5 ways to master motion in your branding projects

Landor's recent acquisition of ManvsMachine made a powerful statement: motion is no longer an add-on, but an essential part of branding. That means if you're designing the perfect logo design, you need to know how it moves, too.

"Can you think of a logo that doesn't feature on-screen somewhere?" asks ManvsMachine founder Mike Alderson.

"A brand needs to know not only what it looks like, but how it sounds, how it moves, how it changes when it gets a different type of response," agrees Vera-Maria Glahn, co-founder of Field.

Motion design can invigorate a brand's expression in hugely exciting and engaging ways. As motion continues to play an increasingly important role in almost every branding project, here are a few tips from the professionals about getting the best results

01. Start early

Bring the experts into the process as soon as possible. If a branding project has already been put together and then motion designers are brought in to make it move, you won't feel the full benefit. Motion design should be an intrinsic part of brand thinking, not an afterthought.

"We did a few high-profile jobs that didn’t turn out as well as they could because we were brought in quite late by big agencies," says Mike Alderson, whose studio created Nike's striking Hypervenom II campaign above. "Too much was promised and signed off before we could flex our muscles."

02. Be flexible...

According to Jane Geraghty, president of Landor, brand coherence is much more important in this day and age than brand consistency.

Give the motion designers the freedom and autonomy to push the brand in directions that make the most of their medium even if that means stretching previous understandings of a brand's parameters.

03. ...but don't be too flexible

That said, know when to stop. Motion design for its own sake is pointless. Motion design that goes too far can be really irritating and actively damage a brand's positioning. And sometimes, albeit rarely, nothing needs to move.

04. Trust the experts

If you've made the effort to collaborate with motion specialists, there's no point just having them rubber-stamp your ingrained way of thinking.

Give them the time and space to explore and challenge your preconceptions. "Have the confidence to be convinced," advises Vera-Maria Glahn of Field, whose interactive Force of Nature installation for Nike (above) featured a treadmill fitted with custom sensors hooked up to Microsoft Kinect technology.

As the runner started picking up pace, he or she was confronted with a dazzling wall of visual effects remixing their movements into an immersive experience.

05. Document it well

This seems obvious, but think about how motion design elements can live on after a branding project has been completed. If motion is an integral part of the outcome, then it should also be an integral part of how it's presented online.

The full version of this article first appeared inside Computer Arts issue 249, a special issue looking at the future of motion graphics in branding, on sale here.

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