As technology improves, animation becomes increasingly available in different aspects of design. It wasn’t that long ago that people were amazed at loading animations for their mouse cursors; today, it’s the rare corporate website that eschews motion graphics in their entirety.
The trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Animation can be a vital tool in storytelling and presentation; designers are always looking for ways to save time without sacrificing quality, so the smart money is probably placed on motion graphics integrating both 3D and 2D elements, trying to strike a balance between depth, usability, and ease of creation – leading to some unique design aesthetics.
Firstly, enhancing user interfaces are going to be a goal of many a UX designer. Malleable logos – transforming into GIFs, icons, or (if we must) emojis – are another trend that’s emerging; and animating documentaries has been on the rise for the past few years.
Motion graphics aren’t going anywhere. Here are some of the slickest trends to keep you ahead of the curve.
Logo design has been moving towards a simpler, stroke-based aesthetic for some time now; expect that trend to continue. Minimalist logos feel modern, efficient; and there’s no denying their visual appeal. Additionally, simple logos are significantly easier to deploy in different use cases; your clean, minimalist designs can be quickly transformed into a dozen different forms. Don’t limit yourself; make sure your iconography translates to opening titles, keynote presentations, and short promo videos.
The modern logo needs to be ready to move. Design with that in mind.
While hardly a new phenomenon in the world of motion graphics – or indeed, moving pictures as a whole – their popularity is exploding right now. As the public becomes increasingly aware of “single shot” cinematography – with TV shows like Game of Thrones and Daredevil elevating the concept in the popular zeitgeist – the ability to create a fluid transition between scenes is increasingly associated with skill, professionalism, and succeeding at a difficult task.
Clients are going to be asking for it. Get out ahead of the trend.
Animating Illustrations, and Documentaries
With the rise of YouTube, illustrating narratives has taken on a new life in raising awareness for issues, explaining difficult concepts, and highlighting untold stories. The animation is beginning to see real utility as a communication tool in these contexts; the ability to add nuance and perspective can’t be overstated.
Time was, nobody tried to mix 2D and 3D. That time is long since gone; modern motion graphics place a heavy emphasis on blending these two disparate styles to give a dynamic punch to their animations.
Most of the time, this means dropping 3D objects into a 2D environment, giving a sense of scope. A liberal application of viewing angles and perspective make this a great way to use layers in your design – your final product winds up complex, dynamic, and captivating – it’s a great way to send a narrative home.
The debate on the correct pronunciation isn’t going away anytime soon, and neither are these beloved micro-animations; not with Twitter and Facebook allowing users to embed and share them. Using custom GIFs is an excellent way to sidestep unintended context, or appearing behind the times – as meme culture moves at breakneck speed.
Your typography is already at the cornerstone of half your designs; time to put it to work. Using type in your design is a time-honored way to highlight concepts, but by animating it, you can not only highlight the words themselves but add much-needed context to intricate messages, effectively moving toward a richer communication vector.
There’s also no shortage of nostalgia for Saul Bass-inspired designs, so it’s a great way to get some positive associations stirring in the brain.
Mixing Live Action with Animation
While this is hardly new – Disney’s been blending actors with animated characters since its inception – adding in some CGI elements can be a fantastic way to spice up your video. Explaining complicated concepts can actually be aided by some timely elements; adding a feeling of wonder to an otherwise mundane description, and providing insight into just how complex a construct might be, without boring our audiences.
Trends cycle, and what’s old will one day be new again. Of late, it’s the 1980’s that have come into vogue; for many, this evokes warm nostalgic feelings. Don’t just stop at neon colors – VHS effects can make your design feel surprisingly charming.
Design Keeps Moving
Regardless of the current trends, it’s key to remember that motion graphics are one more method of communication; of sending information to your audience. Knowing what you want to say – and who you want to say it to – remain more important than any trend. But if you keep that in mind, these styles can invigorate your design.