Table of Contents
- Why use motion graphics?
- What are the elements of motion graphics?
- The Best Motion Graphic Videos on the Internet
- Build a City by betweenpixels.co
- Navara by gromano84
- Apple motion graphic video by SOGA Motion
- Perception by most serious
- Litmus 7 by WowMakers Digital Experience Studio
- Ahrefs Promo Motion Graphic Video by Alexander Tumanov
- Water Crisis by Catherine Widjaja
There are lots of different types of animated videos you could make for your business. But if you want to take a more minimalist approach, then motion graphics could be your go-to style.
Visualize movie trailers where you see a lot of motion graphics in play with titles swooshing in; a YouTube video intro of your favorite YouTube channel, or fly-ins swooping across the screen on TV. We see motion graphics in play all the time, and for good reason!
Motion graphics are a cross between animation and graphic design.
They come in a variety of different types of animation.
To create motion graphics, motion graphic designers incorporate a number of techniques. They use pictures, text and principles of typography, sound effects, illustrations, logos, vectors, and shapes. These different elements are then animated to tell a story.
Let’s dive deeper into the world of motion graphics.
Why use motion graphics?
Picture PowerPoint slides.
No, not the relatively interesting ones but the traditional, static slides explaining a concept tediously.
And now, picture a short video incorporating a variety of interesting motion graphics to explain the same concept.
Which one are you more likely to focus on, and which tool actually gets the job done in getting your point across?
The answer is clear.
Motion graphics are dynamic in their use, and they are incredibly eye-catching.
All the more reason for advertisers to use them in videos! After all, video itself is the most robust medium for online marketing in the modern era. After all, 76% of marketers denote their financial success in businesses to video marketing. Plus, 72% of businesses have ranked better in Google search results by using video as their go-to marketing channel.
Motion graphics are a relatively simpler form of graphic design and animation. Yet, the potential is limitless.
Just imagine what potential dynamic motion graphics and powerful medium of video can hold for your business?
We hope that by now you’re convinced!
So now, let’s break down this marvel in motion bit-by-bit and understand what it’s made of.
What are the elements of motion graphics?
First, let’s first talk about the physical elements.
One of the most common things you’ll find in motion graphics are vectors.
Now, what is vector art, and how is it different from any other form of digital art?
Vector art is any form of digital art that is made using anchor points. You know, lines that you can connect from one point to another to create a diverse array of simple shapes.
So, how does it differ from other forms of digital art?
For one, vectors, unlike other forms of digital art like bitmap, are not made out of pixels — the small squares making up digital paintings or photos.
And because vector art is not made out of pixels, there is no resolution to confine with. So, you can make it as big or as small as you want. You can rest assured that the artwork you print out will not have any of the grittiness borne out of zoomed-in pixels.
However, the downside of working with vectors is that your art style is limited to simple graphics, shapes, and colors.
Nonetheless, vector art has some key advantages — it is easily malleable; therefore, you can change the size and can edit easily in terms of color editing.
No wonder, you’ll find most companies using vectors for their logo design and other stuff that they want to keep versatile so they can enlarge, reduce, and edit on the go.
With vectors, you can create anything from the simplest icons and animations to visually appealing complex infographics. Add in vector animation and you get yourself a cool explainer video.
Be it vector or pixelated picture, shapes can bring your motion graphic video to life. It is fascinating how much diversity you can add to your videos with simple and creative variations in shape.
With techniques such as circle burst, accent explosion, and shape morphs, your motion graphic video will have just about everything to catch the eye.
Even using simple line animation in conjunction with text shapes can spice up your logos and titles.
Take a look at this minimalist explainer we made for one of our clients. To see more of our work, check out our portfolio.
3. Layer splits
Create awesome animations by animating your shapes in a creatively simple way — by using layers.
You’d be surprised how little effort goes into making these layered motion graphics that give the illusion of complex 3D art.
By animating shapes using layers, you can make it look like 3D animation, when it’s not actually 3D, with half the effort!
To do this, duplicate your shapes, add different paths, create layer splits if you have to, and play with the possibilities!
Shapes, morphs, vectors, lines, all play into a bigger scheme of things to reveal the meat of your work — your information, aka the text.
This brings us to different typography styles. Plus, cool techniques to reveal your text, be it in the form of masking reveal, shape reveal, or a combination of both.
Couple all this with changing colors and you’ll make the most eye-catching simple animation that can render something as mundane as company names come to life.
Now that we’ve covered pretty much all of the physical elements, let’s talk about the intangible ones that truly make or break your motion graphic video.
By far the most fundamental element of any video is the story or message you want to convey. It is the foundation that you’re going to base all your artwork on. Without a solid story, you cannot get things going for your video marketing.
Storytelling has become a core component of marketing for businesses and brands worldwide.
Now more than ever, entrepreneurs and brands are showcasing their message to the world in the form of a solid story projected through a neatly-crafted video.
