Introduction

During this blog post I am going to be producing a literature review showing each source I am going to use to research and find information to support my study. I plan on organising my sources into a thematic structure since I think I will benefit by having each sources sorted into groups depending on the topics they are about. As well as this it will allow me to save time since I will be able to navigate through the essay and find the sources I am looking for easily. I feel that this is important since this will be used as a guide for my research which is a crucial part of the study. As well as listing each source I am going to analyse each one, allowing me to get a better understanding of the sources I am using, as well as what does and doesn’t need to be used throughout the study. Again this will allow me to be more effective with my time.

Task 1

One of the main reasons I have chosen to do a project of this kind is because I have a good amount of knowledge surrounding motion graphics and feel like I would greatly benefit from doing a project about the theory side of motion design. I have a good understanding of how to get a good quality of practical work although I am very interested to learn more about the semiology and the thought process that would go into an advertisement in the modern day. Throughout the year I have watched many tutorials on YouTube to learn Adobe After Effects to get a better understanding of the software and how animation can be done to a good standard. This has given me the opportunity to create some motion graphic pieces in my own time. As well as this I have been able to learn about graphic design and illustration by reading articles about pixel art and animation in games. Again I feel like doing a project like this will allow me to progress with the work I do in my own time. Here are some examples of projects I have been able to produce since learning about animation and motion design.

Introduction animation for Snack Nord

Animation for The H3 Podcast

Introduction animation for ZK Media

Conceptual Discord logo animation

The main reasoning behind doing a project focused on motion graphics and advertising is because I am very interested in animation and graphic design. These are what make up a motion graphic piece. As well as this I have a good amount of experience and understanding of the software used in the motion design sector. Another one of the motivations behind the study was from an article I read on Google design (Correa and Schlemmer, 2017). It had a good overview of the topic and interested me to find more about the theory behind motion design. By reading this article I became aware of how much thought would go into a motion design project. As well as this, I have been watching motion graphic pieces on Motionographer (Unknown, 2017) that have led me to think about how semiology effects the final production. Therefore I feel that this study would be very interesting for me.

Task 2

The primary research that will support this study will be just as important as the secondary research process. Although there won’t be as many sources to analyse, I feel that the primary research will give me a different perspective for the study since I will have more opportunity to find information that isn’t available on the internet. The first part of my primary research that will be done is to create a questionnaire. This will include questions that can be answered by anyone who watches tv or uses social media and will allow me to get a better understanding of how motion graphics are perceived in the modern day. I will then analyse the feedback and create an overview of my findings. The second part of my research will be to contact local companies and artists with questions that are more opinionated that can’t be found online. This will also give me a new perspective of the study but from a professional’s point of view. Information from a professional in the industry will be very beneficial for the project, as well as myself for future projects.

Capture 2
(Unknown, 2017)

 

My project consists of a study on how to convey meaning through motion graphics, with a focus on advertising. Part of the study will be a practical piece, a very short concept advert that would allow me to show and implement my findings. This would be interesting to three different demographics of people. Since there are two main parts to it, the target audience is broad since some parts of the work will apply to different people. The first part of my project will be the main study. This will be very comprehensive and will go into great detail on the topic. I think that this would be most interesting to those who are also interested in motion design and would like to better understand the semiology behind it. The last part of the project is slightly different since this is the practical piece. However since it is an advert it will need to apply to two different demographics, the brand and intentions of the company and the audience.

Skills and Techniques

For my project I will need to research a variety of different skills and techniques. The first would be to find out what would be the most effective way to plan the process of producing a motion graphics based advertisement. This would be done by looking at secondary sources found online. Since I am confident with the software I will be using I feel that my research will be more primary based since I will be experimenting with different styles of animation to suit the product being promoted. As well as this I will be creating a questionnaire to find out which out of my experiments works best. However in the scenario that I don’t know how to do something within the software I will find a tutorial to solve the problem. Since a big part of the practical side of the project is to create a conceptual advertisement that suits the product and could be used as a campaign I feel that it would also be compulsory that I research any history of advertisements from the product and any of its competitors. I feel that this will allow me to get a much better result. I’ll also need to know about sound design since I feel that this is one of my weaker areas of knowledge so this will be another topic included in my secondary research.  

