You see it every day, but you probably didn’t know it had a name. You see it when you go to the movies, or watch TV, or surf the web, or even go shopping. It is the mysterious title sequence that sets the mood for the latest sci-fi movie. It’s the beautiful animated graphics that introduce the events for the Olympic Games. It’s the cool interface on that website that you use to make your own snowboard designs. It’s the fun, colorful interpretation of music and dance to interest you in the new iPod. Anywhere there is a screen (and some places there aren’t!), you’re probably seeing creative work called Motion Design.

It really is an awesome career.
sherlockYou get to work with a variety of creative people, and work on all kinds of interesting projects. It’s pretty hard to get bored because each project requires its own unique creative solutions. The one thing that’s necessary if you want to be a Motion Designer is the desire to constantly push the creative envelope by creating new and innovative visual imagery.

You have to really like challenging yourself to experiment and explore new ways of communicating a concept. You’ll assume a variety of roles, from a graphic designer, to a storyboard artist, to an animator, to an editor, to an art director – and have fun doing it all.

There are skills every Motion Designer must master.

First, you must embrace the language and principles of Graphic Design – learning how to develop a consistent and repeatable method for solving design and composition problems. You must be able to communicate your ideas effectively by creating style frames and storyboards. Of course, you must master the latest technology and software that drives the technical capabilities. You must work collaboratively with other creative people with a variety of different skill sets. Motion Design is the artistic marriage of Graphic Design and Animation. Check out my page on 10 Essential Skills of a Motion Designer.

So what makes Motion Design different than Computer Animation?

Here at Ringling College of Art & Design, the Computer Animation Department (CA) focuses on character animation to tell their stories. The Motion Design Department on the other hand uses type, photography, live-action footage, 2D graphic elements and 3D rendered objects to communicate our message.

Motion Design can use one or many different creation techniques all on the same project. Instead of exploring areas such as publications and packaging (like the Graphic Design Department), Motion Design explores the unique characteristics of the moving image- including animation principles, video and audio editing, storyboarding, and compositing.

You might be a potential Motion Designer.

Are you a person who watches TV and really enjoys the great commercials? Do you find yourself getting excited about experimenting with new technology? Do you consider yourself to be a storyteller with a passion for art? Do you live and breathe design? A Motion Designer takes inspiration from all the different art forms and integrates it, extrapolates it, and communicates it with a strong, clear concept… while creating visuals that are new and unique. And the whole time, being psyched that when it’s complete, your design enters the social consciousness by being exhibited to millions of viewers! Ciao!


All Motion Design examples on this page are copyright of their respective owners:
©NBCUniversal, ©Warner Bros. ©Village Roadshow Pictures , ©Summit Entertainment, ©NBC Sunday Night Football, ©Gmunk