Motion Graphics: An Introduction

Motion graphics, a type of animation that combines video, sound, words, and more to create moving graphics, first became popular in the 1960s. Thanks to the advantages it offers almost every digital project (from films to advertising to video), it is rising in popularity once again. Understanding this art form and the advantages it brings can help you decide whether motion graphics might be the right fit for your next animation production.

What are motion graphics?
Motion graphics take information of any kind (from concrete data to abstract ideas) and bring it to life. This type of animation does so in two ways: (1 It visualizes the information (2 It puts the information in motion. Motion graphics use techniques from a number of different disciplines to do so. For instance, they can use words, video, sound, visual effects, audio, graphic design, and animation techniques in order to create moving, visual pieces of information.

Motion graphics typically lack the in-depth character design that is prevalent in many other types of animation. As a result, motion graphics are often more suitable for projects that are describing data or abstract ideas (such as content marketing or infographics) rather than detailed story lines or plots. However, the result of this type of animation is a unique and often more effective way of communicating information to audiences than would be possible through static graphic design or the written word.

What is the history of motion graphics?
The exact origin of motion graphics is uncertain, due in part to different ideas about what exactly constitutes motion graphics. However, almost everyone agrees that one of the masters of motion graphics was Saul Bass, who created numerous motion graphics projects in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was during the period of the 1960s, and due largely to Bass’ skill in the field, that motion graphics first became popular as a form of animation.

Bass was a prolific graphic designer and filmmaker. As far as his work in motion graphics is concerned, he worked mostly in title sequences (where the title of the show, plus some of the credits, appear). Instead of keeping these few minutes dry and uninteresting for spectators, he rejuvenated them through the use of motion graphics. So skilled were his animations that he worked with filmmaking greats such as Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese and with films as famous as The Man with the Golden Arm and North by Northwest.

Since the 1960s, many other artists have put motion graphics to good use, not just in title sequences but in many other areas as well. Nowadays, motion graphics are enjoying something of a comeback. This increase in popularity is due in part to motion graphics’ incredible versatility that allows them to be used effectively in almost any area where digital material is possible. As a result, this type of animation has become in-demand in areas as varied as advertising animation and animated music videos.

What are the advantages of motion graphics?
Motion graphics are popular because they offer many advantages over more static methods of conveying information. One of their main advantages is their ability to communicate a message quickly. In many projects (such as advertising or animated explainer videos), brevity is key because of the short attention spans of modern-day audiences. As a result, the brevity of motion graphics often makes them more effective than static pictures or written text.

In addition, motion graphics provide a visually appealing way to explain complex ideas or concepts. The movements of the pictures and texts on the screen not only engage the viewer’s attention but also demonstrate the fact that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Their ability to make an idea simple and easy to understand in the course of a few minutes or seconds makes them extremely appealing for any project in which brevity and clarity together are desired. In particular, motion graphics are a good choice for projects dealing with complex ideas that may be hard to explain adequately through other means.

In addition to being both short and easy to understand, motion graphics tend to be appealing. The movement livens up otherwise static graphics, while the colors and shapes add interest to what might otherwise be a dry topic. As a result, motion graphics tend to capture viewers’ attention, communicate their message effectively, and do so before the viewer loses interest. The result is an animated production that is both memorable and effective.

Where are motion graphics used?
Motion graphics are used in many different types of projects. For instance, they often appear in the title sequences of films and videos. Because of their ability to explain difficult concepts quickly and simply, they are also often used in animated explainer videos, animated music videos, infographics, and digital displays of all kinds.

In addition, they are often used in animation advertising, both on television and online. In fact, motion graphics are quickly becoming extremely popular methods for content marketing. They are frequently used in the marketing field because of their ability to both engage and inform the viewer. They are also a common choice in advertising because of their ability to convey a message quickly and effectively.

Motion graphics are a powerful and effective way to discuss ideas and information. Their ability to persuade, educate, and entertain audiences make them a smart choice for any number of projects, while their visual appeal makes them fun to watch. It is no surprise, then, that they are becoming more and more popular as a choice for many animated projects.