Originally published on “Matters” by Designit


What is motion design? And more importantly, what can it do for projects? Who better to ask than our designers themselves. Over to you!


Not ‘just’ animation — Phil Hall, Content Producer

What do you mean by motion design?” It’s something we get a lot from people we work with. As a Producer in video and visual content projects, I can understand that — because when I started I used to ask the same question myself. “Do you mean movement design?” Or, “…surely it’s just animation?”And that’s where that little J-word jumps up and bites you…


On the face of it, motion design can be just animation. But for us at Designit, it has a different meaning and takes different forms. With motion design — and a motion designer — you can collaborate and explore. They’ll help you imagine and realize different ways of telling the same story. In pitch films, commercials, vision pieces, visual identities, Virtual-, Augmented- and Mixed-Reality, explainer videos, apps, website interactions, sound design, prototyping… and so much more. That’s why it’s so interesting to work with.


Bringing a concept to life — Jacob Vidkjær, Motion Designer

One of my personal favorite projects is definitely Northside, for a music festival in Denmark. We had a great time creating the identity and came up with a new concept for the festival we called Duality. Simply put, there’s a “good side” and a “bad side” of every Northside go-er. We created a very light, clean and fresh universe for the good side, and a more dark, blood-red and mysterious one for the bad side. We made a lot of hand-drawn elements for these, and this movie was the first time bringing them to life. The fluid animation style to blend the elements together was a challenge but I’m very happy about the result. When you watch, you just get the idea of duality immediately. The music was also made from scratch, and I put a lot of energy into creating two different pieces of music, merging them into one.



Recruiting with motion — Mari Eline Raste Amundsen, Brand Designer

In search of great new UX, tech, digital and brand interns to join the Oslo team, we invited students for a speed dating night in our office. To promote the event we used Designit’s brand — with a twist. To attract the right target group, we shared the event using Facebook and Instagram as well as sending out emails to our personal networks. Motion was a central part of the design, stopping thumbs in their tracks when students scrolled through their feeds.



The animations made the event playful, attractive and noticeable, and had a really positive effect on the turn-up. This was the first time we invited students for speed dating at the office and it was a huge success — we got our new intern, and made Designit more visible for up-and-coming designers in the market.


Shaping our new reality — Phil Hall, Content Producer

It’s difficult to remember when we first started talking about AR, VR, and XR. And yet they are now integrated in our lives. Look no further than Snapchatand IKEA for two everyday examples. There’s no doubt that, in some form, this tech is changing the way we live, work and play. And where there’s humans, there’s a need for design.


Design of the service, offering and intentions are key, along with context and a load of other considerations, like payment. However, visually — emotionally even — we also need purpose-driven motion design in the mix.


Interactive or passive, what we see onscreen changes our perspective on the world, allowing us to explore and appreciate it in different ways. Keiichi Matsuda shows us that to an extreme in 2016’s HyperReality. How should the features and interfaces act and look? How should they interact with each other? And how should we interact with them?



For me, motion design has a key role to play here. It not only allows you to interact with the reality in front of you, but it makes sure that what happens in front of you is useful and worthwhile. Gives us better than we already have. That’s what we’re seeing currently — a shift from simply slapping pretty visuals into a design, to creating motion-led formats with meaning. With a story! Shaping new immersive experiences with motion has never been so interesting in my mind.


Creating a human experience — Cameron Winchester, Designer

For digital tools to have a true human experience, we must consider the use of motion. A human experience should consider how a person consumes information and reacts to the environment. Digital tools should reflect human behavior and match human expectations. When we practice motion design, we take in inspiration from the real, physical world; when you interact with an object, there’s weight, there’s resistance, there’s motion in the reaction. We can apply these same principles to the digital tools we design to make them feel more real — or more human.



They might both just be dots, but motion design makes the dot on the top feel more friendly, and the dot on the bottom more sleek. 


Emotional connection in motion — Thomas Astrup, Senior Motion Designer

In a time where authenticity is king, we want to get to know a brand. Motion design can bring us closer, create a deeper connection, and help us really feel the brand.


When we work on a new brand identity at Designit, we use motion design a lot. We use it to show the behaviours behind the brand and the universe it belongs in. And sum up the thoughts and process behind a logo — since the logo sums up the brand.



Of course, the plan is to tell this story to the world, but first — at least in an agency — you need to start by telling the story to the client.


The days where you just present a client with a font, a colour and a logo are over. There’s nothing like pushing play on a movie at the end of a presentation, and experiencing the clients’ reaction when they see their brand summed up in a movie for the first time — and what it makes them feel. Overwhelming pride, and that uncomparable hell yeah feeling.



How does your brand sound? — Jacob Vidkjær, Motion Designer

Lunar Way was a very special project to me. We had such a great energy creating this. The identity had been in the making for a couple of weeks and they needed something that could launch their new fintech brand and kick it off right. I’m part of our brand team, and my field of work covers basically every aspect of animation and filmmaking, including sound. So besides animating the whole thing, I composed the music for the film as well. If you listen closely you can maybe hear that we had great fun in sampling coins, money counters and flipping bills, and used these recordings as percussion elements to add to the drums. Composing from scratch gives you full control of the soundscape and allows you to customize everything to match the visuals — which takes your output to a higher level.


We exported the final movie end-of-day Friday — and Monday morning it was all over the internet. Super cool to see how quick things move when you’re working with small-scale startups! Within the first week it reached +25,000 views on Youtube.



Want to know more? Drop Phil and the designers a line at phil.hall@designit.com

Phil Hall

Phil Hall

Content Producer, Designit


Phil Hall is a Content Producer at Designit, a global strategic design firm, part of the leading technology company, Wipro.

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