Production Research

Since my project is mainly motion graphics based, I feel that I will be able to complete the practical part without the help of anyone else. This is because I am capable of producing all of the assets, plan, animate and edit alone. However, depending on what is exactly planned I feel that there are two main reasons why I could use another person to assist with the production. Firstly I plan on using a camera to get both reference footage and footage to be used in the final result. It could be of help to ask someone to act as an assistant camera operator to ensure that the footage recorded is of a good quality. Another part of the practical work that might need assistance is sound recording. I plan on using online stock sound effects to accompany my work however there might be opportunity to use real foley sound so it could be necessary to find an assistant sound recorder. If this would be the case, I would ask close friends or someone I could trust most likely by text, or over the phone. This would be planned and organised before the actual production.

Another part of my plan will be to create a production schedule. This will allow me to get a very good idea of how much time I have to complete a certain task and if I need to organise any equipment or other peripherals before actually needing them. I feel that this will allow me to be more effective since I will be able to use my time more sufficiently since I will already be organised. Since I have all of the equipment needed for a project like this, I don’t need a budget to buy new equipment. So far I have planned my project around this since I am not in a position to be able to spend money, however I have invested in a computer and Adobe Creative Cloud membership since I am able to work in my own time and see a return in payment. By using this equipment I feel that I will be able to get a good result since I will be able to work on it in my own time.

To research about health and safety, I will be using the internet to find what common problems are for projects similar to this. As well as this I will be researching advertisement guidelines since I feel that this is also a big part of the project that must be considered in production. Since I am creating an advertisement with a motion graphics format, I will also be using secondary resources since I feel that this will allow me to improve my own work. In doing this I will be using design websites and forums that specialise in the kind of work that I am doing. This leads me onto how I will be researching and what sources I will be using in the process. My main method of primary research will be to try and contact professionals in the industry with questions that are more personal that are answered less online. As well as this I will be experimenting with different styles and then creating a survey for people to answer basic questions that will allow me to get a better idea of what works best for an advertisement.

How to convey meaning through motion graphics in advertising?

The motion design industry is very broad and is used in many sectors and platforms. It covers a large variety of the media industry since motion graphics are video based, mostly utilized for advertising. Since technology has progressed in many different ways, the motion graphics industry has been able to expand onto new platforms like web video, mobile video, social media and more. This has given new opportunity for companies and brands to use different platforms to market and advertise their work. I feel that it has also given a good opportunity for people who are looking to get into the industry as a motion designer since there is such a high demand for video advertising campaigns. For my project I am going to cater for this by researching motion design to get a better understanding of how it can be used to convey meaning and inform an audience. I think it would be very interesting to research how advertising campaigns adapt their content to target a certain demographic of people. By doing this I will create a comprehensive overview of how motion graphics are used to inform and convey meaning. As well as this, part of my study will be a practical piece consisting of a short conceptual advertisement that would be made as if it would be used by that brand or company. My main focus in doing this would be to show my findings from the study to implement them into a realistic project. To support this part of the study I will research the brand I would be working on to get a better understanding of what their other advertising campaigns looked like and how I could improve on the ones already used.

Determine the context you seek to understand.

In doing a study on conveying meaning through motion graphics, I hope to get a better understanding of how advertising campaigns are adapted to inform an audience in the best possible way with the use of motion design. I feel that this will give me the knowledge and understanding as to how I can create advertising material to suit a clients needs in the best possible way. As well as this, I will be able to demonstrate my findings with the practical part of the project. Overall I feel that the main objective of this project is to get a better understanding of how the motion graphics industry operates and what qualities separate the high and low quality work. In doing this I think that I will be in a good position since I will have better knowledge of the theory behind the format, giving me a good foundation for future projects in a workplace environment.

