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Every motion design project starts the same way. Staring at a blank page, pondering how exactly to get started. Then, putting pen to paper – whether metaphorical or literal! – is the first step in earnest. It must be accompanied by an understanding of what needs to be conveyed, though.

Sometimes, for example, relatable character design lies at the heart of illustration for motion design. In other instances, a more abstract approach may be necessary, with no attempt to personify the content. Nevertheless, context remains at the core of the visual language.

The illustration comes in many forms, from educational and straight-faced to whimsical and wacky – in addition to everything in between. At the illustration for motion design phase, the only limit is the artist's imagination. All that matters is that the illustration carries a clear message.

The emphasis on this video is how visuals have a range of languages, just like speech. For example, attempting to communicate with a Russian speaker in Spanish will invariably lead to mixed messages, and the same applies to visual language. Throughout this video, motion design artists explain how you can embrace and understand visual language and perspective to find a style that suits your brand.

Photo credit: Taika Waititi by Polyester Studio

All motion design begins with an illustration

If we compare motion design to building a house, the eventual animation would be installing the roof. Firm, reliable foundations need to be laid first in the form of illustration.

Awesome tools for a motion designer's workflow

Design for Motion

This book covers the essentials to learn motion graphics from typography to compositing and visual storytelling. It also has beautiful motion graphic examples!


Every motion design artist should have a sketchbook handy to brainstorm or sketch ideas before jumping onto the computer :)

Wacom Tablet

A good graphic tablet makes all the difference for a motion design artist, especially when making complex storyboards and styleframes.

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Featured Guests

Jasper Hilgers


Sylvia Yang


Wim Dijksterhuis



The idea of choosing typography for motion design can quickly become overwhelming. However, learning how to pick the perfect font will significantly boost the appeal of animation.

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