Six brilliant examples of how motion design has taken over the creative industries

Work by @karnnbhullar

On this website, we've argued for some time that designers and illustrators need to be aware of motion design trends, because these skills are becoming increasingly in demand across the creative industry. And that's never been more true than at this present moment.

In the last month, almost all advertising, TV and movie production has been shut down, as lockdown has made it virtually impossible to film anything traditionally. So if a brand or company needs to produce new material, animation is the one remaining go-to; and motion design is proving a key way to get content made quickly and efficiently.

Consequently, motion design is currently one of the few areas of the working world where demand for skills is still outstripping supply. And this won't be just a temporary situation either. In truth, the lockdown has only accelerated a trend that was already in place: motion design is taking over the world, and so it's a great time to get started learning this invaluable skill.

In this article, we highlight some of the ground-breaking and imaginative uses of motion design that we've spotted recently, and point out some of the latest motion design trends everyone you need to know about. We hope they'll inspire you to add this much-needed skill to your bow, helping you earn more money and get greater creative satisfaction throughout the rest of your creative career.

1. Opening titles

Right now, fun and imaginative motion design is being used to liven up opening titles to shows and movies in new and eye-catching ways. This marvellously inventive opening sequence to the BBC and Netflix drama series Good Omens offers a great example.

2. Kinetic typography

Using moving text to grab attention, kinetic typography is being used everywhere from brand websites to social video. One of our recent favourites is this stretching logo by Jelio Dimitrov for FourPlus Studio.

Image courtesy of FourPlus Studio

Image courtesy of FourPlus Studio

3. Onboarding animations

Onboarding illustrations are becoming a popular way to guide users through apps and flatten the learning curve. Above you can see an impressive example from Virgil Pana.

Image courtesy of Virgil Pana

Image courtesy of Virgil Pana

4. Explainer videos

Over the last decade, motion graphics have been the go-to for explainer videos, from showing how an app worked to outlining airline safety procedures. This has created a virtuous circle, whereby an audience greeted with a motion graphics explainer video is subconsciously prompted to pay attention. This video for the in-house services app Varpet by Yanns Media is a particularly lovely example.

5. Social media GIFs for marketing

Animated GIFs used to be something that only bored teenagers made for sharing with their friends on Tumblr. But times have changed. Clever use of motion graphics is elevating the animated GIF to the level of serious marketing tool, especially on social media where, for example, Facebook and Instagram allow videos to play on a loop. This GIF created by NBC News, poking fun at the Oscars debacle when La La Land was accidentally announced as Best Picture, is still one of our favourites to this day.

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6. Cinemagraphs

A more sophisticated take on the animated GIF, cinemagraphs are another great way to lure eyeballs towards brand advertising and digital content. But incorporating very subtle movement in an otherwise still-looking image, they're often more potent in grabbing attention than their more frenetic counterparts. Here's a great example created by Anne Street Studio to promote Armani, under the tagline "Seeing New York".

Image courtesy of Anne Street Studio/Armani

Image courtesy of Anne Street Studio/Armani

Learn motion design with Created

Created offers a nine-month, part-time course that will teach you the skills you need to become a motion designer, in a flexible way that you can combine with your job or education.

Whether your background is in graphic design or animation, this course will give you the training you need to master the art of motion design. You'll learn all the fundamentals of motion (using Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D software), but there's a strong professional focus on the course too.

Throughout the course, you'll tackle real-world briefs under the guidance of your mentor, plus a series of one-to-one coaching sessions. The curriculum is closely aligned with what employers in today's creative world need from motion designers, so you'll be in a great position to be the perfect fit for any job you apply for.

By the end, you'll have five professional-level projects for your portfolio. And you'll be able to do all of this in a flexible way that suits your lifestyle. To learn more about how to become a motion designer, visit Created today.

Top motion design trends

So where is the discipline heading in the future, and what are the biggest motion design trends right now? Here are a few we've spotted recently:

1. Artistic expression

We're all familiar with a particular style of flat, 2D motion design that's been commonplace in everything from UI design to explainer videos for some time. But recently, we've been seeing more motion designers injecting a little more artistic expression into their work. Barcelona studio Nice Shit offers a beautiful example in this recent video they created in the early days of the Covid-19 crisis.

2. Thin lines and outlines

Recalling classic 1950s American animation style, thin lines are a great way to add a touch of retro elegance to your motion graphics. This campaign for Airbnb Pacific by Oddfellows is a typical example of the trend in action.

3. Mixed media

A great way to make an impact with your motion graphics is to combine them with other media, such as photography. In this fabulous spot, Jack Cunningham's combination of hand-drawn and photorealistic 3D animation showcases Vitra's Mariposa sofa in an original and striking way.

4. Neon 3D

It's no longer enough for graphic designers only to produce motion graphics in 2D. Right now, 3D is hugely in demand, and often, the more colourful and neon-tastic the better. Above is an eye-popping example crafted by Argentian studio Not Real, to promote new editions of the Nike Air Max React & The Air Max Plus, released on National Bubble Gum Day.

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