How I will research?

For the study I am going to use a variety of different information from both primary and secondary resources. It is important to use different sources since the more information I can find the better my understanding will be of the industry. To start off my investigation, I am going to use secondary resources since I feel that there is a significant amount of information that can be found online. This will consist of a variety of different resources. I plan on searching Google to find websites and articles on the subject matter. I will also be listening to podcasts and interviews featuring professionals in the industry. This will allow me to get an understanding of their perspective of the industry which will be very beneficial for the study. However my primary research will consist of the more advanced part of the industry and will be used to find information that hasn’t been put on the internet for public use. My literature review will be thematic since I feel that I would benefit most from being able to sort each part of the research into groups depending on their context.

When researching I will be making note of several different points I find within the source. Firstly the medium of the work will have a big effect on what kind of information is displayed. For example, an interview or podcast would more likely have a comprehensive explanation on something where as an article or  blog would have less information since the audience would have different expectations, therefore different attention spans. Therefore the context in which the information is found in is also very important. After doing this it would then be very beneficial to analyse the work as comprehensively as possible since any information found is useful to the study. This would include looking at the themes, colours, and techniques used. Doing this is one of the most important things to do in a research investigation since it will be the foundation to any practical work done.

Literature Review

I have found several different sources that are going to be used for my research. Consisting of both secondary and primary research, I feel that the sources I have collected are going to be enough to support the project since they cover a wide variety of themes and have a comprehensive overview of the information needed. Since the project is focused on motion design in advertising, most of the sources are websites that include video to show examples of what is being talked about. However I have found many different sources such as articles, podcasts, videos, blogs, and web pages to support the study.When looking for different recourses I wanted to find a variety of different information that would cover the wide industries of motion design and advertising. With this in mind I am going to sort each source into groups depending on theme or topic. These include graphic design, motion design, semiology, and advertising essentials.

Graphic Design Sources

Starting with graphic design I found several sources that focused on typography, colour theory, and shape theory. I wanted to research these specifically since they are very prominent in motion graphics. I began looking for sources on typography and quickly

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Creative Bloq Staff (2017)

found an interesting article (Creative Bloq Staff, n.d.) that showed the absolute essentials needed to have a professional standard of typography. I felt this would be very beneficial since it would give a good foundation for the project. As well as this it includes a good overview of the different principles of typography that have to be considered, some of which I did not know about before looking over the article. I also found another website (Butterick, n.d.) that had a very comprehensive explanation behind each principle. I plan on using both sources since I think that each would be suitable for the project. The information I found on kerning and spacing since I didn’t know much about that before looking through the sources. With this information I feel that I will be able to get a better understanding of typography and how it can be used a high level of quality.

Again when searching colour theory I found many different resources that included a good amount of information although I noticed that a large part of the content in most cases was very similar to other sources. The first good source of information I found was a website called Color Matters (N/A, 2017). This is an educational resource that has an in depth explanation to colour theory and context. This will be very useful for the project since I will be able to utilize the more advanced parts of the theory that I haven’t used to this point. Another good source I found was an article from Smashing Magazine (Chapman, no date). It has a very good overview of colour theory as well as example images behind each principle. Since there is a good amount of information over the two sites I feel that these two sources would be enough for this topic.

After looking at typography and colour theory sources I began to research shape theory. This is one of the topics that I knew less about so I needed to find a good amount of information.  One of the resources I found on How Design (How Staff, 2017) was very useful. The article focused on shape theory and the different techniques and principles that can be used to get a high standard of work. Another article I found on Smashing Magazine (Bradley, 2014) also focused on shape theory but it also covered other areas such as the Gestalt Theory and visual interpretation. Then I found a slideshow that covered many of the design principles as well as some good information on texture and shape balance.

