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A Beginner's Guide to Design Motion Graphics

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Published on: 07 Oct 2022

Motion graphics videos are all the rage now and there’s a valid reason why. Statistics show that Google is 53 more times likely to rank content with motion graphics videos and videos in general. Hence, we can safely assume that videos are the driving point of marketing. 

It's also safe to assume that skills like motion graphics design will only be higher in demand. With hubspot reporting a 100% rise in video content every year, motion graphics is emerging as a marketing necessity. You can see it everywhere. Artists have tried motion graphics for social media and various other platforms. Hence, you are right on time to learn more about motion graphics design. 

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This blog answers the questions most motion graphics beginners have:

-What are motion graphics?

-What are the types of motion graphics?

-Where and how can motion graphics be used?

-And what are the qualities you need to be a good motion graphics designer?

Motion graphics is important for marketers, YouTube creators, brands, and companies. We know you have plenty of questions in your mind. So, buckle up as we dive right into it. 

What are motion graphics?

Motion graphics are a part of animations and, yet, different from animations. In other words, they are a form of animated graphic designs used in video formats. These bits of digital footage add the illusion of motion to an inanimate element. It could be a circle, a text, or a shape of any kind. 

Motion graphics designers usually combine motion graphics videos with some audio. Take a look at this example below. It's a video by Sunari VFX.


You must understand that motion graphics will not help you create a Disney story. That's animations and not motion graphics. But, if you were to explain a Disney story to the audience, it can create elements that can help explain it better. 

Motion graphics are not used to create stories. Instead, they engage people in informative videos. It could be videos about a brand, a product, or a concept. Motion graphics videos invariably focus on simplified information for easy understanding. 

Types of motion graphics

Motion graphics exist in various kinds. Let's check out some of the most popular types of motion graphics videos. You can discover the types and work on what seems most interesting to you. 

#1. Explainer Videos

Motion graphics videos are a prominent part of explainer videos. Explainer videos are specific videos created to explain a topic to the audience. Explainer videos with motion graphics elements can provide more clarity. It gets easier to demonstrate products and various systems.

Explainer videos with motion graphic elements explain concepts with clarity. Hence, they are more capable of creating awareness. Here's an example of an explainer video of Lunar Eclipse by NASA video.

Notice how the video presents planetary elements in a fun way to explain the process.

So, you see how motion graphics can help explain a complex process. The elements used in the explainer video above are exciting and engaging. They describe the video without making it more complicated or tedious. 

Another critical factor is that motion graphics connects people with the brand better. It expresses brand value with more depth. Motion graphic elements can bring an excellent emotional essence to the video. It can create a more compelling base for the explainer videos. 

#2. UI Animations

Motion graphics can enhance UI animation prototypes. UI means user interface. The term includes various digital elements one can see on the screen. It can consist of pages, buttons, icons, and other elements. 

Creating an engaging UI for an app or website is essential. Working on websites from scratch means analysing the UI aspects all over. The work includes mock sketches, wireframes, and more elements to shape a better UI. Here's a short Youtube video from Cuberto Designs that explains UI animations.

Motion graphics for UI uses animated sketches. For instance, have you ever seen a pop-up or a slide decorated on a website or app? The presence of such motion graphics elements hence improves the UI of the website. To make it more understandable, here's an example below. Through this example, you can see how UI animations take a more significant part of motion graphics. 

You can see UI animation examples of motion graphics for websites and apps on sites like Shopify. 

#3. Icon/ Element Animations

Motion graphics designers create icons or elements added to videos. From creating the 'bell' icon for YouTube videos to adding interesting shapes. Here's an example of motion graphics animations present in a YouTube video. 

Each of these individual elements is significant to motion graphics designers. Motion graphics designers can even sell these elements online to other creators. You can download these and reuse them in your videos if you want. 

#4. Logos

An impressive logo is the one that strikes you, and you remember it at a go. Logo sequences are an important part of brand representation. Motion graphics add spice to it by making animated logos for a greater effect. 

Hence, motion graphics add personality to the design and give it uniqueness. Have you checked out the Netflix logo? It's one of the best examples of logo design using motion graphics. It's simple yet pretty appealing. 

These logos give the brand the vibe it needs. The Netflix logo at the introduction of every video engraves itself in people's minds. It's not unusual for people to instantly recognise the 'tudum' sound with the logo. It's one of the best examples of motion graphics. 

#5. Short Films

Most short films use motion graphics animation to create lasting effects. Check out the interesting short story built by Nathalie Leye.

Using various motion graphics techniques, one can build short films. But, the result might be somewhat different than an animated film. For instance, you may use motion graphics to create intangible qualities. You can build elements to represent emotions and feelings. 

#6. Title Sequence

Have you seen movie title sequences for films and, sometimes, even YouTube channels? Those are a type of motion graphics used to enhance the introduction. Initially, it was only big-budget movies using motion graphics for title sequences. But, lately, the trend has caught popularity amongst video creators.

Here's a popular title sequence from one of the Harry Potter movies. Check it out!

With technology spreading its wings, anyone can build an impressive title sequence. It's only a matter of the right skills and tools

Bottomline, you can use motion graphics to create stunning title sequences. You can create introduction templates that can change the outlook of the video. 

#7. Presentation & Infographics

Motion graphics depict presentations, bar charts, graphs, and survey data. They are sought-after more than static images of the same kind. The reason is that motion graphics make it look more professional. 

Fun fact: Did you know that people have started using motion graphics to build CV videos?

