Apr 18, 2016

What is Motion Design?

Motion design
or Motion Graphics is the movement of a pixel.

That’s a very boring way to think about it. A better way to think about motion design is graphic design in motion.

Take the cover of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The book cover itself is an example of graphic design. The cover is visually stunning on it’s own and evokes a certain emotion. The cover is great, communicates effectively, and sticks in your head.  But it doesn’t move. 

Lets look at the cover through the lens of a motion designer. Good motion graphics will enhance whatever feeling the artist intended. Obviously the flames should be dancing. Maybe the books ignite and the pages fly out wrapping themselves like a suit of fire around the man. What about the text? Should “Ray Bradbury” drop in from the top. Should it slide in from the left. How does it stop, hard and sudden or does it ease into place? Maybe the title starts “Fahrenheit 0” and increases numerically like a thermometer until it stops on “451”. Maybe the edges of the book start to darken and curl. The possibilities are infinite and chances are something probably caught your eye that I didn’t even think about.


Motion design
can incorporate:
  • shapes
  • text
  • lines
  • illustrations
  • photography
  • 3D objects
  • video
  • etc.

Motion design
breathes life into the inanimate and transforms the boring into interesting. Using motion graphics to communicate an idea can be very effective. You control what is being said and how someone is perceiving your message. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words a 60 second motion design piece is worth 1.4 million words. In my opinion, motion design is propaganda in it’s most beautiful form. You know how many insurance commercials I’ve shared on Twitter because I think they look pretty? A lot. And insurance is boring. Which is why we embrace the philosophy that everything is interesting it’s all in how you frame it. Let motion design be the cocoon that transforms your ho-hum message into a majestic butterfly.


Here are a few ways I have utilized motion design in the past:  

Ryan Woolfolk

Ryan Woolfolk