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Animation Styles Guide: Where and When to Use Motion Graphics

Posted by Valerie Nolan on June 5, 2019

Producing great video content can be challenging. Diversifying styles to create interest is important now, especially in video, but it can be hard to know which tactics work best and when. Motion graphics in particular are a popular and effective way to polish and shake up a video in post production.

But what exactly are motion graphics? And how can they help improve your video productions? Check out our animation styles guide for some exciting insight on the best uses of motion graphics.

What Are Motion Graphics?

Motion Graphics and Animation are often discussed as though they are two separate options, however Motion Graphics is, at its simplest, using animation to make graphics appear to move on the screen. It is a type of animation. However, we tend to associate animation in brand building with specific character or story driven set pieces. Whereas motion graphics depict objects or text in motion to amplify your content. Those objects might include things like your brand’s logo, infographics, a specific call to action text, or abstract shapes

But why should your brand utilize motion graphics in your videos?

Why Use Motion Graphics?

Think, for a moment, about print mediums. Before it was possible to stream a television show from your phone, companies performed the majority of their brand building through creative print concepts. A strong graphic design layout in a prominent magazine could go a really long way.

Motion graphics are essentially a way to add some of the best elements of graphic design into a video. With the main advantage being that all of those elements are now in motion. Meaning the possibilities are endless! A few examples of what motion graphics can do for a video include:

  • Spice up a boring section of a video. Think about still shots or parts of a video that are dialogue heavy with a lot of facts. It’s the perfect time to add motion graphics to keep your audience engaged.
  • Create excitement. People have short attention spans. Now more than ever in the age of social media and multiple screens. Motion graphics are simply another way to add an element of the unexpected to a normal video.
  • Look modern. Simply put, if you’re not already using some form of motion graphics in your video you’re already behind. Even if it’s simple moving text. Great motion graphics make your brand look like the creative, trendy, innovative company you really are.

What Types of Videos Work Well with Motion Graphics?

Almost all of your videos should use some form of motion graphics, even if it’s simply some text in motion or your brand’s logo with a bit of flair. It’s hard to go wrong, no matter the format. Having said that, there are definitely a few areas where motion graphics are best utilized.

Explainer Videos

Any time you use a single camera setup with one speaker, it’s important to make sure it stays fresh for the viewer. If the majority of the video is a talking head projecting facts and statistics, with only a cut here and there for b-roll footage, odds are the end product will be pretty boring.

Use motion graphics to keep the viewer engaged. Notice how in the above video, the text is animated and appears as the speaker says it, keeping audiences attention on multiple fronts. Don’t just put statistics in the dialogue either. Illustrate those stats in real-time with charts or graphs to add more emphasis and help that information really stick.

Short Social Media Videos

Videos that will appear in audience’s timelines are a great opportunity to utilize motion graphics to their full capability. Most videos, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, start out muted in a given feed or timeline. Which means that even if a viewer sticks around to watch a striking visual, they might not get any information via audio.

So what can you do? Add some great motion graphics that will help illustrate and effectively deliver your message, without the need for it to be heard. And great motion graphics leave so much more room for creativity than simply adding subtitles.

Titles, Overlays, and Logo Animations

If nowhere else, there’s great opportunity to use motion graphics at the beginning or end of a video. The right type of motion or animation can really add new layers to your brand building goals. Check out the above example.

All of the companies featured have unique logo animations. While they all fit into a similar run time, each one communicates something different. It might say something about the specific industry the company exists in, or it might be a simple illustration that has something to do with the name.

Whatever the reason, it’s hard to deny how much more effective a logo with motion graphics is when compared to a still slide at the end of a video. And that type of pizazz can be added to any title, text, or branding element that may appear in a video production.

Are Motion Graphics Right for You?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. Motion graphics help to spice up otherwise boring aspects to videos, help create excitement and unpredictability, while also showing how modern and innovative your brand is.

They’re great for logos and text and can work wonders in single shot explainer videos or to catch an eye quickly in a social media timeline. Plus motion graphics might be a perfect introduction to using full animation in your productions, if you haven’t already.

If you’re thinking about giving motion graphics a whirl, start small and don’t be afraid to experiment. Start with text and titles, or maybe put a unique spin on your brand’s logo in video intros or outros. Overtime, you’ll figure out your specific style for motion graphics, and will have a much clearer picture on where they might fit into the wider scope of your video production.

And once you have your master video project vision in mind, get in touch with us at Crews Control. We have over 30 years of experience and can connect you to the best motion graphics creative teams. From start to finish, you’ll work with the best crews that will help you execute your next video project every step of the way. Don’t wait, get your free quote for an animation and motion graphics team today!

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