Create infographics using motion graphics software to make videos more engaging and interactive. Check out the example below.

Watch this video on the effects of fast fashion on the environment. Notice how Amelia Haig makes clever use of motion graphics to explain her views.

Motion graphics can help create more clarity through infographics. You can take a step ahead and make an explainer video through the infographics. 

So you see, these are the types of motion graphics videos available online. 

How are motion graphic videos best used?

Where are motion graphics not used? The presence of motion graphics is everywhere. From movies to social media, it's easy to spot the use of motion graphics everywhere. Understand how motion graphics for branding identity has changed the game of marketing. Product- and information-selling motion graphics videos are also the main trends currently.

Let's see how motion graphics bring out the best aspects of any video:

-Motion graphics emphasises and simplifies important facts. It outlines significant points you are trying to make using various animated illustrations. 

-Motion graphics need no complex storytelling. Your video can have a simple explanation highlighted by engaging elements. 

-Motion graphics can break down a product or a service to present them engagingly. In such ways, the 'selling' part of the product/service is no longer obvious and forceful. 

-They make even the most complex concepts easy through graphs, bar charts, icons, etc. 

Motion graphics are great for providing an easy outlet for a complex narrative. The core motive is to create videos that don't judge the audience's intelligence but rather boost it. 

Top qualities to create motion graphics videos

Want to be a motion graphics designer? Here are the top qualities you need to be a top-notch motion graphics designer. Remember, the competition out there is brutal. So, you have got to pull up your socks! 

Let's begin!

#1. Establishing a point or driving an action

The least or the easiest element a motion graphics video can have is an animated text. Beyond that, a designer can add other characteristics. Try to explore more motion graphics templates, animated shapes, voiceovers, and music. 

The presence of these elements emphasises the point of the video with clarity. Plus, it gets easier to connect the video with human emotions or needs. The idea is to create an interesting video that derives action from the audience. It could be hitting the like button, subscribing, or clicking on the provided link. 

#2. Making it easier to understand the content

You must understand infographics to be an effective motion graphics designer. Even if you don't understand the entirety of it, knowing the basics can help. Bar charts, timelines, and graphs are important concepts. They make your videos more reliable and easy to understand. 

The goal is to simplify concepts using motion graphics. Many explainer videos use such elements to enhance the quality of the presentation. The reason is plain out there. The audience trusts scientific data and infographics more than only words. Hence, having an idea about infographics helps. 

#3. Create fewer requirements from the viewer

Motion graphics videos need to be short and less demanding. You must create videos that don't need the viewer to go another length to understand. 

In other words, let your viewers sit back and relax while watching the video. Use motion graphics to make the videos more comprehensive in a short amount of time. The user shouldn't go from one video to another to understand various concepts. 

#4. Create videos that are easy to repurpose

As a motion graphics designer, your aim is to simplify things. The world right now needs shorter and easy-to-consume content. Hence, motion graphics are appropriate for creating interesting short content. They cut out the nonsensical bits and explain the agenda to the point. It can be promotional content or an explainer video. 

The idea is to highlight the most important bits using motion graphics. The viewer should feel the value of the knowledge engraved in their mind. Such videos are effective for YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or other platforms. Remember to keep it crisp and interesting. 

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Why are motion graphics popular?

Motion graphics are popular because:

-The art is easier and more accessible than animations.

-Motion graphics videos get more traffic than regular videos.

-Motion graphics costs have plummeted.

-Computing power has increased even in an average computer.

Are motion graphics designers and graphic designers the same?

In a way, the two careers could be sister branches with a major difference. Graphic designers excel in making static images. But motion graphics designers work on movements and transitions. 


Do I need CGI for motion graphics?

Of course. CGI stands for Computer Generated Imagery. It's used to create 3D imagery for a realistic approach. CGI is used in motion graphics to create realistically animated elements. 


Can I use motion graphics to make ad films?

Motion graphics can be and has been a part of advertisements. Check out various advertisements of chain restaurants presenting exciting deals in the ad. They are excellent examples of motion graphics in advertising. 


What steps are taken to produce a motion graphic?

Here are the steps you can take to produce motion graphics:

-Set up a plan to produce motion graphics. 

-Generate ideas with your team to create unique motion graphics.

-Organise various inspirations and references to create motion graphics. 

-Visualise the sequence with which you will create the motion graphics. 

-Share concept ideas and visual concepts with your team. 


How will motion graphics enhance my video?

Here's how you can enhance motion graphics in your video:

-It improves the visual attractiveness. 

-It helps in communicating better with the audience. 

-It eliminates the need to film to make a video interesting. 

-It helps in creating interesting texts and 2D images. 

Where do motion graphics designers work?

These are the areas in which motion graphics work:

-To create explainer videos.

-To create promotional videos.
To become a colourist: A colourist focuses on fixing the colours and other visual settings for consistency. A colourist also gives the right tone to a video the tone.

-Work as UX/UI designers and design websites and mobile applications. 

-Work as a Special Effects Designer and use Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), chroma key compositing, rotoscoping, and other techniques. 


What are some examples of motion graphics?

These are the examples of motion graphics:

-Bananas by Xander Marritt and Elias Freiberger: The motion graphics in this video symbolise life, the subconscious, and the consciousness in humans. 

-Journey Alpha by Weltenwandler Design: An extraordinary motion graphics design that looks like a video game. The design creates a feeling of submersion in a non-interactive setting. 

-Skype for Business by Column Five: This motion graphics video explains Skype. It also explains how the tool can efficiently increase your business without costing a lot.