The rise of motion design

Thu, 28/02/2019 - 16:40

What we’ve learned from the past and how to apply it moving forward

While motion design isn’t something entirely new, the way we use it and its popularity have drastically changed in recent years. GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format), cinemagraphs, 3D graphics and motion design have become entrenched in our society, from popular culture to marketing. Here’s a look back at the evolution of motion design over the last few years and how it’s set to keep evolving in the future.
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While GIFs have been around for quite a while (since ‘87, in fact), they’ve recently been accepted into mainstream culture. For example, the communication platform WhatsApp has integrated the Giphy platform into its keyboard, Twitter started supporting GIFs in 2014 and in 2015, Facebook introduced the ability for users to post GIFs. All these advancements have put GIFs at the forefront of users’ interaction with motion design. It’s even become a standalone means of communication. Don’t know how to respond? Send a GIF. 

But GIFs are also proving to be very useful in marketing. With transitions becoming smoother and more being possible, it’s now possible for designers to experiment and use GIFs to their advantage to share a message.

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With videos and GIFs dominating the digital space, standing out meant doing something different with motion design. This is when cinemagraphs came about. Taking a still image and animating a single element in it, provided a new and interesting approach to moving images. At first glance, they appear to be just another image but the brain registers that something’s different. 

While cinemagraphs are still less popular than videos and GIFs, the oversaturation of GIFs in media will mean that cinemagraphs will still have their moment. Especially since they can be made from nearly any still image. And you don’t always have to stick within the confines of only animating one element. When done right, cinemagraphs can look like videos. 

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3D Graphics

While GIFs and cinemagraphs rely in part on realism, 3D graphics can break through the boundaries of possibility to create awe-inspiring designs that explore the world in unimaginable ways. More often than not, 3D graphics are used in marketing to portray products in a hyper-stylised manner that showcases features and elements that aren’t visible to the naked eye when viewing the product in real life. 

Moving Forward

Taking motion design to the next level means doing what hasn’t been done before. When creating moving images of the future, there are a few ways to raise the bar and set yourself apart from the rest. For GIFs, kinetic typography provides a modern approach to the classic design type. And with 3D graphics, graininess can make otherwise cold and robotic designs look more gritty and lifelike. But the foolproof way to utilise these tools is to incorporate storytelling. Take a normal moving image and make it engage with users by adding a narrative element to it. 

From our perspective at Rogerwilco, we’ve seen that social media posts which incorporate motion design deliver far better engagement metrics in both organic and paid or boosted environments. While the cost of production is slightly higher, in a time when audiences are saturated with content, there’s a strong argument that quality should come before quantity. 

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