A good blog should start with an objective that is cause for discussion and there is no better way to kick start this initiative with a challenging question: What is motion design? Most people nowadays, who may never have heard the term before, would type a search in Google or Wikipedia and would probably be quite satisfied with their results. It is after all exactly what I did a few years back from now.
However, typing in today that very search (see my links above) provides me with the same frustrating results. At a glimpse, on the first page in Google there are a number of reference web sites that indeed deal with motion design. However, none of these sites actually tell us anything about the nature of motion design or give some background information to chew on, (apart from the link to Wikipedia which I’ll discuss later). So, what happens if I ask Google the question : What is motion design?. I get exactly the same results but this time with Wikipidia in pole position. Not particularly helpful. Something else though struck me with the search results. The fact that various terms were highlighted in the list: motion design, motion graphic design, motion graphics, and simply motion. This links itself to what I found under Wikedpedia’s entry. Funnily enough, here too motion design has varying derivatives. Not only does there seem to be a lack of a clear and unaminous definition on motion design, apparently it also has varying terms. So, what are we talking about?
Personally, what has been written in Wikipedia on motion design, along with its various derivates, sheds little light on the subject, apart from a few fleeting remarks about film titles and a shy entry for Saul Bass, Maurice Binder & Pablo Ferro. The entry is also confusing – for some odd reason splitting motion (graphic) design from motion graphic with an intention to distinguish tools from talent. This kind of reasoning is beyond me. Furthermore, Wikipedia’s entry has unfortunately attracted self promotional sticky crawlers in the form of external links to myriad web sites that, albeit may feed your visual hunger for motion, give little thoughtful discussion on the actual subject in hand.
Where next then ?
Well, suffice to say that the above exercise demonstrates a clear lack of meaty discussion on the subject. The good news though is that there is plenty of quality material out there on the subject along with a plethora of visual material.
I should make it clear though that this blog treats the subject of motion design, which is rather an umbrella term, like design is for graphic design, industrial design, product design, interactive design…etc. Defining it for now is not my primary interest. Indeed, searching to pin down any formal definition of motion design is limiting and pointless, especially in view of its present day hybrid nature. Discussing however, possible paths in history, the present trends and future ideas, people in the field, the process, the emotion, are all welcome perspectives. Because the nature of motion design is far more engaging as a subject for serious reflection in a World where its presence transcends mere entertainment and eye candy.