content.

In addition to its myriad of uses in advertising, marketing, and branding, motion graphics are used in software, ui design, video game development, and other fields.[3] Although motion design and animation share many commonalities, the difference between them lies in the fact that animation as an art form is centered on the interplay between story telling and the corresponding movement of images, where as motion design is simply the movement of otherwise static images regardless of an overarching narrative.[4]


Technological advancements during the 20th and 21st centuries have greatly impacted the field; chief among these are improvements in modern computing technology, as computer programs for the film and video industries became more powerful and more widely available during this period. Modern motion graphic design typically involves any of several computerized tools and processes.

One of the leading computer programs used by modern motion graphic designers has been Adobe After Effects, which allows the user to create and modify graphics over time. Another relatively recent product used in the market is Apple Inc. Motion, now a part of Final Cut Studio. Software such as Maxon Cinema4D has integrated tools to create motion graphics, such as the native MoGraph plugin, or ICE of Softimage, which can also be used for similar purposes.

Adobe Flash has also been widely used to create motion graphic design, particularly for the web, where it is sometimes used in web design, but also in some animation products, such as animated web television productions like Homestar Runner.

Adobe Premiere Pro has also been a very beneficial tool for motion designers. Using After Effects and Premiere pro can add a lot to any motion designer and video creation. The different effects that both software has been helpful to use in any video. Motion designers and video editors always use both together to create professional videos.

Media Encoder is a software used to render any video. Since motion designers work with lots of video editing and animations, they require software that would help them render their work in the highest quality possible. Media Encoder is one of the best programs that serve that purpose and help motion designers produce some of the highest quality renders.

Types of Motion Graphics

Motion graphics take a variety of forms. While some are entirely animated, others incorporate live-action video and/or photography. The latter may include animation overlay, such as data visualizations, icons, illustrations, and explanatory text used to complement and enhance audiences' understanding of the content.[5]

In content marketing contexts, there are three primary types of motion graphics which marketers choose to use depending on the goals they wish to achieve with the motion graphic. Explainer motion graphics seek to elucidate a product, process, or concept. Emotive motion graphics, meanwhile, aim to inspire a particular emotional response in audiences. And finally, promotional motion graphics are used to raise awareness about a service, product, or initiative.[6] Because so many motion graphics are designed with particular goals in mind, it is often essential to partner with a designer or organization specializing in visual communication design to achieve a final product that conveys information in both an accurate and compelling way.

UX and motion design

user experience designer sketching out new design for phone app
user experience designer sketching out new design for phone app

UX, also known as user experience, works hand in hand with motion design. For example, when designing a phone app, motion design is used to improve user experience.[7] Motion design improves the user experience tremendously, and very effectively by adding animations on any screen. Motion design is not only used in phone apps; it is used in computers, tablets, smartphones, televisions, and lots more. UX designers use motion design to create their prototyping, and experience with it to determine whether it is easy to use for an average person, or if it needs enhancing.[8]

Jobs and Salaries

There are many career opportunities as a motion designer. Career paths can include cartoon animating, advertising, video advertising, logo animator, video editing, UI motion, and many more. As a cartoon animator, motion designers help make the 2D drawings come to life, and start moving. Every cartoon produced on TV channels is made by a motion designer, or a motion designing team. As a cartoon designer, salaries varies between $75,000 to $115,000 annually.[9] As an advertising motion designer, the movements of objects and color us used to attract the audience. All the affects and dramatic movements are made by a motion designer, or motion designing team. Advertising motion designers' salaries can vary between $60,000 to $90,000 annually.[10] Logo animation can simply be a small dynamic affect, or could be a promotion video based on the logo. Logo animation is used with restaurant logos, automobile logos, and more in advertising. Salaries for logo animators range between $40,000 to $70,000 annually. Video editing is often used on YouTube videos, especially animation videos. For example, there are many YouTubers that create minutes long of animations, and do a simple voiceover on them. Video editing also involves adding any dramatic dynamics to a video to simply attract viewers and make any video more interesting. Video editors' salaries can range between $48,000 to $78,000 annually.[11] One of the unique aspects about motion design is the constant upgrade of the field. There are new ideas everyday and new technology being produced and many opportunities to come up with something new. It is essential to have a creative and open mind to be able to make something nobody has done or thought of before.

Motion designer skills

In order to be a successful motion designer, there are a number of skills to be acquired. The use of fonts is critical to motion designers. Most likely, there is text display in any video, cartoon, or advertisement produced. A good motion designer will know the correct font style, size, and time to use the text to attract the audience. The display of colors is another very important skill set for motion designers. Motion designers need to have a good understanding of the color circle, complementary colors, and color saturations to achieve a certain level of drama in their work. The use of color is extremely helpful to communicate a certain mood, affect, or emotion to the audience. Motion designers must also have software experience. Some of the software includes Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, and more. These software help motion designers to build their projects in an efficient way, and having skills make it quicker to make projects. There are a number of general skills that come with experience. Being details oriented is very important in the community of motion design. For example, motion designers must have a sense of timing, meaning they have to be able to time things like intersection between audio and video. In detail, motion designers have to align the sound of a character in a cartoon movie with the movement of their mouth, for instance. There are many skills that are experienced and not taught in the field of motion design, and will be conceived during a professional career.[12]


Motion design started back in the early 1800s when early animation devices were invented. There were no official founding fathers, however, Saul Bass, Pablo Ferro, and John Whitney were some of the first to experience with motion design. Presentation flip-books are considered the first work of motion design, when John Whitening co-found them back in the early 1800s. John Whitney was one of the main founding fathers of computer motion designing. Back in 1960, he was the first to illustrate motion design on computers to create motion pictures and television titles. Later on, Saul Bass introduced the first moving object from small to large, and was the first swirling graphic introduced on television.[13]

Professional Education

To be a professional motion designer, there are professional degrees offered. A degree in motion design helps communicate aspects like concepts, theory, and messages to viewers along with a set of strong skills that help with a strong start in a professional career. Typically, motion design students spend 36 months to receive a bachelor's degree in motion graphics. having an education in motion design will help find a job a lot quicker than someone without an education, due to the knowledge difference along with the educational skill sets. Education helps start beginners skill level that would later on play a huge role in growing into higher skill sets much easier than someone without an education.[14][15]

See also


  1. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Motion Graphics Designer". Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  2. ^ "Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022 White Paper". Cisco. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  3. ^ Williams, Richard (7 January 2002). The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators. ISBN 0571202284.
  4. ^ "Motion graphics vs. animation: what's the difference?". 99designs. 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  5. ^ Todd, Lucy (2019-10-29). "Motion Graphics: A Complete Guide for Marketers & Brand Leaders". Killer Visual Strategies. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  6. ^ "eBook: 3 Types of Motion Graphics to Enhance Your Content Strategy". Killer Visual Strategies. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Motion Graphics Designer".
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Graphics Design Limited

[1] Willenskomer, Issara. “Motion Design in Digital Products: a White Paper.” Medium, UX in Motion, 20 June 2019

[2] Richard Williams, The Animator's Survival Kit, a manual of methods, principles and formulas.

[3] “The History of Motion Graphics - Triplet 3D: Blog.” Triplet 3D, 3 July 2015,

[4] Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things. Basic Books, 2013.

External links

  • KRASNER, JON. “Chapter 3.” MOTION GRAPHIC DESIGN: Applied History and Aesthetics, CRC PRESS, 2017.
  1. ^
  2. ^ Williams, Richard (7 January 2002). The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators. ISBN 0571202284.
  3. ^
  4. ^
This page was last edited on 12 November 2021, at 15:31
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