The 7 motion graphics trends to watch in 2020
The 'in' things sure to lure eyeballs and new clients alike
You've got to get ahead of the game. Tracking trends is important for us motion graphic designers because knowing what the design world is doing and why allows us to extrapolate to where it's going to be.
Generally speaking, anybody looking to produce cutting edge work for their clients knows that the fashions in our field are shaped by pop culture movements and recent innovations in the field of technology. However, there are always left-field surprises here and there. Join us now as we lay out (place tool if you will) the trends motion designers will be transitioning into in the coming months. You know, the stuff your competition is probably already onto.
The 3Dsplosion will continue
This was a no-brainer. 3D design is a bold new frontier for us because anything previously denied to a designer is always going to be adopted and used to near over-saturation levels in a very short time once it becomes (relatively) easy to implement.
That being said, you ought to get on board with this exciting new communication tool quickly, before client eyeballs tire of being inundated with ludicrously impactful shapes rotating and twizzling about on vivified presentations, commercials and the like.
Also, while we're on the topic, you should definitely expect more hybridization of traditional 2D elements and 3D. Typically this mixed production style manifests as something reminiscent of "paper cutout" style, a complex and strong digital collage visual.
Getting into this flavor of the month may require some rewiring of your brain. Generally speaking, designers aren't experimental enough when it comes to messing around with their text, a holdover from being trained – browbeaten if you will – into always rigidly constraining a text's proportions rather than eyeing it in freeform. 2019 is going to slip these chains and feature a great deal more free-flowing text.
Get stuck into your morphing right now, then. Twist, wrap, and snake whole sentences into transitory snail trails of information across your presentation. Better yet, marry this idea to the 3D concept above and make that extra dimension work for you by creating an alphanumeric odyssey that dazzles the observer.
Also, the beauty of motion graphics is we can distort the written word to our heart's content, providing you know-how to lead the viewer's eye, via visual hierarchy hotspots, to give the language and message a chance to sink in before it transitions off into something fairly unintelligible.
Get Hitched to Glitch
Now here's a trend that's great news for accident prone motion designer interns who spill coffee on company laptops, or folks who just own dodgy software that can't render a project worth a damn. Deliberate Screw Up Chic is very much in vogue.
That weird artifacting that defaces a large chunk of presentation real estate and makes the end-user's expensive monitor look like they've bought a 'Sorny' brand CRT that's prone to conniption fits? Yep, intentional design. That weird text shift that happens fast enough to warrant a light seizure warning and also makes your client wonder if you're trying to slip in subliminal satanic messages? Meant it.
Distortion and glitching certainly aren't new concepts in motion design. 2018 sure was rife with it. But we just can't see this trend going away anytime soon. The attention-commanding nature of it is too strong to deny. Also, controlled imperfection has that inexplicable quality of being both retro and futuristic at the same time, which makes it perfect for just about any brief.
When we think of liquid motion, our mind is drawn back to when it was delivered with aplomb in a mainstream production. The awe-inspiring moment in question was when Homer Simpson was tripping on hallucinogenic Guatemalan peppers in 1997. If you never saw that iconic episode, the visual is best described as our hero “hoping he hasn't brained his damage” as his body and facial features are fluidly distorting and reshaping whenever he moves. That's liquid motion, folks, and it's basically timeless.
Quite popular 10 years ago, Liquid Motion has witnessed something of a renaissance of late, possibly because modern advancements have made this time-consuming technique easier to achieve and more available. We therefore predict a season of psychedelic smeared shapes that splash into new forms.
Effective liquid motion animation also knows when to throttle down to highlight peak poses of people mid-action. Or, you know, to capture an especially weird pretzel twist of an impossible object in flight. What gets drawn all depends on how many Quetzalacatenango chili peppers you've swallowed.
Sorry, 16:9 ratio. You've had a good run, but the world is changing. Until those fancy folding phones become widely adopted and less expensive than an ivory backscratcher, we can't see this trend going away any time soon.
A sizeable chunk of your audience will consume content via a standard phone screen that's held vertically, and you need to plan accordingly for your animations. We're certainly not suggesting landscape is to be abandoned altogether overnight; However, vertical seems to be an area not too many of your competitors are taking into account. That smells like opportunity to us.
It seems this trend has risen back into prominence since season 3 of True Detective. If you're not a patron of this police procedural, maybe fire up YouTube and drink in the mesmerising opening titles to see what we mean. It's awash in double exposure, overlapping imagery that's low on motion but expertly placed and colored to make the left and right parts of your brain work to see the full picture.
Though this is certainly not a revolutionary technique, it proves that the tried and true static 2D stuff can become slick if you can really dial in your right pan and zoom speeds. And we're just scratching the multi-layered surface here, too. Double exposure also works a treat when artfully combining text and images.
Static logos are so last year, darling. Expect a larger demand from clients out to modernise their monikers with a bit of locomotion (or “logomotion” as it were). With an increasing number of more traditional companies moving into the digital/social media space, there's going to be a need to lure eyeballs to old things in bold new ways. That said, expect to go nuts with your shaping tools as you take perhaps otherwise unimaginative chunks of text and spin, warp, expand, shuffle or morph it intelligently within a relatively short time duration.