A Quick Guide to Animation, Motion Graphics and Graphic Design

Many people use animation, motion graphics, and graphic design interchangeably not knowing the difference between these terms. If you’re not working in a media or visual agency, you sure will just associate graphic design whenever you see a stop-motion clip or something that’s moving on a screen. Even though they are all a design, each term has its unique meaning and purpose.

Animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion by rapidly displaying a series of static images in succession. The term “animation” comes from the Latin “animatus,” meaning “alive.” Animations are created by tweeting, or interpolating, between keyframes to produce the illusion of motion.

On the other hand, motion graphics is a subset of animation that employs video and animation techniques to create static or dynamic images, logos, illustrations, and graphic designs. Motion graphics are usually used in film and television productions, advertisements, and music videos.

And what’s exactly their correlation with graphic design? You must be wondering when and where to use these terms correctly and how knowing about them will make your project easier.

Let’s find it out!

What is Graphic Design?

Let us begin with the core of every design slash visual content today: graphic design. In the world of commercial art, graphic design is the process of aesthetically pleasing and communicatively effective visual communication through the use of type, space, color, and images. It is a relatively new profession that has only been around for decades.

Graphic designers use their skills to create visual solutions to communication problems. They work with their clients to determine the client needs and then create a plan of action that will address those needs through the use of type, space, color, and images.

Graphic design is used in a variety of industries, including advertising, publishing, and corporate communications. Graphic designers are also employed by government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Does Graphic Design Involve Animation and Motion Graphics?

Graphic design doesn’t necessarily mean animation or motion graphics. It’s the process of creating and arranging visual content for print or digital media, such as websites, apps, presentations, and more.

However, some graphic designers may specialize in animation and motion graphics. These types of designers use their skills to create animated graphics for TV commercials, movies, video games, and more. In brief, graphic design is the big roof under which animation and motion graphics exist.

Animation vs. Motion Graphic

Now that you’ve got a bit of an idea about graphic design, we shall continue with the neverending debate about animation vs. motion graphics.

The key difference between animation and motion graphics is that animation is a process of creating the illusion of motion by rapidly displaying a series of static images in succession while motion graphics is a subset of animation that incorporates video and animation techniques to create static or dynamic images, logos, illustrations, and graphic designs.

The agency uses animation when they want to create an explainer video, an educational video, or a product video. The purpose of the animation is to educate, inform, or entertain the viewers. On the other hand, motion graphics are used in film and television productions, advertisements, and music videos.

When to Use Animation?

Animation is used when you want to create the illusion of motion. It’s perfect for creating explainer videos, product demos, educational videos, and many more.

If you need to communicate something that would be difficult to show with real-life footage, animation is a great solution. Animation can also be used to bring to life otherwise static designs, such as infographics and data visualizations.

When to Use Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics are used when you want to add visual interest to your project without distracting from the core message. They’re perfect for creating title sequences, lower thirds, transitions, and much more.

So, how are animation and motion graphics made?

Animation and Motion Graphics: the Making

Animations are created by interpolating or tweeting, between keyframes to produce the illusion of motion. Keyframes are the starting and ending points of animation. The animator creates the first keyframe and then calculates the movement that should occur between the first and second keyframes. This process is repeated for each subsequent keyframe until the animation is complete.

Motion graphics, on the other hand, are created by combining video and animation techniques. The animator creates the first keyframe and then determines the movement that should occur between the first and second keyframes. This process is repeated for each subsequent keyframe until the motion graphic is complete.

The Reasons Why You Should Incorporate Animation, Motion Graphics, and Graphic Design in Your Business

People are visual beings, and they process information better when it’s presented to them in a visual format.

Animation, motion graphics, and graphic design can help you communicate your message more effectively and engage your audience on a deeper level.

When used correctly, these tools can help you:

  • Tell a story that engages your audience and drives conversions
  • Create a strong visual identity for your brand
  • Generate leads and build customer loyalty
  • Drive traffic to your website or blog
  • Boost your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts

If you’re not using animation, motion graphics, and graphic design in your business, you’re missing out on a powerful marketing tool that helps you achieve your goals.

What Businesses Should Use: Animation or Motion Graphics?

It depends on the purpose of your content. If you want to create an explainer video, educational video, or product video, go for animation. If you want to use film and television productions, advertisements, and music videos, go for motion graphics.

Here are a few examples of animation used in business:

1. Explainer videos

These are short, usually less than 2 minutes, video clips that explain a company, product, or service. They are often used on websites and social media to introduce viewers to a new company or product.

Companies should consider using animation for educational videos to help teach viewers about a particular subject. Animated explainer videos are perfect for this purpose because they are short and engaging and can quickly introduce viewers to a new company or product.

2. Product demo videos

These videos are used to showcase a product or service in action. They are often used on websites and social media to show potential customers how a product works.

You should consider using animation for product demo videos because they can effectively highlight the features and benefits of a product or service. Product demo videos are often shorter than 2 minutes, making them perfect for social media. So, you can use this form of video for social media content.

3. Tutorial videos

This how-to content is perfect when you’re trying to teach viewers how to use a product or service. They are often used on websites and social media to show potential customers how to use a product or service.

Businesses should incorporate animation for tutorial videos because they can effectively explain the steps involved in using a product or service. Tutorial videos are often shorter than 5 minutes, that’s why many people enjoy watching this form of content because they are engaging and informative at the same time.

Below are some examples of motion graphics:

1. Animated titles and descriptions in videos

Motion graphics can be used as text animation in videos. Incorporating motion graphics can enhance the viewers’ experience by providing them with additional information about the video content.

2. Product advertisements

Motion graphics can also be used to create eye-catching product advertisements. Advertisements that use motion graphics are often more effective in getting people’s attention than those that don’t.

3. Educational videos

The 5 Second Rule That Can Change Your Life | Mel Robbins’s Book

Educational videos just like LeadLearnLeap did, add motion graphics to explain complex concepts in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Education institutions often use motion graphics to provide learners with visual aids that help them understand the information being presented in the video.

4. Music videos

Music videos often use motion graphics to create an immersive and visually stimulating experience for viewers. Motion graphics can be used to create abstract and psychedelic visuals that complement the music being played in the video.

5. Event videos

Event videos also incorporate motion graphics to add excitement and energy to the footage. Motion graphics can be used to create a montage of event highlights or to create an animated version of the event’s logo.

Wrapping Up

Now that we have gone through the basics of graphic design, animation, and motion graphics, it’s time to put an end to this debate once and for all. Here is a quick summary of the key differences between these three terms:

Graphic design is the process of making engaging and communicative visual communication using type, space, color, and images while animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion by showcasing static images in sequence. Lastly, motion graphics are made by compiling video and animation techniques to create static or dynamic images, logos, illustrations, and graphic designs.

This is a quick guide to animation, motion graphics, and graphic design. Now that you know the difference between these three terms, go out there and create some amazing visuals!

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please feel free to reach out to us. Thank you for reading!