Motion Design Sources

Since motion design is one of the main focuses of the project I feel that it would be suitable to cover a good amount of the industry with my research. I plan on finding sources to help me get a better understanding of motion design trends, how it fits within the industry of advertising, adapting to an audience, industry processes and the essentials needed to be Motion Designer. Starting with motion design trends, I found a very useful article about motion design trends in 2017 (JCRASH75, 2017). Throughout the article, the writer explained several different trends in motion design and showed examples of each one. Below is one of the examples I found most interesting. This led me to find other articles (Ward, 2016) that have been produced throughout the years since I felt that this would allow me to get a better idea of how the work has changed over time. All of the articles I found covered a wide range of trends that have occurred throughout the years. I am happy with the sources I found.

(JCRASH75, 2017)

Motion design is very prominent in the advertising industry. Although it isn’t always the main format of video, it is used very commonly, particularly in TV spots and online video. I think this is due to the fact that motion design is a mixture of both animation and graphic design, therefore it can be the perfect way to captivate and inform an audience. With this in mind, it is used very broadly in advertising for reasons I wanted to research and get a better understanding of. Firstly I searched ‘motion graphics in advertising’ and found two articles on the matter. The first was from Designyourway.com (Sandu, n.d.) showing 30 different examples of advertisements that included motion design. I felt this would be very useful for the study since I would be able to look at pre existing examples of what has already been used in the media. The second article (Unknown, No date.) I found was much more theory based and went into great detail about why a business would use animation in their advertising over other mediums. After quickly scanning the two, I was confident I would have enough on this topic since both had a comprehensive amount of information.

Adapting work to suit a target audience is a big part of motion design, and almost every industry. This is because the audience is almost always the main reason why a project is funded so it is crucial to make sure that the work is suited to whoever it is made for. I wanted to research how this can be done since I feel that it would be very beneficial for the study. As well as this, I think it is a big part of how the animation can be made to inform and entertain as effectively as possible. I found it quite difficult to find sources that linked directly to what was needed although I did find a website (The Pennsylvania State University, 2017) that had a good explanation as to how work can be adapted to suit an audience. Despite it not being related to motion design I feel that it could still be used for the study.

Motion design is just one part of what could be a very long production pipeline. There are multiple processes that need to happen before and after the motion graphics production in order for the final piece of work to work and to a high quality. Although

Capture
(The Futur 2016)

this isn’t directly related to how motion graphics convey meaning, I think it is still important to know how they fit into the pipeline since it can give a very good indication as to how well the final product will inform the audience. After doing some research I found a video (Cub Studio, 2016) from an established animation studio in London, explaining their creative process. I found this very useful since it gave a good representation as to how the production process would work in a real world environment. I also found a video of an interview (The Futur, 2016) that focuses more on the freelance side of motion design, although there is also a lot of talk about the process that goes into the production.

(The Futur 2016)

The last area that I wanted to research was what it takes to be a Motion Designer that produces good work, bringing as much value to the client as possible. Although the theory side of the design is needed, it is just as important to consider what practical skills are needed in motion design. I feel that it would be useless to know all of the details above, without considering what skills are needed to get the most out the work done. I found a very well detailed article (Pluralsight.com, 2015) about the essentials needed and felt that it would be very beneficial for the study.

