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What is Motion Design (Motion Graphics)?

For those of us in Motion Design, we all share a common experience.

We tell our families and friends our job titles, and then we get blank stares.

So, what exactly is a Motion Designer (Motion Graphics Artist)?

Or better yet, what exactly is Motion Design (MotionGraphics)?

Building MoGraph Mentor’s curriculum forced me to seriously consider this question.

Teaching something from the ground up requires a detailed task analysis of the role.

My research brought me to formulate a sentence that I’ve now used, probably, a thousand times, since the program started.

Motion Design is the combination of threedistinct disciplines : Design, Animation & Film-making.

This is as simply as I can put it, while staying accurate to the history and formation of this new job title. Motion Designers work with a combination of disciplines that pre-date their job title.

This new job title is so useful in an age where digital screens (and content for those screens) are a big part of modern society. Motion Designers take the core visual arts disciplines (animation & design) and combined it with the evolving-linear discipline of film-making.

Motion Designers are people who spend their time obsessed with sights, sounds and timing.

If your eyeballs are watching something on a digital screen, there is a chance a motion designer was involved in the process in some way.

So, how do I explain it to a layman?

Because the job title is so expansive it’s best to break it down into economic applications.

This is where we can help our non-technical family and friends getter a clearer picture about what we do in society.

Motion Design is most commonly used in either the Entertainment or Advertising sector of the economy.

Entertainment : Film Titles, Graphics work with in films or television (think Iron Man’s HUD), Broadcast Graphics (Sportscenter Titles & GFX).

Advertising : Web Ad’s, TV commercials, Digital Display Boards (Baseball Games, Live Events), Mobile Ad’s

We go to work when someone wants to sell something or entertain someone. (Of course our work isn’t limited to doing this, but this is a where a vast majority of economic value comes from for motion designers.

Bottom Line

We exist as part of this larger tradition of Art, Photography, Film, Design & Communication. The challenge of the modern Motion Designer to is to find powerful and visually beautiful ways to communicate ideas at multiple levels., whether we are entertaining, informing or inspiring.

A Motion Designer is a mutli-disciplinary artist with a very bright future in modern western society.

Shameless Plug For my Motion Design School

If you’re interested in learning these disciplines, then you have many options. One option is MoGraph Mentor. MoGraph Mentor is a nine month intensive conducted online, so you can take classes anywhere with an internet connection.

originally posted on

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