3 Video Tutorials Fundamental to Motion Graphic Design

Motion Graphic Design Malaysia

For many motion designers, the graphic design portion of a project can feel like an Achilles heel. As the years passed, we’ve discovered that the best motion graphics started from a strong graphic design concept initially. A concept that can translate to an animated deliverable and go after the fundamental elements of great design.

There’s no better way to increase the value of your work than a solid color palette, good line work, exceptional layout, and typography—the core of graphic design.

These videos come from the Goodwill Community Foundation through their GCFLearner.org project, which has a wonderful mission to help train people on various topics by taking deep-dives into those topics. They’re introspective and reliable, a lot of effort and thought goes into crafting them, and they present these concepts in a clear, concise way with amazing visual examples.

1. Fundamentals

The most connected feeling designs all have line, shape, form, texture, and balance elements to them. Accomplishing these elements properly is what makes a design feel good. This video explores these fundamental elements.

The way you animate line work can lead the viewer’s eye to specific content and create a guide for your audience to a focal point on the screen. Lines can be animated to create simple drawings. Making use of them in your design is essential.

Lines can turnaround weight, color, texture, and size—giving them a immense amount of animatable properties.

Shapes, mostly known in the form of vectors, are the building blocks of graphic design. They make images noticeable and provide visual weight to a composition. Shapes are absolutely one of the building blocks of visual communication.

Our minds perceive many things like signs, app icons, and even fine art because of shapes. Play with shapes to help to organize and split content, or even simple illustrations to add another layer to your animation.

The concept is related to in graphic design as form when a shape shifts from the 2D space to the 3D space. Forms use light, shadow, and perspective. You can apply form to almost any element in your design.

In both graphic and motion design, form makes it possible for realism. Even if your design is meant to be flat, there are subtle form elements you can add to make your design pop a bit more.

Texture is the haptic or physical quality of a surface. It can be real or implied by shapes and line work in design. Texture can make your design feel more definite to a viewer.

Textures also make outstanding background elements and increase another layer of depth to your motion design, as well as another element to animate to give visual interest.

Balance is the disposition of visual weight, and can be influenced by color, size, number, and negative space. Good balance in a composition can get hold of many forms. It can be symmetrical or not. It’s one of the harder graphic design elements to acquire because it requires instinct.

Do pay close attention to the visual balance of the pieces you choose as you’re pulling inspiration for your designs and crafting your mood board or concept board.

The rule-of-thirds can also be a helpful topic to explore when attempting to master visual balance.

2. Color

Color can give rise to emotion and help you visually communicate concepts without applying any text. Color theory has been studied for centuries. Seeing color from a conscious perspective can switch everything about your design.

The Color Wheel is a combination of primary and secondary colors. Hue, saturation, and value can all be modified to fine-tune your color.

Hue is your color. Saturation is the intensity of that color whereas value tells the darkness or lightness of the color.

There are several formulas to make visually appealing color palettes.

Monochromatic Color Formula
Monochromatic color schemes are the easiest to create. They focus on one color on the color wheel and then amend the lightness and darkness values.

Analogous Color Formula
Analogous color schemes are created using colors next to each other on the color wheel.

Complimentary Color Formula
Complimentary color palettes are set up by using colors that are on the contrary side of the color wheel from each other. You can amend the saturation and value of the colors to widen your color set outside of the two colors.

Split Complementary Color Formula
Split complementary schemes are formed by using the colors neighboring the colors’ complement. Modifying the saturation and lightness can offer interesting options within a split complementary color scheme.

Triadic Color Formula
Triadic color palettes use three equally spaced colors on the color wheel. They form a flawless equilateral triangle.

Tetradic Color Formula
Triadic color palettes are created using two complementary color pairs, and they form a ideal rectangle on the color wheel.

It proposed choosing one color to dominate a tetradic color combo and using the rest as accents.

Combining Colors
Lastly, it’s important to remember a color’s ability to evoke an emotion. Countless studies have been done on the psychological impacts of colors and how they differ by culture and geographical location.

3. Layout and Composition

Layout and composition give structure to your design and make it easier for your viewers to navigate the information you’re sending them with your animation.

A poorly composed layout looks unpleasant and chaotic. Check out these fundamental design layout and composition thoughts.

Proximity is how items or groups are items are spaced in relation to each other. A general rule of thumb is that blocks of information related to each other, for example, text, illustrations, or icons, should be grouped. Furthermore, those groups should be divided to show their clear information grouping in an easily identifiable way.

White Space
White space is also known as negative space. It refers to the spaces between your lines, the outer margin of your composition, or between blocks of icons or information.

If your composition feels scattered, think about white space.

Consistency is the key to approach proper alignment. Once you decide how you align your composition pieces concerning each other, make sure you maintain the alignment throughout the rest of your design choices.

Text is also a impressive way to show contrast. You can combine serif and san serif fonts, or a hand-drawn style with a clean and modern font.

Contrast is key to building a hierarchy of information easy for your viewer to understand.


Repetition is the concept that every project should have a defined look and feel by repeating certain elements, like color palettes, text formatting, uniform line work, etc. Repetition makes your audience feel comfortable and keeps them in the story.

When the whole animation has a cohesive color scheme or repeats particular icon animations, it’s easier for your viewer to focus on the material without distraction. This is especially important in the world of motion design.

There’s a hidden layer to the repetitive motion work. You have to make sure your animation speeds, velocities, and styles are consistent and only jaw-dropping if they need to be for the story you’re telling.

There you have it, the building blocks of graphic design. It takes practice to become skillful, but having these design theories, concepts, and rules in mind as you go about crafting your composition will lead your motion graphics to a higher level. Do visit the Dezpad Designs to learn more.

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