There has been a distinct rise in the use of animation in branding recently, making it more important than ever to think of branding and animation as two vital pieces of the same puzzle. By melting the two, you can create a much richer experience in your marketing that can be adapted for use across many different platforms.

When you think about animation, perhaps things like GIFs come to mind – but there’s much more to it. A while ago, I touched on logo animation in this article, where I mentioned how and why animation can work well for our internet-led world. I wanted to elaborate on that and share some more recent thoughts and experiences on it.

Why animation?

I bet if I ask you to recall something from your childhood, cartoons would be one of the things that come to mind. We all had those favourite characters that made us laugh and stick in our memories, didn’t we? Those of us with kids can’t deny that we secretly still enjoy watching some of them even now!

The thing is, animation tends to stick with us, whether it’s in the form of a humanistic character or a particular style, colour, or shape. It feels kind of familiar yet fantastical at the same time. Animation can be whatever we choose it to be and can create worlds that no other form of media can.

Animation is our imagination untamed. And there are so many places we can use it to share our brand stories.

The moving image

Next time you scroll through your socials, take note of where you pause. I’m willing to bet that in many cases, it’s down to some kind of movement, like a video or some type of moving image. We’re naturally attracted to movement and colour – it helps us to build a picture of the world around us. In the case of animation, it can help us to understand something, whether that’s a brand’s story or an instruction.

Rather than spending valuable time reading long tutorials, isn’t it so much easier to watch a 2-minute animated video showing how something works?

Animation is a great way to grab attention and tell your viewers who you are and what you do.

Different styles of animation

Depending on what you are using it for, you can experiment with lots of different animation styles. Even something like your logo can lend itself to 2D, 3D, or even whiteboard animation to great effect.

Don’t think that you have to overcomplicate, either. Even something as simple as creating a metallic or reflective movement over a logo or image can look amazing and really make your brand stand out. And I’ve seen plenty of wonderful effects with fading in, scrolling text, or an image that seems to ‘pop out’ from the screen.

Here are a few styles you might want to think about.

2D: I suppose this is what most of us think of when we think about animation, isn’t it? Though it’s very traditional, accessible and most commonly used, it is still very relevant due to its cost-effectiveness and adaptability.

Saying that, though, 2D should never be dismissed because its attraction is in its simplicity. People are familiar with it and can easily relate to it. And because of those reasons, these styles of animations are memorable.

3D: I’ve seen some amazing 3D animations around. Having that additional depth to play with can be used to great effect, and for that, they prove to be popular.

If you’re using your animated images to explain a product or tell a story, then 3D can do that very well.

Video animation: If you’re familiar with Instagram Reels, you’ve probably seen those talking head videos where speech bubbles or text boxes pop up as the person is talking. In its basic form, that is a type of video animation. But let’s think about how else that could be used…

Combining video with animation can add deeper insight into your products or services. If you’re demonstrating a product, you could add an interesting dimension by using animated arrows, for example, to point out components, or use animated objects or fun characters to help you to explain things.

In conclusion, animation can work in helping you stand out and add a bit more personality to your brand. It doesn’t have to be complicated – simple is often the most effective. If you’re looking for a design agency to assist with your branding, whether that’s animation, web design, branding or anything else, I’d be happy to help.