How to Make Animated Graphics that Stand Out

Updated Sep. 14, 2022 Published Mar. 27, 2022 7 Min. Read

Animated graphics, also known as motion graphics, is basically animated graphic design. While any form of moving graphic design is “animated,” animation is a broader umbrella term that covers everything from feature-length cartoons to online videos and TV commercials.

Today, we’re talking about animated motion graphics, which usually refers to motion design used in social media marketing and advertising campaigns. If you’re a marketer who hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon just yet, we’re here to tell you why you should create motion graphic videos!

Why Should You Use Animated Graphics?

Using your own animated graphics will give you better control over how fast and how efficiently your audience receives information. Static images are powerful, but they have limits in terms of communication speed and provocativeness.

So what else makes animated graphics more evocative, and why should you use them in your marketing strategy and materials?

To Tell Stories

Combining animated graphics with storytelling is a powerful way of communicating an idea or a message. Visual stories tap into the viewer’s curiosity and feeds their hunger for movement and excitement. When you use visually appealing motion in storytelling, there’s never a dull moment. It will also help your audience feel and mirror the emotions depicted on the screen, just like experiencing fear while watching a horror movie or embracing the joy of romantic comedy, making your story all the more powerful.

To Simplify Concepts

Animated graphics on their own can add great speed and accuracy to explainer videos. A well-planned and well-executed animation can summarize an idea by emphasizing key aspects that are relevant to the core message. In addition, motion graphics makes complex data easier to consume and understand by distilling the information through data visualization.

To Grab Attention

OverSimplified is a Youtube channel that incorporates basic animation styles to explain historical events. Their, uh, oversimplified illustration style is combined with the most basic animated effects and sound effects, but the thoughtful storyboarding and comedic screenwriting have given the channel 6.4 million subscribers to date.

This goes to show that even the simplest animated videos can be enough to grab — and retain — attention. Animated ads can improve conversions too.

To Persuade Your Audience to Take Action

Whether you started creating animated graphics to elaborate, simplify, lengthen, shorten, emphasize, or minimize details, your motive is usually the same: persuasion.

Some marketers claim that video content can increase CTA responses by 64% on social media platforms or that videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%.

So if your organization generates animated graphics, it’s probably a good idea to start leveraging that visual content to drive your audience to take your desired action!

How to Create Animated Graphics That Stand Out

Stick to Design Principles

Keeping your brand at the top of your current & potential audiences’ minds is not an easy task. So you’ve decided to start creating relevant animated graphics to increase brand awareness and improve your conversion rate. There are several basic design principles of video creation — you don’t have to memorize them all, but some of the most important ones are unity, hierarchy, contrast, and balance.

  • Unity. Is your animated video design coherent? Do elements agree with each other? If an element’s style or color is markedly different from all the others, it affects the composition’s visual unity.
  • Hierarchy. Hierarchy refers to the ranking of design elements within a motion graphic design. The most important elements of a composition should also be the most prominent, which can be expressed through size, color, position, and more.
  • Contrast. Contrast is the difference between two or more objects. It can be expressed through color (black and white), shape (round and square), scale (large and small), and texture (rough and smooth). Contrast can help emphasize elements. The more important an element is, the more contrast it should have against its surroundings.
  • Balance. Elements have different visual weights, depending on how strongly they draw the eye of the viewer. If there are too many “heavy” elements grouped in only one area, a design is thrown off balance.

Making motion graphics is a challenging task. If you want to succeed in creating professional quality videos, always include these elements in your creative process.

Start with a Thumbnail — or Use a Template!

It’s so much easier to create a design when you have a pencil sketch, also called a thumbnail. When you’re creating a rough sketch, you’re relaxed enough to let your imagination run free. You can always polish details later!

But if you’re pressed for time (and skill!), you can always use a customizable template. We’ve compiled a list of the best resources for motion graphics templates that help you save time!

Choose (Or Build) Your Elements

It’s much easier to create animated graphics when your artwork has separate objects, or layers, that motion can be applied to. If you know how to build your own elements using design tools, make sure to export them cleanly and separately! Or, you can always download vector elements from sites like Freepik, Vecteezy, or Envato.

Customize to Match Branding & Objectives

Whether you’re designing from scratch with a motion graphics software or customizing a template, it’s important to keep two questions in mind:

  1. Is your video marketing aligned with your brand?
  2. Is it aligned with your goals?

Your branding stays the same throughout all your materials. On the other hand, each short video ad can have a unique objective, and may even look different depending on the subset or persona you’re targeting.

Design Tips for Stunning Animated Graphics

All animated graphics are interesting, but with practically everybody on the motion graphics video design bandwagon, a token effort from your end may not be enough. Here are a few simple guidelines to make your animated graphics truly attractive and effective.

Follow Your Branding Guidelines

Everybody knows how easy it is to download stock assets on the web, like photos, videos, music, illustrations, and more. So when you post art that isn’t quite on-brand, it ends up looking lazy and obviously downloaded. When you tell your story, go the extra mile and customize graphic elements so that your audience knows you mean business.

Make it Clutter-Free

Creative freedom is one thing; cluttered design is another. Make sure you use ample negative space — meaning empty breathing space around an element — to emphasize and clarify your message.

How & Where to Use Animated Graphics?

If you’ve been running your business for more than a few months, you’ll know that there are countless platforms and numerous styles and formats for digital advertising. What are existing graphics you can level up by animating? What new avenues can you explore to make your brand stand out in this fast paced environment?

Upgrade Your Infographics

Charts and graphs are basic visual tools used to present complex information. Animation can also illustrate geographic information, the speed of depreciation or growth of certain numbers, or even the cadence of certain events.

Visual infographics can also be turned into animated infographics, as a highly effective way of walking audiences through lengthy, multifaceted topics.

Use Animated Characters

People, or even anthropomorphic animals or objects, can be used as effective storytelling tools for animated explainers. When it comes to process walkthroughs or automated onboarding sessions, it can be helpful for viewers to have “someone” talk to them directly, as if in a one-on-one environment.

Animate Your Illustrations

Static illustrations can be beautiful and effective on their own — but animation can stop scrolls and rake in the clicks. If your audience is looking at it using any kind of screen — mobile, desktop, TV — then movement is possible. When movement is possible, it’s almost expected. And what good marketer can resist that?

Get Started with Animated Graphics!

Many of us start businesses as all-rounders — conceptualizing ads, creating graphics, animations, doing video editing and converting leads all while knocking out the main product and service.

But as your business grows, your needs grow with it, and you need more hands. Design Pickle is a simple way to expand your creative capacity overnight and affordably. 😉 Learn more about Design Pickle’s Motion Graphics service in this video:

Check out our plans or request a 1:1 consultation today.

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