Design in motion

There are millions of successful static advertisements in our world today, whether printed in a magazine, on a billboard or in a news feed on social media. However, as technology develops and viewers’ attention spans shorten, the use of motion graphics has proven to be an extremely powerful tool for marketers. They have the ability to draw attention and tell a deeper story. Whether printed or in motion, a successful ad starts with a well executed design. This will always be the most important attribute of any advertisement, regardless of the format.

Starting static

When developing motion graphics, I prefer to start by creating a static concept. By doing this, it helps me decide if the idea works before I waste a bunch of time in animation land. Once the design is laid out, I look for opportunities to bring life into the composition. What elements have the opportunity to move while still maintaining the integrity of the design? It’s important to not overdo it. In many cases, even the most subtle movements are enough to catch the eye of the viewer and add intrigue to the composition. However, the amount of motion depends on the specific problem you are trying to solve, as well as the style of graphics you are manipulating. 

Adding intrigue

Another benefit of using motion graphics is the ability to demonstrate how something works. This could be anything from a clinical procedure to a new gadget with never before seen features. The ability to show the viewer how something works can be extremely valuable if done correctly. A boring process can be illustrated in an interesting and intriguing way. It gets your point across quickly and eliminates any confusion the viewer may have. This is much harder to accomplish with a static ad. 

Bang-for-your-buck messaging

Motion design also plays an important role in messaging. In static ads, you rely on a main headline and support copy to tell the story. With motion design, you have the ability to tell more by adding additional content. You can have several frames each with a different message (or supporting messages). Again, it’s important to not overdo it, but many will view this as “more bang for your buck,” and the final product will be a hardworking ad that covers a lot of bases.

Using footage

Integrating footage is another positive. Much like the messaging, you no longer need to pick a single image to go in the composition. A printed ad with an excessive amount of pictures can come across as busy, while a single image may not be enough in certain cases. Using video clips (or a stream of multiple images) can be a great way to draw eyeballs, explain a scenario and show a range of emotions. You can show a range of people or objects and not be handcuffed to using a single one that only checks half the boxes. 

Creating outside the box

Lastly, motion graphics give you something that other formats do not: the freedom to create without parameters. The design is no longer restricted to the borders of a box and the elements within that box. You can move items in and out of the frame as you see fit. Elements used in the design can appear, disappear, or transform. The possibilities are truly endless and require a lot of thought and planning. As a designer, this type of freedom will keep you sharp. It forces you to literally think outside the box and explore the many possibilities that motion design has to offer.