Best Motion Graphics Trends in Design for 2017

Animation has always been a crucial part of storytelling. It’s safe to assume that from 2016 on, designers will be looking at ways to create animations that require less time to create but have a more attractive design.

So, you can expect to see a mix of 2D and 3D motion graphics that create the perfect balance between depth and flatness for a unique visual aesthetic this year.

As web technologies advance, designers will have to abandon Flash in favor of HTML, CSS and JS motion graphics, with most websites using animation to enhance the user experience as well as user interfaces (UI).

Another emerging trend are logos that can be translated into icons, animated GIFS, or even emojis.

Finally, animated documentaries have also gained in popularity this year. The future is definitely bright for motion graphics as a whole.

Here are the hottest motion graphics trends from this year you should keep an eye out for.

Seamless Transitions

Seamless transitions are nothing new nor revolutionary when it comes to motion graphics but they have gained in popularity only recently. They create a feeling of fluidity and allow one scene to flow into the next without any interruptions or cuts between them.

The video below features work by the Hudson Rouge agency created for The Lincoln Motor Company and is a great example of seamless transitions, fluid motion, and an excellent use of negative space.

Animated Documentaries & Illustrations

We live in a time overwhelmed by various social and political issues that affect the whole world, not just a specific region. Animated documentaries and illustrations have seen great success in raising awareness and telling stories that would otherwise remain untold, especially when they are paired with a strong narrative. They can also provide a different perspective and make us see the problem in a whole new light.

The following example by Fons Schiedon provides an interesting take on the global issue of poverty.

Simplified Iconography

For a while now, the design community favored a simplified, stroke-based design, which is perceived to be modern, effective, and visually appealing.

When it comes to logos, the simpler the logo, the more it can be used in new and creative ways to build brand awareness. Static logos are slowly fading away, giving rise to clean and minimal designs that can be turned into completely different forms of art.

animated logo
Flat Logo Opener by bma-prod

Simple iconography can also be used in short promotional messages as well as opening titles, keynotes, and more.

Mixing 3D and 2D

What was once an uncommon occurrence, is now becoming more and more prevalent. Many motion graphics today successfully combine 2D and 3D to create a more graphic, stylized, and illustrated look.

Usually, 3D objects are placed in a 2D space to provide a bird’s eye view of the big picture. Heavy use of angles also makes this technique suitable to demonstrate layers. The end results are complex visuals featuring constant movement to narrate the story.

Consider the following example of a successful mix of 2D and 3D:

Kinetic Typography

It’s a well-known fact that typography can make or break a design. As such, it’s only natural that print design is finding its way on the screen. Motion designers are required more and more to produce beautiful works of art in every frame.

Whether it’s used as an homage to a famous movie or a song or to add interest to a promotional piece, kinetic typography is, no doubt, a work of art.

It can also be used to raise awareness in a subtle way about issues that are not always easy to talk about.

The following example is a combined effort of ad agency YCN Studio and LA-based production company Buck. Together they produced a powerful animation for a UK-based counselling services, Childline. The animation encourages children to talk about and report sexual abuse.


Although GIFs aren’t a new thing, they have recently gained traction after Facebook and Twitter allowed embedding and sharing GIFS on their respective platforms. They are a great way to convey a message in a concise manner and are often used to show emotions and add a touch of humor.


Blending live-action elements with CGI components is a great way to give the audience a sense of wonder and intrigue. This concept is extremely powerful when you’re trying to explain how a complex design came to life. It makes it easier to understand and appear more human. When we can see how different parts work together to create this complex design, we are able to appreciate it more. It’s a powerful marketing technique that makes it easy to make our target audience fall in love with our brand.

Retro Look

Motion design trends often follow trends that are dominating our everyday lives. In recent years, a retro look has been gaining popularity, especially when it comes to interior design and fashion. When it comes to motion design, it relies heavily on nostalgia to leave a unique and lasting impression on the viewer as is the case with the following example:

No matter what the current trends are, it’s important to remember that motion graphics are just another way to convey the desired message to our target audience. Therefore, keeping the message and target audience is crucial as not all trends or styles will be applicable to all clients.

As such, your work as a designer should always embody the right style to communicate the message in the most effective way. Hopefully, knowledge of these trends will help you to accomplish that.


About the Author Brenda Stokes Barron

Brenda Stokes Barron is a professional writer and blogger and The Digital Inkwell is her personal brand. You can often find her typing furiously at her local Starbucks.