With storytelling, you can entertain, educate, create awareness, and connect with your audiences.
Now, you’re probably wondering how you can incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategy in an effective and genuine way.
Here are some tips to ace storytelling in your motion graphics video.
These are the pillars your story would stand on every time, no matter what your story or your organization — the “why”, “how”, and “what”.
- “Why” do you do what you do?
- “How” will this help your audience?
- And, “what” are you offering?
Successful brands are able to communicate the “why”, which is the centerpiece of your marketing message, by using storytelling.
This is why brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs use stories to cut through the noise and set themselves apart from their competitors. And in doing so, they create brand loyalty by creating deeper connections with their audiences.
There are tried and tested essential elements of storytelling that hold true regardless of the medium used.
Though storytelling is a vast science, in summary, great stories include:
- Relatable characters
- A point of view
- Conflict or something the character is grappling with
- Climax or punch line
Let us expand on each of these.
First, you are going to define the characters in your story and make them relatable.
Second, you’ll have to decide which point of view to tell your story from. With that set, you will then be able to set the tone of your story and show your intention right from the start.
In addition to relatable characters, great stories will unfold a situation that sees their character struggling with a problem.
Your character will wrestle with this conflict through rising action until you reach your story’s climax or punch line.
Finally, you will make it all come together with the resolution. This is where you will show how problems were solved by your efforts.
Also, this is a great moment to evoke emotions, and inspire action. Because it is here that you can make people empathize with the pain your character experienced and make them feel happy with the resolution.
6. Principles of graphic design
Like every work of digital art, each frame of your motion graphic video needs to comply with the basic principles of graphic design.
Here is a quick overview of those fundamental principles.
Imagine that your motion graphic design is aligned in an imaginary grid.
Now, you want to group similar items together.
This means pieces of information that explain one concept or icons showing one common theme belong in a category of their own. So that is the principle of proximity — grouping related items together in your motion graphic.
This not only brings about neatness in your motion graphic design, but also helps your viewers get the gist of your motion graphic at a glance.
Wise use of contrast
Who doesn’t love contrast?
Contrast makes things stand out. It catches your eye. And it works perfectly to highlight the important stuff.
Now, what you don’t want is to overdo it.
Stick with using maximum 3-4 colors, ideally two colors, in your motion graphic color palette.
Use an accent color, i.e. a striking color from your color palette to highlight important elements.
As a simple rule, use neutral colors to balance things out when you can’t decide which colors to use. Add just one other color to make things pop and to let that one color stand out against a muted background.
Negative space, also known as white space, is the space inside your work of art — the space between margins, the elements, and within each element.
Just as you’d likely not want to work in a cluttered workplace, you also don’t want to make your motion graphic too busy.
Remember the purpose of your motion graphic is to draw your reader’s eye in and to convey your information in the most interesting and understandable way possible.
It becomes far easier to achieve this once you have enough negative space within your motion graphic design to help your viewers navigate through the information smoothly.
Get a grip on color theory
Colors are the visual currency of any design.
A great color scheme attracts your eyes to a work of art and conveys your message, artfully.
And when used wisely in motion graphics, colors can succeed in drawing your eyes to vital pieces of information. Your best bet is to use colors in motion graphics in the best possible, scientifically proven way — based on the basics of color theory.
You’ll be surprised at how powerful correct color use can be for us visual creatures.
Want to get started with learning about color theory? Color Theory Basics by Simple Art Tips is a good place to start.
Your text should be legible. Your colors should be engaging, and your design should be easy on the eyes.
Avoid using too many styles of fonts. Like colors, stick with using maximum two different types of fonts to create contrast and add variety. Your background should not be jumping out to the viewers and overpowering your foreground.
To promote readability, start with using one color. Then, try adjusting its lightness, darkness, and saturation according to the rest of the elements in your design, including text.
7. Dynamic design moves
After all, it’s all about the motion in motion graphics!
Add life to your motion graphics video with exploding graphics. If you want, you can duplicate objects and have double the fun. You can use line animations and see how a simple technique can make so much difference. You can play around with in-and-out compositions. Or you can create detailed title animations to make your video intro pop.
Whatever your pick, it’s all about getting your ideas in motion.
8. Background soundtrack
Audio does not get the attention and highlight it deserves. To evoke emotions, inspire action, and stimulate the senses, sound effects play a key role.
In fact, if you put the right sound effects in place, you might not even need a voice over.
Case in point: Here’s an upbeat promo video our creative team produced!
It’s true that graphics take center stage, but sound effects are the unsung heroes that can transform your videos from good to great.
Your motion graphic video isn’t just a visual experience; it’s also auditory. If you think about it, how many different facets you are putting into the designing of the visual elements of your video? A lot.
Now, everything that you’re doing to the visuals is done to create either a feeling or to convey information to the maximum possible effectiveness. But in order to achieve it, that same depth and care that you put into your visuals should be present in your audio as well. So investing in high-quality audio is definitely the way to go.
