5 motion graphics trends in 2021

Jun 29 2021

Motion graphics is having a moment. When live action was restricted last year, content creators got creative using stock footage, animation, re-editing existing video and experimenting with motion graphics. Once used in explainer videos, motion graphics has now gone mainstream. Most social media video ads feature some form of motion graphics. But gone are the days of simply overlaying text on video. As competition ramps up to get more views on videos, motion graphic techniques are evolving.

Motion graphics is a type of animation which combines motion storytelling and graphic design to create an engaging video. It can illustrate different information in many ways and there are different methods to achieve this. Done right, viewers are engaged and clear call to actions are taken.

Why should I use motion graphics in my video?

Motion graphics are effective in highlighting information. Let’s take a still infographic for example. Although it presents the bigger picture, its motionless nature limits the information to being presented all at once with no focal point. It’s overwhelming and ineffective. B2B videos often utilise motion-designed infographics to explain more complex ideas to other businesses. This breaks down the information to a digestible form that is more persuasive and impactful. Take a look at this video for start-up AEH Innovative Hydrogel using mixed media graphics:

Motion graphics also allow live action to be viewed at the same time as graphical information. Although still titles can do this, they quickly become stale with no kinetic energy or motion storytelling.

Motion tracking allows your graphical elements to be tracked to the movement of either the camera or an object in your shot. This synergy of elements creates a lot more visual intrigue than traditional titles. In West Technology‘s promo video, the labelling of captions uses motion tracked graphics to create an immersive tone. This draws viewers’ gaze to a focal point.

What are the key motion graphic trends in 2021?

Motion design and animation’s popularity has meant that techniques are constantly evolving to keep videos fresh and engaging. Here are some of our favourite trends for the year:

Morphing / seamless graphics 

Seamless motion graphic videos have been growing in demand due to their ability to tell or sell a story without a break. These videos require great timing and extensive planning due to the lack of physical cuts in your edit. If done well, these graphics can keep your audience captivated for a longer duration than traditionally cut animations. 

The Unbound Collection
The Co-Foundry

Looping videos / graphics / GIFs

Looping graphics have seen an increase on social media thanks to its repetitive, yet hypnotising nature. They are especially useful when a brand (such as Calm) wants to convey a sense of calmness or smoothness. These animations can also be exported as GIFs. This means that they can be placed online without taking up much space or loading time. 

BTS’ Butter trailer

Mixed media

Mixed media has penetrated many categories of content creation this year. We’re big fans of Vox Media’s style, popularised in its Netflix documentaries, branded content and explainer videos. This style uses digital manipulation to create an authentic mixed-media feel. This gives simplistic graphics a level of character by using techniques like a lower frame rate or synthetic film grain to create a lo-fi aesthetic. 

Vox Media’s videos use motion graphics, animation and still photography

Abstract minimalism 

Minimalist graphics can be extremely eye-catching due to their simplified style. In our example for food delivery app Buymie, the eye is easily led to certain parts of the image due to the lack of visual distractions. Two-toned palettes can be hugely effective for videos that want to connote a sense of simplicity and ease-of-use. 

Kinetic typography 

Kinetic typography does not rely on any audio to explain information. This is useful for social media videos where content is automatically viewed with sound-off. Kinetic typography uses motion to grab the viewers attention instead of relying on music or voiceover. The chosen motion can be extremely expressive in a concise space of time. This means a potentially huge amount of information can be conveyed quicker than a dialogue-led video.

Kinetic typography also works well with audio too. In this promo for Breaking Bad, powerful dialogue is backed by bold kinetic typography. The text animation is simple yet it interacts with the environment it is placed in.

Want to learn more about how motion graphics can be incorporated in to your video? Get in touch for a free video marketing consultation.

Saul Knight

Saul is a Video Content Creator at Skylark Media, and creative behind Skylark Originals' 'Why Our Digital Addiction Is Killing Our Planet'. His film, 'NHSPay15' was shortlisted for a Cinemagic Young Filmmaker Award in 2021.