27 Tips to Make Motion Graphics That Make an Impact

By Katy French

We want to see better motion graphics in the world. They’re a great way to grab attention and make an impression—but only when they’re designed well, communicate a strong narrative, and showcase some real creativity.

We’ve been in the motion graphics game for a minute. Since we’ve learned a lot along the way, we thought we’d pick our team’s brain to get the best advice on how to make great motion graphics, from the brainstorm to the final product. Luckily, they came through and shared 27 great tips that will help you at every stage of the process. We hope they help.

GENERAL MOTION GRAPHICS TIPS

Apply Your Visual Language: A strong brand isn’t just a logo. It’s everything you create. With motion, you’re working with many elements: audio, visuals, and music. Each should reflect who you are and what you’re about. If you don’t have those style specs determined, it’s important to have that conversation now and update your brand style guide accordingly.

Trade Inspiration: A great motion graphic is the result of a creative team pooling their talents. That also means sharing inspiration. Whether it’s compiling moodboards or trading video links, the more you expose each other to interesting things, the better your motion graphic will be.

When in Doubt, Do Less: This might be our most important tip. Remember: It is much better to see a simple concept executed well than a huge production executed poorly. If you don’t have the time or resources, don’t try to stretch yourself thin. Downsize your vision, and do it right.

BRAINSTORMING

Ask “Why Motion?”: Before you do anything, first ask yourself if a motion graphic is what you need. What are you uniquely adding to your project by making it move? Could you do the same with a static piece? Animation should be additive, not just additional. Otherwise, it feels forced.

Know Your Goal: What are you trying to achieve with this project? The goal needs to be very clear from the beginning. (This will influence all creative design decisions down the road.) Brief the team thoroughly and answer major questions, including:

  • What’s your use case (e.g., teaser, product overview, explainer, narrative)?
  • How should people feel after they watch the video?
  • What action should they take?
  • What awareness level are you targeting? (FYI, motion graphics work especially well for awareness and consideration.)

Have Design and Animation Involved From the Beginning: Design and animation are integral to a successful motion graphic, so it’s important to bring designers and animators into the brainstorming process from day one. (Leaving them out is one of the biggest mistake teams make.) Their invaluable thinking will help guide ideas, offer interesting insight, and determine whether or not a concept will be enhanced by motion. (BTW, content marketers can learn a lot from thinking like designers.

Get Everyone on the Same Page: No idea should be signed off on without the entire creative team’s approval. Additionally, everyone should understand: