What does a motion graphic designer do?

What does a motion graphic designer do

Wondering whether you have what it takes to become a motion graphic designer?

Regardless of your creative flair or existing level of motion design knowledge, our talented team of creative professionals explain how to be a motion graphic designer.

From the skills that are essential for every motion graphic designer to their day-to-day duties and responsibilities, we leave no stone unturned.

Simply carry on reading to find out whether a career change is in order or perhaps you have the required attributes already to apply for a motion design position!

What are motion graphics?

Motion graphics (also referred to as motion graphic design or more simply, motion design) involves using animation techniques to create moving imagery.

A subset of graphic design, motion graphics often include a mixture of both audio and text to capture an audience’s attention.

It’s worth noting that text is a major component of motion design that helps to differentiate it from other forms of animation.

What’s the difference between a motion graphic designer and a graphic designer?

The key difference between a motion graphic designer and a graphic designer comes down to one essential word – motion.

While a graphic designer will often play a key part in creating static digital and print image content (like posters, leaflets, and business cards) a motion graphic designer is involved in the creation of graphics that have movement.

This is where graphic design becomes motion design and therefore the territory of a motion graphic designer.

To help you determine whether this is the right profession for you to pursue, we explore the role of a motion graphic designer in detail below.

What does a motion graphic designer do?

The primary role of a motion graphic designer is to deliver moving content and graphics for a target audience. Complete with audio and visual effects, these animated graphics can be used in marketing videos for corporate businesses, film projects, and even television programmes.

The motion graphic designer will bring together a wide range of assets including colour, typography, footage, audio, and imagery to bring the motion design project to life.

This typically involves editing video footage, creating mockups, and using software to add effects and other various elements that enhance the overall effect of the design.

A motion graphic designer will often need to work closely with other creative teams to ensure the desired effect has been achieved. This collaborative approach with other art and creative professionals (including copywriters and sound technicians) will ensure all the essential elements have been included, resulting in a more effective motion design media project.

If the motion graphic designer works within a video production agency, they should be part of any client meetings to ensure they understand the needs of their customer and the aim of the motion design they are creating.

If a business has its own in-house motion graphic designer, then they should have the support of the relevant creative and marketing professionals.

What skills do you need to be a motion graphic designer?

As with most professions, there are many skills that make an effective motion graphic designer.

To help you understand which are the most important for succeeding in motion design, we explore each one below.

From that essential spark of creativity to some of the lesser-known motion graphic designer skills, such as communication and traditional art training, how many do you possess?


Being a creative thinker with a flair for design is just part and parcel of becoming a good motion graphic designer. You should be able to confidently brainstorm a range of ideas to suit a specific brief, drawing on all your creativity to impress your client or senior team leader.

Understanding of motion graphic and animation principles

When it comes to animation and motion design, there are a range of principles that you must be aware of as a motion graphic designer. These principles form the basis of motion design and will be an essential requirement for any motion graphic designer position.

Competent user of design software and programs

The mastery of motion design programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator (for vector graphics), Adobe InDesign, Adobe Premier Pro, and Adobe After Effects, is also crucial. However, while knowledge of the different types of software is important, how you use it is more so.

Traditional art skills

Traditional art training is all about life drawing and physical media. It’s centred around teaching participants important basics such as colour theory, lighting, and composition. While technical digital drawing skills are essential for a motion graphic designer, having a base understanding of these traditional art skills will help you to develop your work as a creative professional.


As mentioned above, motion graphic designers must communicate with their colleagues or clients to ensure the project meets all expectations and aims. Having your own creative point of view as a motion graphic designer will always be valuable, however, it must be balanced with the design and creative requirements of your clients/colleagues.

Clear and constant communication between these parties is therefore vital to ensuring all ideas are considered and incorporated, where possible, into the media project. Creating mockups and scheduling regular meetings will help to support this sustained communication and also prevent having to start projects from scratch if they don’t meet everyone’s expectations.

An ability to act on feedback

Responding to feedback can be difficult, especially if it’s not entirely positive. However, a good motion graphic designer needs to be able to collaborate with various creative professionals and therefore must be able to understand other creative points of view.

Any feedback from these individuals should be taken into account when it comes to adjusting the motion design and improving their work.

How to become a motion graphic designer

While there are many avenues that you can take to becoming a motion graphic designer, the most common route is to go to university and study a Motion Design degree.

Alternatively, you can also take an independent course, or even take the time to teach yourself using available online resources and experimenting with motion design software and tools.

From here, you can enter into the design industry by creating a portfolio of your work and applying for entry positions, apprenticeships, or even relevant volunteer work.

This real-life motion design work experience is another skill that potential employers will look for, giving you a boost when you apply for a full-time motion graphic designer position.

Motion graphics at Tricks Studio

If a dedicated motion graphic designer sounds like something your business would benefit from, why not reach out to the talented team of creative experts here at Tricks Studio?

Offering motion graphics services alongside a variety of other video content options, we can help bring your marketing goals to life!

Our close-knit video production team have years of experience providing insightful creative direction and delivering high-quality content for our clients – but you needn’t take our word for it. Luckily, we have plenty of case studies and glowing testimonials submitted by our valued clients that do the talking for us.

To learn more about the role of a motion graphic designer and how this skill set can help your business to succeed, please feel free to get in touch with our team by calling 01244 560537.

We also welcome email enquiries sent to [email protected] as well as queries sent in using our handy online contact form.

Thanks to our marketing expert for sharing his insights on his own viral experiences. Are you keen to go viral on social media? We’ve crafted a wide range of paid and organic social campaigns for our clients over the years. Get in touch with us to find out how we can increase your engagement and overall performance through high quality design and animated content.

What does a motion graphic designer do?

Gordon Barry

31 May 2023

6 minutes read