Whether you are a beginner or an experienced motion designer, we can all use a little inspiration to get our creative juices flowing.

The realm of motion design is a vast reservoir of insight from which you might draw inspiration. To guide you in your journey, we have compiled a list of some of the more exciting trends that you may incorporate into your motion design game. The desire and demand to innovate and expand the possible application of animation make the future of motion graphics look much brighter.

1. Kinetic typography

Kinetic typography was once only seen in the magical world of film and TV series title sequences. It wasn’t often seen elsewhere because of how difficult it was to develop such dynamic text with limited tools directly supporting it.

Today, its enticing appearance led designers to experiment beyond and has become an essential part of motion graphics! We see this animation trend of kinetic typography practically everywhere, from websites and apps to social media commercials and more. Breaking the rules has enabled the letters to stretch, bend, twist and even morph, resulting in a near-3D letter effect! The possibilities for dynamic movements are almost limitless - the only limitation is your imagination.

Source: “Loading 3D Text” by Sachin

2. Animated logos

The only way to succeed in the growing battle for attention is to stand out. Thus, many companies have attempted to find the best way to increase their brand recognition and identity. One of the most interesting ways designers have come up with was to add dimension to something as simple as their logo!

A well-animated logo can help enhance brand recall. It gives the sense that the company is more innovative, on-trend and unique. It can also be a way to tell the audience a story about themselves within a matter of a few seconds. The iconic Meta logo is an example of animation, where the company created the new symbol as a constant loop that morphs and takes on varied meanings depending on the viewer's viewpoint point.

Animated Meta logo
Source: Meta

3. Retro motion

When it comes to styles, 2023 brings back a blast from the 1990s retro-inspired designs. Compared to modern designs, retro designs evoke nostalgic memories that lead to higher customer engagement. It can attract a broader audience - from an aging population and the young public who love such vintage designs.

Source: “Landscape” by LifeSigner

4. Restrictive color palettes

For the next animation trend we look at colors! Rather than using a color scheme that includes multiple hues, this minimalist approach may say much more with less. Having a selection of a few well-chosen colors can help create a sense of uniformity and style in animation. This approach is common with companies, as it allows them to portray a clear identity and style to their audience. So, embracing constraints could come in handy.

Source: "Office" by Priyanshu Rijhwani

5. Thin lines

Lines are one of the basic building blocks of animation. They provide clear definitions of shapes and a direction to the animation. Graphic designers have been leaning towards making their animation look like real hand-drawing pictures by using super thin and distinctive line work, making it one of the most popular animation styles to be around.

The use of thin lines can be often found for professional purposes such as in a business setting. Companies use this simple yet elegant approach in their explainer promotional videos and marketing visuals in order to convey information in a clear and distinct way.  It gives an incredible look and most importantly keeps the viewer hooked until the end.

Source: “Dragon Fly” by Timir Deb Nath

6. Grain effects

The grain effect is one of the tools artists use in their illustrations to make them look raw and authentic. As opposed to shiny, fine-tuned animations, a little grain texture reads closely to the natural real-world surfaces and textures. This extra depth screams a homely vibe, which many viewers find welcoming. This animation trend creates an eye-catching effect that can also help to stand out from others.

Source: “Loading Granulated” by Jordan Collao

7. Merging 2D and 3D

Designers have explored ways to mix 2D and 3D elements in their storytelling. Blending the two aspects has become easier with the help of current technology. More realistic 3D illustrations and animation are being combined with paper cutout 2D graphics. Integrating these elements together creates a seamless attention-grabbing method that captivates the viewers. So, Is there a future for 2D animation? Despite the trending 3D, this shows that 2D still has space in the future.

Source: Motion Design School

8. Even more 3D

Despite the presence of combined 2D and 3D content, 3D animation itself stands alone as a prominent trend. The use of 3D animation and motion design has grown dramatically over time for good reason. It can showcase and open doors to telling stories in a realistic  or stylized fun creative manner while also eliciting emotions. As computing power and rendering capability increase, these formats may become more prevalent and is yet to grow further.

Source: “3D Hello” by 3D Designs by Irfan M.

9. Morphing

Morphing is an effect that transforms one shape or element into another in a seamless flow. The continuity of the motion graphics makes us want to watch the effect until it ends. During the late 1980s and 90s, it was originally used by Hollywood directors and special effects teams for VFX. However, this strategy is currently applied in a variety of areas, including logos and images on websites.

Source: “Morphing animation” by Daniel Bogdanov‌‌

10. Isometric shapes

Isometric drawings are 2D representations of 3D elements. It employs lines drawn on the same scale for each axis, creating the illusion of 3D perspective.  This is commonly used in technical drawings of houses and buildings, giving the audience the impression that they are looking down from a bird’s eye view. Isometric animation can be used to produce dynamic visualizations of the environment, objects and concepts.

Source: “Isometric digital animation scene” by Hassan Tariq

11. Liquid motion

As technology improves, designers began to venture towards more complicated forms of graphic motion designs, such as liquid motions. The concept is to create on-screen movements that mimic fluid behavior. Web designers have gone a step further by using interactive animation, which can provide a more impactful user experience. Ripples that appear as the cursor hovers over them; waves formed while scrolling the page, and even a splash effect created by pushing a button all demonstrate the incredible usage of superb liquid motion.

Source: Water Splash by Tamojit Das

12. Seamless transitions

One of the most visually appealing things to see is a seamless transition animation or motion design. The invisible cut between two or more clips or images aids in blending and creating a smooth look. The designer can use a variety of graphical components to produce this effect, such as a slide, rotation, or zoom to connect the next scene in a more natural way.

Source: "Geometric shapes transition" by Emin Ganjumyan

13. Vertical animations

Creating a vertical animation may not seem like a big deal, but it is a significant departure from traditional design. The smartphone environment has caused a video revolution towards a vertical or portrait format, replacing the landscape or horizontal format. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok have embraced this revolution by introducing more user-friendly vertical content.

Back in 2017, the Mobile Overview Report stated that many users did not rotate their phones to watch horizontal videos. In fact, iPhone users read/watch material vertically over 94% of the time. Having to swap between vertical and horizontal modes can be inconvenient, thus animation had to adapt to the vertical format to preserve the user's interest.

Vertical animation examples

We hope these features have provided you with some inspiration for your motion design projects. If you’re looking for more inspiration, make sure to check out our collection of Lottie animations. It’s the largest collection of free-to-use Lottie animations – so go on, and get inspired!