Why we need to keep using motion graphics as alternative ways to tell stories

I may have a degree in publication design, and my first love is anything that can be printed on paper, but I certainly recognize and appreciate the importance and beauty of good digital design. In this day and age, it is absolutely impossible for a brand to exist without having online engagement from its customers and being accessible via a laptop, phone or tablet. One aspect of digital design that is being leveraged more often is the use of motion graphics in animations.

I have always looked at and referred to graphic design in general as "visual storytelling." Whether it's printed on paper, clicked on with a mouse, swiped across or viewed on a screen, messages can be communicated in a variety of effective ways, across different types of platforms and developed via a multitude of mediums.

Regardless, the storytelling needs to have a beginning, middle and end that makes sense, be striking and resonating, have a call to action and stimulate said action from the reader or viewer. The advantage that motion graphics has over traditional print or website design is that they're easy to remember; they stimulate a conversation and even serve as forms of entertainment. They can deliver messages in ways that traditional design simply cannot. I've listed a few of those ways below:

  1. Motion graphics can help to keep a brand current. They are still considered cutting-edge and a newer form of design – if a brand (even an older one) is using them as a way to tell their stories, it makes them look relevant and modern.
  2. Motion graphics can bring life to a brand's messaging. Graphics, characters, scenes and words that are literally moving or speaking, can express emotion that can't be felt or seen in flat design. They help to give a face (and voice) to a brand.
  3. The storytelling can be achieved more simply and visually. A good amount of content and data can be broken up and showcased in ways that make sense to the viewer, can be experienced quickly, is easy to understand and is shareable, especially via social media. Viewers can help to continue telling the story, simply by clicking "share" — which allows them to participate in the user experience and its impact on others.
  4. They can be designed and presented for any type of messaging or form of expression – funny, serious or light-hearted. Motion graphics appeal to audiences of all ages. Children are attracted to "cartoon-style" pieces, while adults might appreciate more realistic depictions and images – through the use of real photography or vector icons.

Not too long ago, we developed a new project with one of our favorite clients, American Dairy Association Mideast (ADA.) ADA wanted to do something that hadn't been seen in the dairy community yet – to create a fun, colorful and educational animation to tell the story of how milk gets from the farm to your fridge.

We partnered with the folks at Tell Collective here in Columbus to make this idea a reality. I gathered fonts, a color palette, icons and vector files, communicated ADA's brand standards and provided some art direction to start — and Tell took it from there! Collaborating with motion graphic artists, a platform was developed that is , relevant and will be around for a while.

Overall, the visual appeal of the animation was achieved successfully using a bright and inviting color palette, fun graphics, sound, typography and statistics that make it engaging for older children, young or older adults. The information is presented in very simplistic ways, but with fresh imagery, movement and viewer inclusion.

Milk production is a subject that might be read or talked about in details difficult for the everyday consumer to understand, but not in ADA's motion graphic. Other brands' stories certainly fall under the same umbrella. If a certain message might seem difficult to comprehend, consider using animation as a way to explain it in an effortless, seamless and contemporary way.

So, without further ado, go check it out (right now!) here: