It is commonly accepted that one of the most powerful methods of storytelling is through film. Film gives us the unique ability to carefully craft both the visual and audio over time — over time being the key distinction. Every memory you’ve had, heartbreak you’ve experienced, or obstacle you’ve overcome didn’t happen in an instant, but over a period of time. Time is required for stories to exist.
In the creative industry, we’re all familiar with solving problems in the 2nd and 3rd dimensions. We use 2D for designing logos, billboards, websites, etc., and 3D for package designs, event booths, toys, and architecture. But what about designing in the 4th dimension? If you follow Einstein’s line of thought — time being the 4th dimension — this would mean designing things that are meant to be experienced over time.
Enter Motion Design.
Motion designers take the graphic design principles we all know and love (color theory, typography, balance, etc.) and apply them to filmmaking and video production using animation. Whether it’s the title sequences at the beginning of a movie, a cartoon explainer video teaching you how something works, or a slick logo animation with animated type at the end of a television ad, nearly everything you see on TV or online that moves and wasn’t filmed with a camera was created by a motion designer.
Motion design is a relatively new subset of graphic design and is on the rise thanks to more and more things going digital. With digital screens slowly creeping their way into every facet of our lives, every new screen is a canvas for us to create in the 4th dimension and an opportunity to tell a story through one of the best mediums that exists. When even the common household item like new refrigerators have digital displays, the possibilities are truly endless.
While VR headsets are all the rage these days, one of the newer technologies I’m most excited to see evolve (and is widely slept on in my opinion) is the development of transparent displays. In the near future, when the cost of this technology comes down, we’ll be able to turn any sheet of glass into a digital display we can design and animate on.
In the advertising industry, this opens up an entirely new world of possibilities. Imagine walking into a jewelry store and seeing all the glass displays light up and dance with intricate designs perfectly framing the contents inside. Or, imagine walking through the mall and, instead of seeing mannequins through the windows, you see a live person modeling the clothes displayed directly on the glass. You may soon even be driving down the highway in your luxury car with the speedometer and GPS displayed directly on the windshield. While it may sound like a sci-fi movie set in the distant future, the technology is already here. It’s only a matter of time.