Holistic design: Motion

left: original post by the loudest — minds-deactivated20 center: foto by http://ayakovlev.com/ right: trisha brown creating a performative

This is the second principle about Holistic design. The first one was simplicity. Why motion in the holistic design? Well, because motion represents action. Maybe it’s something beautiful with an interesting concept but if you can’t create “motion” in the final user, the work doesn’t work.

Motion speaks about the energy in design to impact your final target, your final audience.

Types of motion for the holistic design

  1. Visual motion. It’s the movement that you can see in your design, something with a GIF or video, in this kind of motion the user can see different pieces of information in the same space.
    My inspiration to write about this was the “Material Design Guidelines”. It’s something easy, minimal and really functional for the final user. The motion, if it’s something with a clear function, will always be welcome.


It’s branding isn’t static, it has motion like the festival itself and the symbolism in this example is not made up only with shapes but with colours and motion as well. All together. This is a new language, a new visual language.

Spanish design by Clase Barcelona

2. Time motion. This kind of motion describes the evolution of the design process, why? Because, in order to be able to fully appreciate the final product, we need to understand the creative process.

This kind of motion has a social function: to explain to everybody what’s the real process to develop a design and to foster the development of a real visual culture about design.

My best example of this idea is the watercolour process to create something. I love the Cindy Lane videos about this technique.

3. Creator motion. This is the most basic motion that you need to design anything. Example: the motion of the sun salutation GIFs has more power than the sun salutation static icons.

If it’s something really difficult you can record the movement and design the scheme or the basic drawings about this motion.

Example 1: This example is really similar to material design motion. The difference in this example is that the the shapes are the result of the body motion while, in material design, final motion is the result of what the user generates using apps or digital means.

Example 2: About rotoscoping.

Example 3: Fractal motion

This is a fun project. It’s a visual exploration of fractals through dance, a piece of generative art that’s part performance and part mathematical exploration.

Sorry for these links if you are a designer but… I ❤ fractals and these links are really interesting as complements for the the Wired article

4. Move your body. Motion is a tool to activate your creativity. Move your body before you start your work with music, with your favourite song, with a sun salutation… I don’t know what but something to trigger your creativity :)

Motion is the tool that produces the transformation, motion is the alchemy for your creativity, for your soul.

“Without music, life would be a mistake… I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Motion develops like a visual dance

Finally, my conclusion is if maths, dance, design and the work in progress have a specific motion maybe appreciating and understanding this motion will be the building pieces to develop a new visual language for you, for your team, for your customers or for everybody…. or maybe not! Well in any case, do you like to dance? :)

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