Why Movement Matters
An insight into utilising motion graphics within visual identity design. Why brands need to be using it to their fullest potential.
Posted on November 10th, 2021 - By Karlis Kah
One-dimensional, static branding is a thing of the past. A brand should be an immersive experience, therefore, the way we apply it should align with that idea.
I never pictured motion design being a big part of my work. Back when I was only figuring out what graphic design was, motion seemed something too complex and distant for me. It didn’t take me long to realise that the way I presented my work just didn’t feel as immersive and whole rounded as it had the potential to be.
As an agency, when we build a brand, we build a set of essentials - a typeface, a logo, a colour palette and all the additional brand elements that decorate the print & digital brand touchpoints. The static brand elements we build might not move initially but we always have movement in mind. We want it to move. We imagine it bending when we draw a slick, elongated arch or to shake the room when we introduce a chunky, bold typeface. Because when we build a brand, we try to capture a vibe, a feeling, an atmosphere - something that has movement at its core. When I started making my work move, it wasn’t about “motion design” - it was about designing a more immersive experience. It was about creating a captivating encounter, utilising all the tools I could access.
Involving all the senses
You recognise a Wes Anderson movie when you see it - everything is going to be “Andersonised” from head to toe - the acting, the cinematography, the furniture. Everything will be bursting at the seams with the Wes Anderson vibe. In a similar vein, let’s not just make an image. Let’s make it move. Let’s add a video - can we make it AR? Can we add a memorable, iconic sound to it? When I think of McDonald’s, I think of that famous little whistle they do. When I think of Netflix I think of that double-drum tune they play before any of their shows start. When you go to a casino, what do you hear? Do you think making risky decisions would be as alluring if we stripped a casino from all the visual cues and noises?
Forget about sound for a second and think about other senses. Ever been to LUSH? Cosmetics and bath bombs play no role in my life, but I don’t mind jumping into LUSH just so I can touch & smell all the weird, colourful bits and bobs that they’ve got on offer. Going into LUSH is a fully immersive brand experience that is unique to their brand and no-one else’s. All because they know how to take advantage of all five senses. Singapore Airlines have got their own perfume that the cabin crew will spray around the plane to build a smell association with the brand. All these seemingly unrelated elements come together to paint a unique brand story that captivates their audience.
A playful solution
You don’t have to be LUSH to understand that you can use other senses beyond sight to make your brand more engaging. Digital brands start in the digital space - it shouldn’t come as a surprise that moving image is more engaging than static content; ask a 6 year old whether they would rather read a book or watch a cartoon. Ask me the same thing and our answers will probably match. Certain aspects of human psychology stay the same despite our age - we learn through play. Some marketing questions are difficult to address, some answers require too long of an explanation. Some topics are just boring and as dry as dust. Properly executed motion design is the playful solution.
Creating an emotional connection
People remember less of what you said and more of how you made them feel. Motion design helps us tell stories and communicate emotions, ideas & thoughts in a clear-cut way. When you are trying to connect with your audience and make them feel a certain way about your brand, you should keep in mind that a human being is not one-dimensional. Take advantage of the way your audience functions. Your brand is a living, breathing experience - it should walk, talk & sound a way that confidently conveys who and what they are. Motion design is here to help translate this.