Motion Graphics vs. Animation – How to Differentiate?

Motion Graphics vs. Animation – How to Differentiate?

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Are you trying to choose between motion graphics and Animation for your project? They have similarities, but understanding the differences can significantly impact your end product.

While both use visuals to communicate in ways words cannot, they vary in application and objectives.

In this blog post, we’ll explore each discipline and cover creating them, their use in brand Marketing or performance marketing, and more.

Get the most value from animated visuals in your campaigns!

What Is Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics is a form of Animation that combines typography, graphic design, and video production techniques to create visually appealing and informative visuals.

It uses animated elements and graphics to convey complex information or messages engagingly and dynamically. Motion graphics are commonly used in advertising, marketing, education, and informational content.

One of the critical features of motion graphics is its ability to seamlessly blend visuals with audio, creating an immersive and engaging experience. This allows for creation of dynamic and engaging videos that effectively communicate, capture attention, and leave a lasting impression on the viewer.

What Are the Differences Between Motion Graphics and Animation

Motion GraphicsAnimation
Motion graphics usually involve animating abstract objects, text, and other graphic design elements to add visual interest.Animation employs characters to narrate a story and guide the audience on an emotive adventure.
Motion graphics visually depict complex ideas, particularly big and abstract ones that are difficult to explain using words or still images.Animation can breathe life into characters, portraying emotional stories with creativity and artistic flair.
Creating motion graphics is typically simpler than animation because they demand less time and resources.Creating animation is a more complex process compared to motion graphics. It requires generating lifelike movements, expressions, and interactions for the characters.
Motion graphics are frequently utilized for information or promotion, like infographics, video transitions, logo animations, and more.Animation is frequently utilized for entertainment and education, like cartoons, movies, games, and more.

Motion graphics and Animation are two related but distinct techniques used in visual storytelling. While both involve moving images to convey messages, they differ in several ways.

Animation creates the illusion of motion by rapidly displaying a sequence of slightly different static images. Animations can be simple or elaborate, ranging from basic activities to intricate movements and actions. They are used in movies, TV shows, video games, and advertising.

On the other hand, motion graphics typically involve simpler shapes and designs. They are less complex than animations, which can depict fully imagined worlds, characters, and storylines through multiple frames and movements.

In other words, motion graphics and Animation offer different levels of complexity in visual storytelling.

The Basics of Motion Graphics Animation – What You Need to Know?

Motion graphics use different visual elements like text, images, video, and shapes to breathe life into a message or story. Motion branding graphic design videos combine Animation and graphic design to create visually captivating and interactive content.

Unlike traditional Animation, motion graphics animation doesn’t aim to imitate reality. Instead, it takes on an illustrative approach with symbolic and metaphorical movements.

What are the Types of Motion Graphics Animations?

Motion graphics animations are digital animations that combine graphics, text, and sound to create a multimedia experience. There are different types of motion graphics animations used in various industries:

2D Animation

This involves moving illustrations or graphics in a 2D space. It’s commonly used in educational, explainer, and ads.

3D Animation

Created using computer software to generate objects, characters, and environments in a 3D space. Popular in movies, video games, and TV shows.

Stop Motion Animation

Technique involving a series of still photos with slight changes compiled to create motion. They are used in Claymation videos, shows, and movies.

Whiteboard Animation

Drawing images or text on a whiteboard while being filmed in real-time. They are used for educational content, training, and marketing.

Kinetic Typography

Combines motion graphics with typography for visually appealing text. They are used in movie titles, ads, and music videos.

Infographic Animation

Communicating complex data and statistics engaging and visually interestingly. They are used in presentations, educational videos, and marketing material.

Tips for Making an Engaging Motion Graphics Video

When creating a motion graphics video, it’s essential to consider your target audience. Here are some tips for creating engaging videos: use clear and straightforward language, express your message creatively, and tell a compelling story with captivating visuals.

Additionally, ensure your message is concise and clear, focus on storytelling, and include appropriate music and sound effects.

Finally, aim for an optimal video length of 60-90 seconds to maintain viewer attention.

Common Mistakes People Make When Making Motion Graphics Videos

Creating a motion graphics video can involve mistakes, such as a lackluster script, excessive text, or clumsy transitions.

Two notable blunders to avoid are producing an unoriginal video and conveying an unclear message. Additionally, prematurely releasing a video or neglecting proper planning can result in a subpar outcome.

Examples of Motion Graphics Animations & Videos

Motion graphics, animations, and videos are a versatile and engaging way to convey messages and tell stories. They combine video’s visual impact with Animation’s storytelling power, making them accessible for bringing any news to life. Here are examples of different types:

Explainer Videos

Short, animated videos that simplify complex concepts. They’re used in marketing, advertising, education, training, and more. Explainer videos feature simple illustrations, clear narration, and a modern look.


Popular motion graphics using visually appealing charts, graphs, and elements to communicate information. They’re effective in content marketing, social media, and presentations, breaking down complex data into bite-sized pieces.

Animated Logos

Short videos that bring a company or brand’s logo to life. They make a solid first impression in video intros and outros. Animated logos range from elegant to dynamic, depending on the brand.

Title Sequences

Openings of films, TV shows, or video games, setting the tone for the work. Motion graphics create visually striking title sequences, capturing the essence and engaging viewers. Designs can be simple or intricate with multiple layers of Animation.

Motion graphics, animations, and videos are powerful tools for creating captivating content. Their flexibility, versatility, and ability to simplify complex information make them valuable for any content creator.


Motion graphics and Animation involve manipulating images and pictures to tell stories or convey messages. However, there are significant distinctions between the two. Motion graphics use text, shapes, and ideas to create visually appealing designs, often for branding or marketing.

These graphics are utilized in videos or presentations to communicate messages in engaging and dynamic ways. On the other hand, Animation creates moving images or characters, commonly for entertainment or storytelling.

While both can be employed in branding and marketing, motion graphics are usually associated with performance marketing, whereas Animation is more frequently used in storytelling .

Chicago animation studios produce animated videos and visuals for branding and marketing campaigns, while motion graphics are employed across various platforms.

In summary, although motion graphics and Animation have similarities, their differences can be seen in their specific applications.


Are GIFs considered motion graphics?

Yes, GIFs are viral and creative forms of motion graphics. The term GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format, and it was created by an American software writer in 1987.

Is logo animation a type of motion graphics?

Logo animation, also known as animated logos, involves the addition of motion graphics or Animation to a design. When animating a logo, it is essential to consider the values and purpose of the company, ensuring that these ideas are effectively conveyed in the Animation.

Is Cinema 4D used for motion graphics?

Graphics on the go! With the Cinema 4D MoGraph toolset, motion graphics artists can access various powerful tools that simplify the creation of multiple elements, from flying logos to abstract effects.