Motion Graphics vs. Animation: What’s the Difference?

Motion Graphics vs. Animation

It looks like we talk a lot about graphics – both static and kinetic. We often indulge in discussing how motion graphics and graphic design are both unavoidable parts of our creative output. 

However, we have hardly ever dived deeper into explaining motion graphics, nor have we really distinguished it from the first cousin, animation. 

Most people who are new to the field often mix these two up – after all, a few characters and shapes moving across your screen has to be a product of animation, right?

Well, that’s partially right. But there are scenarios when it’s not. 

To help you understand the difference between motion graphics and animation, we’ve put together all the rightful information in this blog post, which dives deep into distinguishing the two almost look-alike cousins of the design family!

What Is Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics could be referred to as transforming a static graphic design into a moving something using animation tactics. However, motion graphics do not follow a narrative when animating graphic designs. 

Showcasing the bar in your graph rising in motion to bring the extra flair? That’s motion graphics. 

Crafting a logo that spins around each time your website opens? That’s also motion graphics. 

Want to put life in a children’s story with moving or animating characters and objects? Well, that’s not motion graphics but an entirely different form of animation. 

It may look less significant, but whether or not a story being narrated is a primary factor in determining whether the moving visuals on your screen are a motion graphic or an animation. Motion graphics is actually a popular animation type that features text, objects, or shapes in motion. 

Wondering what the purpose of spending a bigger budget and effort on motion graphics is? Specifically when that information could be conveyed with a static image easily. Consider the example of a graph mentioned above; you can easily illustrate the rise or fall in the bar using a static image. So, why motion graphics? 

Well, there is a certain edge to motion graphics over static graphics. While this does not fully push back the significant impact of static graphics, some complex information needs additional efforts to be rightfully conveyed. 

Motion Graphics Can Help Simply Complex Ideas –

Motion graphics are like a booster shot giving your information a kick for better understanding. Some ideas are difficult to explain with words or even static visuals. While putting a hint of motion into that can makes things a lot easier to understand and even more captivating. For example, think of how the password fields pop up red or vibrate to indicate the wrong password; that’s how motion graphics can make things simpler and attractive. 

Visuals in Motion Can Captivate a Wider Audience – 

A moving object certainly captivates more attention than what’s static. There’s no doubt about the fact. No matter what industry you’re dealing with, incorporating motion graphics to your site would surely captivate a wider audience than usual. With 80% of the total internet traffic coming from the video content, it’s almost obvious that moving content has more chances for grabbing audiences’ attention than what’s static. 

What Is Animation?

Animation is a broader realm that covers motion graphics as one type. It has a history going back to almost 100 years and has been through massive evolution over the years.

Animation could be referred to any or every technique that turns a static object into moving or kinetic. Be it anime, hand-drawn cartoons, Claymation, CGI, or motion graphics – they’re all the popular types of animation. However, these multiple animation types aren’t mutually exclusive. Most motion graphics are crafted with CGI, but theoretically, hand-drawn motion graphics are also a thing. 

A primary factor that makes motion graphics different from the other animation types is the content. Unlike most animation types, motion graphics are primarily associated with just putting motion into graphic design, objector text. Infusing movement into an infographic, web design, or graph is animation in broader terms; however, it’s mainly a type of animation known as motion graphics. 

On the contrary, the animation is more of an art form focused on utilizing storytelling techniques and cinematic effects to construct a narrative. 

In a simpler thought – if your video illustrates an idea using objects or text in motion, it’s called motion graphics. If your video does storytelling or features an emotional journey using human characters, it’s an animation. 

What Makes You Call Out A Video Animation And Not Motion Graphics? –

A video that brings stories or characters to life instead of putting movement into statistical information is animation. Animations reflect emotional journeys, narratives, and artistic expression. 

They are more often used by brands that aim at connecting with their audience on an emotional level. Also, some brands have incredible build-up stories which could be nicely put together in an animated video. 

Also, the animation is a bit expansive than motion graphics. Motion graphics are simpler, less complex, and usually take less time and effort, making them affordable. However, animation requires a stellar concept, developing characters, keen direction, and tons of aesthetic expertise. All of that makes it an expansive, complex, and time-consuming luxury which only the brands having extensive budgets could afford. 

Motion Graphics vs. Animation: What to Use When & Why?

No doubt in the fact that the internet adores video content. Be it a motion graphic or any other form of animation; videos tend to drive better traffic and conversions, in general. With 93% of the successful digital marketers stating social media videos as their primary winning factor, video is surely the most desired and preferred form of content worldwide. Moreover, more than half of the traffic at a website prefers watching visual content over text-based information. 

Overwhelmed to see how big the impact of video content is? You must also know what type of video content to use when, so we’ve covered that too!

When Is The Right Time To Use Motion Graphics? 

Motion graphics are a perfect medium to convey some informational facts to your audience. The best time to use motion graphics is when you sure want to captivate a bigger audience and better illustrate the information, but there’s no particular story or emotional journey attached to it. 

Want your logo to outshine with some stellar movements? Hiring a custom-logo design service in USA that offers motion graphic logos could bring your dreams to reality. 

Got yourself stuck with some complex, wordy infographic? Putting life into the stats using motion graphics could definitely simply be your message. Motion graphics are the visual aid you’ll need when the objective is to convey something significant yet complex. 

When Is The Right Time To Use Animation? 

Have a brand story to share with the audience, or do you want to connect with them emotionally by sharing a narrative? Animation is the righteous medium. Animated videos give you the space and liberty to convey an entire narrative or storyline using characters, aesthetics, and, most importantly, movements. 

Sharing stories with your audience can help to build a deeper connection. They’re often a route to your customer’s state of mind, so you get the chance to know them – a lot more than usual. 

Be it motion graphics or animation you prefer; video content is always a means of more traffic, engagement, and conversion. 

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