And finally, you can paint the ultimate strokes, couple your work of art and animation with a crisp voice-over, an engaging soundtrack or beat, and you’re done!
Now, let’s see all these principles in play in our top picks of the best motion graphic videos on the internet.
The Best Motion Graphic Videos on the Internet
CrowdWiz promo video
Simple animations combine with super smooth transitions in this motion graphic video. Notice how the color scheme remains the same throughout the video?
This is what brings out uniformity in a motion graphic video’s design.
In fact, consistency is perhaps the biggest strength of this CrowdWiz motion graphics video. The background theme and characteristic vector design all remain superbly consistent utilizing minimal text.
It literally makes everything come full circle in the end to draw focus on the most important thing — its message — promoting CrowdWiz for cryptocurrency investment.
Yum Yum Video’s motion graphic explainer
Character animation meets motion graphics in Yum Yum Video’s dynamic explainer video.
Brilliantly creative and quirky. Seamless transitions and beautiful icon animation in every frame.
See how this video checks all boxes for motion graphic design principles? And how it draws focus to the object in every frame by not making things too busy?
This is a motion graphic video well done.
Make it Better by MotionDesignCommun
How many of us get geared up at the start of every year to create our very own new year’s resolutions?
This video has a simple message to convey, a reminder that whoever and wherever you are, you have to make it matter.
As sweet as this message is, it is just as impressive how simplistically this video conveys it. It does so by using one sentence, “I’m going to make it better”, with different typography styles.
How cool is that?
This goes to show that if you master even one design principle, you can create a great piece of art. And that typography is so underrated.
Thrift Shop by Nadav Amir
If we were assigning grades for motion graphic design portfolios, this one would get an A-plus.
One can only guess of the hours of work expended in creating this masterpiece. And the end result is mind-boggling.
For one, it shows how you can use motion graphic videos for creating awesome music videos.
Even though the video doesn’t have narration, it uses a great soundtrack as a backbone to base its super-smooth transitions on. All the while fusing so many different techniques without overdoing any of them.
When they say your portfolio should showcase your best work, this can be a prime example.
Build a City by betweenpixels.co
It is always great when animation teams up with a humanitarian message.
In Build a City’s motion graphic promo video, they want to convey everything from their company’s huge dream of building houses for underprivileged, to its outstanding implications for Cambodian people.
As you’d witness, this video succeeds in capturing it all. Combining the use of motion graphics with infographics, it stimulates action, inspires, and educates.
Business videos don’t have to be bland. Navara want the world to get on board in using their product — a software that offers companies mobile IT capability deployment.
So how do they go about explaining this dry, complex concept?
Through a motion graphics video with splendidly smooth animation and dynamic effects that delivers what it promises.
Apple motion graphic video by SOGA Motion
We all know Apple is a class above the rest when it comes to advertising.
And its motion graphic video is no exception.
Simplicity is the key here. Making use of line animations, simple geometric shapes, and a neutral, muted black-and-white color palette.
The video manages to get in the feels despite its ultra minimalism, relying on the resounding power of its message.
Perception by most serious
Philosophy can be vague, confusing, inspiring, and above all, abstract.
So, presenting a philosophical perspective using a motion graphic video is no small feat.
This video sees the use of exquisite typography and hauntingly ‘alive’ geometry in a haphazard-style which captures its dreamlike context.
To finish off, there is an ominous voice-over fused with all the power and courage to drive a deep message home.
And because philosophy rarely answers questions; in fact it leaves one with even more questions, this video left us wanting more of similar-styled motion graphics.
Litmus 7 by WowMakers Digital Experience Studio
Litmus 7, a retail technology services space, captures its appeal with a futuristic look and wonderfully liquid animations. The cherry on top is its simple yet convincing stroke illustrations that make the video unique.
Ahrefs Promo Motion Graphic Video by Alexander Tumanov
Cute quirky and amazingly high quality, Ahrefs’ promo video is one of the best on this list with its super smooth keyframes, transitions, and animations.
Ahrefs, the SEO platform, advertises its potential to take your social media marketing to the next level.
And based on this video alone, we can see how its potential customers will be sold to its style.
Water Crisis by Catherine Widjaja
Who could have guessed that a student’s final year design project would make it into our list of the best motion graphic videos?
This motion graphic video is awesome in the way it captures the urgency of the water crisis and educates the viewers about this crucial problem. Urban icon design and creative execution in this piece are brilliant. Though, at times, the transitions can appear to be a bit too fast.
And voila! You have mastered the fundamental principles of creating great motion graphics. And since seeing is believing, you have seen the principles in action in our line-up of the best motion graphic videos.
Which one is your favorite? What inspires you the most about each video to create a marvelous motion graphic video of your own? Reach out to us on LinkedIn and let us know!