Animated logos are becoming a huge trend, and with good reason. The main purpose of a logo is to create brand awareness, and movement gets attention. A logo that moves has more chance of getting noticed, can keep the viewer's attention for longer, and can be more memorable since it needs fewer interactions to be recalled. As our logo design guide states, logos also need to live and evolve. Adding movement is a clear way to bring a logo to life and can make even a staid logo seem more fun and whimsical.
Animation can range from subtle movements to complex 3D effects, and moving logos are being placed in the intros and outros of videos, in social media posts, email campaigns, presentations, and in place of regular logos on websites. Some brands are even using several animated logos for different uses, following the trend of developing temporary logos for individual campaigns and products. Here we look at 10 of the best examples of moving logos to inspire your work.
There are many ways to animate a logo but sometimes a very subtle movement is best. Even the smallest of movements is enough to draw the eye and create a pleasing effect that keeps the viewer watching a second longer. While there are a lot of animated logos out there with both the mark and logotype forming and disappearing, an animation that lasts too long can detract from the logo itself. Jenny Leibundgut’s 1986 WWF logo is a well-known classic. When Brien Hopkins animated it for a Planet Nutshell-produced animated film for a campaign to prevent arctic drilling (below), he added just enough movement to the mark in the logo lockup to make us smile, and add extra emotional engagement and interest.
The design was for one single use. Bringing the panda to life with movement of the paws and head to make it look like it's walking fits with the mood of the animation in the film that precedes it.
A more elaborate take on animating a logo can involve using the movement to tell us more about what the brand does than the static logo alone. This animated logo created by Stockholm design agency Kurppa Hosk for Scandinavian interior design store Designtorget tells us more about the brand, and about its logo. The 'D' and 'T' are used to create various products that the store sells – furniture, tableware – in a way that also highlights the brand's stylish, often minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic. It's a great example of how animating a logo can contribute to the story behind a brand.
Another use of animated logos is to draw attention to something we may not have noticed in the original logo. Many logos carry meaning through symbols used in place of letters or hidden in the negative space in their designs, but sometimes people take some time to notice – think the famous FedEx logo (or the more recent Multiply logo). These features can be exploited and made more apparent in moving versions. This animated logo by Nikita Melnikov for Norwegian online book search depository Alvit makes the magnifying glass in the negative space of the 'a' explicit, telling a story that highlights the website’s searchability.
04. Feral Sphere
Animation can also emphasise the personality of a logo, and of the brand itself. UK fashion label Feral Sphere makes clothing made from organic cotton using 100 per cent renewable solar and wind energy. Its logo, devised by Mind Design and illustrator Lenia Hauser, was inspired by Japanese Shinto spirits. It is quite literally a feral sphere, and the animation highlights its feral personality even more.
The movement of the lines brings to mind the wind in trees, flocking birds and swarming bees, all connections to nature that seem appropriate for a brand with a commitment to sustainability. The movement emphasises the brand's organic feel by highlighting the wild sense of freedom in the logo's hand-drawn design. It feels distinctive, personal and hand-crafted.
Animating logos can also be useful when making a transition to a new brand identity. If a rebrand is particularly radical, animation can be used to show a recognised logo transition into a new design to communicate the change. Last year, Fox Entertainment launched an additional logo to complement its main identity, with radically different chunky letterforms.
The abstract treatment for animations and digital use, designed by Trollbäck + Company, has a satisfying weight to it and aims to show a company taking risks and leading the way. But used alone it may have confused viewers, particularly since the 'F' looks more than a little like a 'V', meaning the logo could be read as Vox. Using it in animations showing a transition from the regular logo help to ease the new identity on board.
Black and white is a classic combination for logos and there's no reason to stray from that when animating them either. Black and white logos are among the most enduring and can potentially never go out of style. They can be simple and classy, they can call attention without distracting, and they can be applied to a wide range of designs. This simplicity also allows motion designers to play with concepts when animating them, like in this logo for EAT, an exhibition on food in Singapore. Designed by Fable, it plays with beefing up the logotype as it eats, and becomes "FAT".
For additional impact that creates a memorable logo, movement can be combined with sound. A logo with its own soundmark can even become a meme – the Intel logo chime anyone? (See our best audio logos for more examples.) Television and film companies have long used moving logos accompanied by sound at the intro or outro of productions to generate strong brand awareness.
In 2018, Japanese rubber company Yokohama took a novel approach when it animated its red lines logo by recording the sound of the wind passing through the leaves of trees in the company's own forest, to show its greater commitment to the environment. It even made the above video about the making of the sound. The video of course closes with the logo in question.
When it comes to logotypes, animation is a great way to bring out the character of the type, whether that involves rigid geometry, sharp angles or rounded curves. This animated logo designed by UI design agency Boro for itself accentuates the rounded shapes of the type, showing the letters rolling out of each other. The finishing touch is the little surprise of the full stop that pops out of the curve of the 'r' after a slight hesitation. It makes the agency seem modern, fun and approachable.