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17 Skills You Need as a Motion Graphic Designer

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Published on: 25 Aug 2022

Motion graphics is a fun career extending into serious professional goals. It is so much in demand because of the ease with which it allows a person or brand to connect with a user. This blog explains how you can be the best motion designer and set an impressive record in your professional line. 
As a motion designer, you need to develop extraordinarily clever and creative ideas along with an idea about user interface and user experience. The idea is to achieve targets on time with the utmost quality for films, commercials, etc., to provide an A-grade experience to the watcher.

However, your creative juices often don't flow the way you want them to function. You feel limited by your skills, information, and knowledge, which is not the best thing to happen to a motion graphic designer.
Before we understand how to improve your motion design skills, let’s understand what motion design is.

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What is Motion Design?

Motion design can be defined as the act of using design principles to create animation videos. While a graphic designer creates static pictures, the task of a motion designer is to create illustrations and add motion to those. These effective pieces are very useful for various kinds of videos on TV, apps, websites, films, advertisements, and more. Motion design includes animations, text animations, movies, etc., that liven up the display. Sometimes, these videos are accompanied by voiceovers. For instance, in the case of explainer or training videos, motion designs collaborate with voice notes.
With the world growing rapidly, technology has carved its way into every spectre of life. Motion graphic is an offspring of this technological advancement. With the development of apps like Adobe After Effects, motion graphics has become an accessible career choice for more people. This has helped graphic designers evolve from creating only pictures to building stunning videos. Hence, we can say that motion design has emerged as a significant way to boost the careers of graphic designers and take their skills to the next level. 

In simple words, motion design is the sheer principle of using your creative skills to build videos from scratch and provide innovative ways to narrate a story. While a picture can say a hundred words, a video can say a thousand more to reach the audience. Hence, motion design is becoming increasingly vital as a skill day by day. What amazes me is that motion design is a relatively new concept compared to other skills. Yet, it has become one of the most sought-after qualities to get some of the best jobs in the technology industry. 

With GIFs, 3D graphics, and more catching popularity, motion graphics have a bright future. If you want, you can be a high-paid freelancer in the motion graphic design niche. You can research more about freelancing in the UK to boost your career. Motion design may evolve into something even more advanced in the near future. This is why it is necessary to keep up with the skill. 
Before we understand how to improve your skills in motion design, know if you should follow this line. 

Should you learn motion design?

Motion design, as a career, is best for those who want to use their creative skill and technological expertise to present unique displays. It is also a lot less competitive field than traditional graphic design since this career is yet to be discovered by many. As a motion designer, you can work in advertising, design, video game development, web development, movie animations, and more.
You can choose motion design if you think you:

  • Want to involve yourself in digital skills and internet connections.
  • Want more reach for yourself, your product, or your brand.
  • Want to gain an advantage over graphic designers, game designers, and more.
  • Want to leave a mark of excellence through your work related to virtual design and development.

Excited to be a motion designer?

Let's look at the ways you can be a motion graphic designer in the following section.

17 ways to be a motion graphic designer

You can build yourself as a motion designer with these 17 skills that will help you time and again. These are the most practical and valuable skills in a motion graphic designer's arsenal.

Understand the colour theory

Colour theory is a fundamental part of designing. You can never achieve a quality product until you know why you use a particular colour. Every tint portrays a specific feeling and creates a mood. You can not expect to knock the ball out of the park by throwing random shade into your design.  

Be clear about your vision for a design. Choose every colour in harmony with your goals.  

Improve your traditional art calibre

Traditional art is and will always be the basis of any artistic creation. Motion graphics convey a complicated message, but the beginnings should always be simple and have a humble foundation. It also means that your experience creating traditional art will help you better understand angles, shapes, and colours.   
You will become a potent designer just because of creating magic with the limitations of traditional art.

Know human psychology

Your prowess in human psychology will help you understand your clients and audiences, and it will aid you in creating a design that has a better chance of social acceptance. Although the human psyche is a vast and complex field, its knowledge can be a source of exceptional creativity.

Time management

Have you ever noticed a stack of unfinished projects that should have been completed? If yes, you must create a disciplined schedule to help you finish your work efficiently. It will also prevent you from spending excessive time on specific designs. Moreover, your work-life balance will improve, which is a huge hit.