Semiology Sources

Since the study is about conveying meaning through motion graphics, I feel that semiology has a big part in how that can be understand. Semiology is the study of signs and messages that can be read in a shot. Although semiology is normally linked with film or tv I feel that it can also be related to motion design. It is used to help the audience investigate what is being shown to find out information that isn’t directly told. Therefore it is a great way to develop ideas and intentions amongst the audience. Even the smallest aspects of a shot can help the audience develop a better idea of who a character is and how they can be implemented into the story. To help me get a better understanding of how semiology works I used an article from Creative Bloq (Creative Bloq Staff, 2005)

Advertising Essentials

My main focus of this project was to get a better understanding of how to convey meaning through motion graphics, particularly in advertising. I feel that to do this it is important to get a good grasp of advertising and what is exactly needed for a successful advertising campaign. When searching for what is needed, I quickly found an article (DeMers, 2017) that gave five short, to the point tips for a good advertising campaign. Some of these cover areas that I hadn’t thought about so I feel that this would be beneficial for the study. I also found a section on the official UK Government (Unknown, no date) website that explained what can and couldn’t be done in advertising.

Context

As mentioned before, context is something that must be considered since it can be very influential on the information within the source. Without context of where the information came from, the findings could be confusing and potentially misleading. Therefore when the information was made, where it was produced and who created it are all things that must be taken into consideration. As well as this, another point that must be considered is who the content was made for since this is another factor that could influence the outcome or intentions of the information. For example, if an article about Facebook is made and produced by Facebook, the content would be significantly different to another recourse/publisher. This is because a different publisher would have a very different perspective and is completely unbiased.

How the work relates to other pieces of information in the same field is also a very interesting connection to think about. The similarities between two pieces of content can be a good way to recognise what makes that a high quality piece. For example if a phone company needed a video made to help advertise a product, the designers involved in producing that would comprehensively research similar works to try and find similarities between them to find what is most important and how they can make the video recognisable to the audience. This could also be known as spotting trends which is a big part of how a designer knows what a client’s project should look like.

Throughout the project I feel that I will make connections between how motion designers have developed their skills and techniques to adapt to a specific audience of people. For example an infographic would be much faster if it needs to appeal to a younger audience since they would need to be interested and engaged very quickly, however the older generation of people need a slower pace since they might not be able to acknowledge too much information in a short amount of time otherwise they might become confused or mislead. As well as this, the style of illustration or type may be influenced by the demographic of the audience so it can easily appeal to the people it needs to.

Process

Looking at the process of how something was made is a great way to understand the decision making that goes into the work as well as the intentions and goals of the project. I think that it can be very beneficial to analyse how something was made since it can be a great way to learn and achieve something you didn’t know. Throughout my research I am going to be looking at many examples of motion design, particularly in the advertising sector. As well as practising what has been mentioned above I will also be analysing how the work was produced and thinking about what kind of processes might have been undertaken to achieve the final result. This will be done by trying to contact the original creators and submitting posts to forums on the matter. From past experience this a great method of research. Using forums are often better than getting an answer from the original creator since people will most likely suggest more than one way to achieve that final result.

Reflection

By collecting sources to find information to support the study, I now feel a lot more confident now that I have an idea as to what can and can’t be found within the area that my project falls into. I think that the sources I have collected will be very beneficial and will allow me to get a much better understanding of how meaning can be conveyed through motion graphics and advertising. As well as this, my primary research will give me a different perspective of the study since I will have opinions from people of a variety of different demographics. I personally am hoping that I am able to have a reply from the people I am going to contact in the industry since their judgement and opinions will be invaluable to the study and my own knowledge in previous projects. Overall I am happy with my progress and feel that the planning I have put into this has given me a better perspective of how I should plan for large scale projects and will definitely be able to use what I have learnt in the future.

Bibliography:

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The Futur (2016). [podcast] Freelance Tips Motion Design Los Angeles. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4_O3-TjGWg [Accessed 7 May 2017].

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Creative Bloq Staff (2005). Semiotics for beginners. [online] Creative Bloq. Available at: http://www.creativebloq.com/computer-arts/semiotics-beginners-3059924 [Accessed 7 May 2017].

DeMers, J. (2017). 5 Essentials for a Successful Native Advertising Marketing Campaign. [online] Inc.com. Available at: https://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/5-essentials-for-a-successful-native-advertising-marketing-campaign.html [Accessed 7 May 2017].

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