Hearing the term “motion graphics” already gives us an idea or at least an assumption to what it is about. From the two words comprising it, motion to describe that these elements more, and graphics to inform us on the format being used. So to answer the question, “What is Motion Graphics?” The answer would be “a piece or pieces of footage or animation which involves morphing or movement.”

Every year, many trends of motion graphics and visual designs change and adapt to the evolving technology, and some adapt to the preferences of the audiences. Below is a list of some of this year’s best trends in motion graphics that you may want to check out, most especially if you are a designer looking for trends that you can incorporate to your graphics.

2D and 3D Hybrid


Over the recent years, you may notice that a lot of motion graphics designs have adapted to a comic book-like appearance, and this is actually the result from the combination of both 2D and 3D graphics, some may even refer to it as 2.5D even though the actual 2.5D animation is somewhat different.

Even in the gaming industry, the combination of 2D and 3D animation has been used in a lot of video games, most notably the early Doom titles, Street Fighters IV and V, and Parappa the Rapper. And for the film industry, there have been a lot, and we mean A LOT of animated movies that made use of both 2D and 3D graphics, with films such The Iron Giant, Treasure Planet, and The Black Cauldron, which many would consider as the very first full-length animated film that utilized a 2D and 3D hybrid animation.

Now, this type of animation has been used in far more projects other than video games and movies. Websites are already adapting to this trend, incorporating it to the scrolling system of a website, and this is referred to as parallax scrolling, which is an effect also used for slideshows. This may be a subtle effect on motion graphics, but you can definitely say that it can help in making your graphics stand out. If you are into Adobe After Effects when making your projects, you may also be interested in our list of the best After Effects plugins.

Blending CGI and Live-Action

Aside from the combination of 2D animation with 3D, there is also another trend that resulted from combining two totally different styles, and this is the blending of live-action footage with computer-generated imagery, otherwise known as CGI. While this is not really a new style, with movies in the past that combined cartoons with live-action such as Anchors Aweigh, which featured actor Gene Kelly dance with Jerry the Mouse, and Space Jam, which starred Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny.

Then again, the combination of CGI with live-action footage has long been used by the media, and this allows them to express even more, which is something that is nearly impossible to do with live-action elements alone. With CGI and the help of the constantly evolving technology, graphic designers can achieve virtually anything, and in the most convincing and realistic-looking imagery possible. And of course, people would be able to appreciate it more if it is realistic or relatable, and this is the reason why the blending of CG animation with live-action footage has become a trend.

Retro-Inspired Look


Here is another trend that has grown just over the recent years, and its popularity extends more than just on motion graphics but also for other aspects of designs. Retro-inspired themes have also been used on advertisement tools including flyers, brochures, and posters, and these designs never fail to capture people’s attention.

There is really something about retro and vintage designs that make them stand out even more than modern ones, and one reason is that it reminds us of the past, that making designs usually meant having to do a lot more than how designs are made nowadays. With the help of computers nowadays, plus the convenience of editing tools that can download or used online for free, it’s just a matter of clicks to be able to design something. This convenience allows even amateurs who have sufficient knowledge and skills be able to make professional-grade designs.

Back to retro designs, it’s safe to say that this iconic theme has made a comeback, and another reason is that they were a lot simpler back then but were also somewhat colorful. Speaking of simple designs, many of today’s illustrations have gone away from the heavy use of shadings to portray a layered look to the simpler, flat style. Compared to more modern designs, the retro theme has been proven more visually appealing and also very versatile. For inspiration, you may want to check out some of the today’s trendy artworks from Etsy.

Animated Illustrations

While we usually cannot say that simple illustration has become no longer trendy nowadays, but when compared to the animated ones, the latter has quickly become a trend in the world of designs, especially in the advertising aspect. Even on the Internet, animated illustrations have become part of the trends in Web designs. The reason behind this is somewhat similar to why film and television industries rely on computer-generated imagery, and it is because it allows them to express themselves even more.

Another advantage of using animated illustrations is you can perform a simplified storytelling in the least complicated way possible, and you won’t even need to exert too much effort. You can even see this in feature films and video games, being used as a flashback or intro sequence for the former and as cutscenes for the latter, and this is usually accompanied by a narration. When this style is utilized, it helps the audience focus less on the visuals and more on what is being discussed or narrated.

Clean and Minimalist Designs


With a reason closely similar to why retro designs have become a trend, many people nowadays prefer clean and simpler designs over the fancier ones, and this is because minimalist designs are easy on the eyes, and they are also easier to comprehend than the more complex ones that usually require analyzing.

Having minimalist designs is not only trendy in the advertising area of designs but also in other areas as well. In the digital world, many operating systems and devices have grown to adapt this theme, wherein their icons and logos have leaned more toward a flattering look with minimal or no use of shadings and embossed effects.

Clean designs are also being used in animated shows, as evidenced by the many Cartoon Network and Disney shows that include the Powerpuff Girls reboot, We Bare Bears, Gravity Falls, and Phineas and Ferb. Once again, a possible reason behind this trend is not only the fact that the design looks visually appealing and easy on the eyes, but they also force audiences to focus on the more important aspects. For more inspiring trends that may interest you, check out our list on what’s trending on Pinterest.

360-Degree Perspective


Back then, the panoramic perspective became highly popular that it also became a trend in many aspects of designs. But the only “issue” with panorama is that it is very limited, only allowing you to cover only up to 180-degrees. The panoramic style is also limited to photos only, that achieving it on video is nearly impossible.

While we’re not saying that the panoramic style is no longer relevant today, but with the introduction of the “perfect” 360-degree perspective, it allowed people to present something that can be seen from all points of view, and this helped them to show more things for their audiences. With the 360-degree perspective, it can be done for both still images and motion videos, which makes it even more superior to the panorama.

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