You are a storyteller with the utmost creative possibilities. It also means you must have a clear pathway to lead your story forward, or things will become messy. You must also know how to start and conclude your story, the character development, and the emotional quotient of your characters. It will help you get closer to reality and to create something relatable.

Creative thinking

It's a given, yet it's very hard. Designers often spend excessive time perfecting motion, limiting their creative potency. You have to perfect the technical aspect of your movement without harming your creative abilities. Ensure you have fully exploited your creative insights before touching the technical points. Learn how to unlock you creativity and discover new horizons in any niche.

3d designing

You have to acknowledge 3d designing irrespective of your expertise level. Even a 2d designer has to upskill into the 3d zone at some point in their career. Why? Because it's the need of the hour. The motion graphic industry is a fast-paced environment that is bound to change with time, and you have to be an expert in 3d designing to stay relevant for a longer time. You can also learn coding to boost your motion graphic design skills.

Communication skills

Soft skills help you in all aspects of your life, let alone motion graphic designing. It will help you connect better with the audience and your clients. Also, it will allow you to deliver a message intelligently, which is a unique skill in any artistic form.


You might not believe it, but a solo career will only take you so far. You have to network and collaborate with other graphic designers. You have to work on small projects in a big team, which doesn't happen with a person who can't adjust to a group. Improve your social skills and grow with people who can boost your design career.


Timing is a super-refined skill for designing, and it only comes with experience and experimentation. If you have a knack for great timing, apply it to your motion designs. Ensure that nothing feels too long or too short while maintaining a smooth flow throughout the project.


Is originality a skill? No. Is the process of developing originality a talent? Yes
Make sure that you develop an original tone unique to your work. It will help you become a brand in your industry, providing you with better financial prospects.

Social media management

Social media is a marketing hotspot, and there is no denying that. As a motion graphic designer, you can expressively use your creativity to gain traction. It will help you achieve freelance projects and improve your portfolio, fame, and networking.
Bonus tip: Make sure that big brands notice your work.

Alignment and balance

To properly create a quality motion graphic design, one must be aware of shape alignment and size balance. You have to be in harmony with the continuity of your plans and make sure they change as per the need of the story. Anything that reshapes randomly can't fit a structured design.

Music knowledge

As a graphic designer, you must know the importance of using certain music over others. You should be aware of various genres, cultures, and the latest musical trends to create the best possible motion graphic. Guidance from seasoned experts will be your best shot in learning music requirements. Remember, wrong music can instantly slaughter your work.

Improve visual range

It is not a skill in the strictest sense but a hack to create better motion graphics. Learn from the world and employ things you like per your aesthetics. Do not copy everything you see but re-mix and re-invent ideas as per your project. Constantly adapt to the changes and move ahead with the wave.


You have to master at least one motion graphic designing software. Furthermore, basic information about other software will help you achieve a better workflow. Adobe Photoshop and after-effects are suitable for beginners for their ease of use and abundant online guidance. Eventually, you will have to shift to advanced software like Cinema 4D for substantial growth.

Track your progress

This trick will improve your design skills with a compound effect. You have to be accountable for your learning and achievements. Write them down to know where you stand as a creator. It will help you improve in the right direction and save you from learning random things.

Now, you understand how motion design works and what skills you need to ace this game.

So, how do you proceed from here?

At KoolStories, you can learn motion graphic design skills and push your journey ahead. You can find micro-courses to learn from, snippets to engage yourself in continuously, experts to connect with, community chat, and more. If motion design is what you want to learn, you can do it at your own pace on KoolStories. You can also find various other skills on this platform. Join today and explore!


How do I become a better motion designer?

There is no single road to mastery in motion designing. You have to start with experiments, low-paid projects, and gathering knowledge. It is the part of the process which leads to growth.

How much time will it take to learn motion graphics?

Give yourself at least six months to start your career as a motion graphics designer. Keep learning with the changes in technologies, trends, and trends. Some people learned motion designing without a teacher. All you need is the zeal to learn.

How do motion designers make money?

You can work full-time for someone or carry freelance gigs. Your payments will depend on your expertise and your experience in the industry.

How much do graphic designers charge for a logo?

It's subjective, and it can go from $0 to millions of dollars. Remember, your reputation is the reason people pay you. Never leave an opportunity to make a name for yourself.

What to study to become a graphic designer?

It's better to start your career with at least a bachelor's degree in motion graphic design. However, you can also do a diploma, certificate, or master's course to get into the industry.