Motion Graphics

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Motion graphic design has been considered a speciality skill, usually handled by artists that concentrate on designing for television broadcast or films. Within the next 10 years, not only will the majority of graphic designers work with time-based media,1 but the general population will associate graphic design more with moving imagery on television screens or computer monitors. The current association of graphic design as images and text printed on paper, clothing, or billboards will remain, but the commonly held belief that graphic design refers just to static imagery will disappear completely.

To those following the latest trends of design and technology, the growing presence of motion graphics on television, the Internet, and forms of entertainment, such as DVDs and video games, is an obvious and logical progression from static graphics. Even so, there are design professionals that predict a less optimistic future for motion graphics, due to economic factors, and increased ease for novice computer users to create visually stunning graphics with little or no training. However, my prediction is that the next evolution affecting graphic designers will be the expansion beyond static imagery to designs that change over time. I will offer evidence for my prediction, and illustrate how the growth of motion graphics is on a parallel track of related disciplines that have grown from small niches to major occupations. A brief history of motion graphics will be given, as well as summaries of the evolution of related disciplines such as desktop publishing and design for the World Wide Web. The opinions of professional motion graphic designers obtained by first hand interviews will also be presented. I will then address what my prediction means for today’s designers who would like to prepare for the future.

1. Time-based media refers to forms of communication that must be experienced over time in order to be fully understood. For example, songs, which cannot...
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