Motion graphic design is a subset of graphic design in that it uses graphic design principles in a filmmaking or video production context (or other temporally evolving visual media) through the use of animation or filmic techniques. Examples include the kinetic typography and graphics used in film and television opening sequences, and the spinning, three-dimensional station identification logos of some television channels. The art form has been around for decades, and has advanced in technical sophistication over time.
A motion graphic designer may be a person trained in traditional graphic design who has learned to integrate additional elements into their existing skill set of design knowledge, though motion designers can also come from filmmaking or animation backgrounds, and may use tools or training from those fields as well.
Motion graphic design is often used in the film industry. Openings to movies, television shows, and news programs can use photography, typography, and motion graphics to make the introduction Motion graphic design has also achieved widespread use in content marketing and advertising. With global technology firm Cisco projecting that 82 percent of all web traffic will be video by 2022, marketers and advertisers have focused much of their efforts on the production of high-quality branded video and motion graphic content.
Technological advancements during the 20th and 21st centuries have greatly impacted the field; chief among these are improvements in modern computing technology, as computer programs for the film and video industries became more powerful and more widely available during this period. Modern motion graphic design typically involves any of several computerized tools and processes.
One of the leading computer programs used by modern motion graphic designers has been Adobe After Effects, which allows the user to create and modify graphics over time. Another relatively recent product used in the market is Apple Inc. Motion, now a part of Final Cut Studio. Software such as Maxon Cinema4D has integrated tools to create motion graphics, such as the native MoGraph plugin, or ICE of Softimage, which can also be used for similar purposes.
Adobe Flash has also been widely used to create motion graphic design, particularly for the web, where it is sometimes used in web design, but also in some animation products, such as animated web television productions like Homestar Runner.
Motion graphics take a variety of forms. While some are entirely animated, others incorporate live-action video and/or photography. The latter may include animation overlay, such as data visualizations, icons, illustrations, and explanatory text used to complement and enhance audiences' understanding of the content.
In content marketing contexts, there are three primary types of motion graphics, which marketers choose to use depending on the goals they wish to achieve with the motion graphic. Explainer motion graphics seek to elucidate a product, process, or concept. Emotive motion graphics, meanwhile, aim to inspire a particular emotional response in audiences. And finally, promotional motion graphics are used to raise awareness about a service, product, or initiative. Because so many motion graphics are designed with particular goals in mind, it is often essential to partner with a designer or organization specializing in visual communication design to achieve a final product that conveys information in both an accurate and compelling way.