Thoughtful Design: If It Matters in Print, It Matters in Motion
Motion graphics has been around for more than sixty years. It’s not going away anytime soon. For those of you who think you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, trust me you’re not. The term is the only thing that may be new to you.
Motion graphics is just a techie expression for animation and visual effects. You see it all the time. It’s plastered all over movies, TV and the web. You can’t even escape it while watching sports. Next time you catch a game, check out the scoreboard animations and instant playback transitions that dominate the experience.
I’ll bet you’re so familiar with motion graphics, you don’t even notice it anymore.
Ah, but you do notice it. You notice it when it looks terrible.
I’ll give you an example. You’re watching your favorite show. Suddenly, loveseats are being rocketed at your face while an abrasive voice smashes sale prices against your eardrums. The flashing of words and images is so rapid you think you’re going to have a seizure. Before the commercial is over you’ve seen every font, logo and color possible. And what story have you been told? “WE’RE OUT ON ROUTE 9 ACROSS FROM TOYS ‘R’ US!” Not exactly emotionally engaging.
This is motion graphics at its worst. Motion graphics abused. Text and images are thrown about haphazardly with no planning or thought whatsoever. What’s the missing component? Thoughtful design.
The only thing novel about motion graphics today is accessibility. Now, for the first time in its history, the tools to create motion graphics are inexpensive enough for most people to get their hands on. This is both good and bad. The trouble is that tools are only a fraction of the picture. Well-planned design is what really matters.
To use an analogy, just because you’ve paid for a billboard and have all kinds of space to fill with your message does not mean that you should clutter it with random colors, fonts and images without thinking through how it should be designed. Often this means hiring a professional to solve those problems for you. Not everyone is a designer, and that’s okay.
The reality is that motion graphics isn’t just a gimmick that works on its own. Installing Photoshop does not make someone a good graphic designer. In the same way, the ability to create motion graphics does not mean that the final product will look good or do its job. Smart choices must be made at every step of the creation process. And that’s the job of copywriters and designers.
At Villing & Company, we hope to continue to alter the local video landscape by adding beautiful, well-thought motion design. But keep in mind this is just one tool in our arsenal. What we’re interested in most is what’s the best tool for you.
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