10 Essential Motion Graphics Styles for Any Project

Discover the best motion graphics styles for your brand. Schedule a free call with our strategist for custom advice and a proposal.

10 Essential Motion Graphics Styles for Any Project

If you're looking for motion graphics for your marketing or website, it's crucial to choose the right style.

While some styles are quite popular, there are many more styles and opportunities to enhance your results than you might think.

Additionally, some styles may perfectly align with your brand and assets, while others might not fit at all.

Read on as we break down the various styles of motion graphics available!

1. 2D Animation

2D animation is the most popular type of motion graphics. This popularity stems from the fact that most of the web exists in a 2D or flat dimension, making 2D animation versatile for any goal, including explainer videos, Ui animations, social media ads, and more.

Moreover, 2D animation offers the best value for its price. It's flexible across different dimensions, from the classic horizontal format to vertical formats suited for social media stories or other vertical-friendly platforms.

Examples:

  • Explainer videos
  • TV shows
  • animated ads
  • brand asset animations
  • animated loops

Use Cases:

  • Marketing
  • educational content
  • app interfaces.
Useful Resource:
30 Awesome 2d Animated Business Video Examples

2. 3D Animation

The peak for 3D animation was in the 2000s. It brought something new and incredibly futuristic to the table, leading many to believe that 2D animation would become extinct.

While this was partly true in certain areas like the film industry and cartoons, 2D animation still holds strong in many other contexts. However, 3D animation remains irreplaceable for specific applications such as product demonstrations, prototypes, future real estate projects, and complex mechanisms.

The realistic and three-dimensional nature of 3D animation makes any dream idea tangible for the audience, turning concepts into visually engaging and understandable presentations.

Examples:

  • Movies like Pixar films
  • architectural visualizations.

Use Cases:

  • Film industry
  • product demonstrations
  • virtual reality.

3. Whiteboard Animation

While I don't recommend using this style for explainers or other marketing content, whiteboard animation still has great use cases. It is an excellent choice for educational content and corporate training because it replicates the communication style we're accustomed to from our school days.

Moreover, whiteboard animation is more affordable than other motion graphics styles, making it a good option for long-form content where cost-effectiveness is key.

Examples:

  • tutorial videos.

Use Cases:

  • Educational content
  • corporate training.

4. Kinetic Typography

Kinetic typography is the most affordable motion graphics style. You can even create videos in this style using online tools or templates.

However, don't underestimate the power of kinetic typography. It works perfectly for many scenarios, and if you're creating serious content, I still recommend hiring a professional motion graphics team. They know how to make it perfect and enhance your results with the right tempo, transitions, and edits, which can make a real difference.

Examples:

  • Lyric videos
  • animated book trailers
  • social media ads
  • market big screens (like the Nasdaq tower).

Use Cases:

  • Marketing
  • informational videos
  • enhancing storytelling.

5. Abstract and Experimental Motion Graphics

Once, a wise animator I’ve known all my life said, "People who cannot create something that makes any sense, create something and then say, 'This is abstract.'" While I agree with him 100%, I must admit that some true artists have brilliant ideas and create real masterpieces in this style.

Abstract animation, when done right, can be a powerful way to convey emotions, concepts, and stories in a way that more literal styles cannot. It challenges the viewer's perception and invites them to interpret the message in their own unique way.

Examples:

  • Visual music videos
  • avant-garde films

Use Cases:

  • Artistic expression
  • music videos
  • unique branding.

6. Isometric Motion Graphics

Isometric animation is one of our favorite styles. Why? Because it provides a 3D effect to viewers while being significantly more affordable than true 3D animation.

Many times, customers come to us wanting a 3D look but have budget constraints. I often suggest, “Hey guys, what about fake 3D?” Trust me, it works every time. People love achieving that 3D look within their limited budget.

However, don't think of isometric animation as just a cheap replacement for 3D. It's a sophisticated style in its own right. Many brands incorporate this look into their corporate identity, and motion graphics studios can create stunning visuals using this style.

Examples:

  • Video game graphics
  • technical illustrations.

Use Cases

  • Infographics
  • architectural designs
  • instructional videos.

7. Liquid Motion Graphics

Liquid animations are something you might not notice often, but they have a wide range of use cases. From dynamic logo animations and cool transitions to overlays on live-action videos, liquid animations add a unique touch. The latter is becoming extremely popular for social media and brand content. Try this technique, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how it enhances your videos and boosts engagement.

Examples:

  • Dynamic logo animations
  • abstract art.

Use Cases:

  • Overlays on live videos
  • brand identity
  • artistic projects
  • dynamic transitions in videos.

8. Heads-Up Display (HUD) Graphics

If you're looking for a futuristic look like in sci-fi movies, HUD (Heads-Up Display) motion graphics is the way to go.

Best known in video games for providing real-time information, HUD animations are also widely used in marketing videos, TV shows, and movies.

In marketing, HUD animations can display stats, product features, or navigation aids, keeping viewers engaged.

In movies, these animations often show a character's tech view, like a pilot’s cockpit display or a soldier’s tactical screen.

You've likely seen characters interacting with floating interfaces in advertisements or the Iron Man movies.

Examples:

  • Video games
  • movies like Iron Man.

Use Cases:

  • User interfaces
  • augmented reality applications
  • sci-fi themed media.

9. Plexus animation

Plexus animation is a visually stunning and highly intricate style that creates a network of points and lines to form complex geometric patterns. Although it is considered a separate style, it is usually used as an add-on to projects, serving as a visual effect rather than the main focus, as it would be extremely challenging to create an entire video using only plexus animations.

This style also has a 3D feel, making it perfect for tech-focused content, as it gives a sophisticated, futuristic look reminiscent of neural networks and digital connectivity. Despite its complexity, After Effects offers a great plugin that makes creating stunning plexus animations easier and allows for seamless integration into your projects.

For example, Virax reached out to us with their NASDAQ tower project. They needed something stunning and exclusive to showcase their advanced technology, but they had extremely tight deadlines. We created this video using plexus and 3D animations, and it was reported to be one of the best and most spectacular videos ever depicted on the NASDAQ tower.

Examples:

  • Network visualizations
  • abstract art
  • dynamic logo animations.

Use Cases:

  • Tech presentations
  • corporate videos
  • branding
  • background effects in videos
  • artistic projects.

Whether you're working on a corporate video, a tech presentation, or a creative project, plexus animations can elevate your visuals and captivate your audience.

10. Honorable Mentions

We could continue this list endlessly, as there are many more styles and techniques in motion graphics. However, many of these are variations or subcategories of the styles we've already mentioned. If you're learning motion graphics, it's useful to know these terms:

Parallax Scrolling: A technique where background images move slower than foreground images, creating a sense of depth.

Glitch Animation: An intentional use of digital distortion and errors to create a unique, edgy aesthetic.

Minimalist Motion Graphics: Simple, clean animations that focus on minimal design elements, emphasizing clarity and elegance.

Character Animation: Animation focused on bringing characters to life with personality and expression, often used in storytelling.

VFX (Visual Effects): Combining live-action footage with computer-generated effects to create seamless and spectacular visuals.

Final words

Choosing the right style of motion graphics for your marketing or website is crucial. As we've explored, each style offers unique benefits and can significantly enhance your content. From the versatility of 2D animation to the sophistication of plexus animations, there's a style for every need and budget.

If you're unsure which style will best achieve your goals, don't worry. Schedule a free call with our video strategist to get actionable advice and a custom proposal tailored to your needs. Let us help you bring your vision to life with the perfect motion graphics solution.

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