What Does a Freelance Motion Graphic Designer Do?

Should I book a freelance motion graphic designer? What do they do? And more importantly, what can they do for my business?

With so many specialists out there, from graphic designers and web designers to user experience and user interface designers, it can be hard to figure out what you actually need. However, with every business worth its salt tapping into the explosion in demand  for video content, your first port of call may well be an expert in the art of motion design.

This guide aims to clarify just what that field actually involves, helping you to find a freelance motion graphic designer that’s perfect for your next creative project.

What is a Motion Graphic Designer?

Working under the graphic design umbrella and sometimes referred to simply as motion designers, these experts bring graphic features to life through animation. Put simply, they design graphics that are in motion! Working across a wide range of media, including film, television, advertising and web content, motion graphic designers create artwork and vivid visual effects that bring a simple piece of video content to an entirely new level.

What projects can a freelance Motion Graphic Designer work on?

The projects a motion designer can tackle are only limited by your imagination, but here are some examples of the main creative work they tend to do:

  • Animated Infographics and Videos – These animations can be used to tell your brand’s story, explain a tricky concept or present findings in a format that is eye-catching and persuasive. Far more attention grabbing than a plain piece of text, infographics and animated videos generate a lot of traffic, and can establish your business as an industry thought leader.
  • Title and Credit Sequences – Motion designers will often specialise in creating title and credit sequences for films, TV and video games, as well as intros and titles for adverts and online video content. An art form in themselves nowadays, these can be as intricately produced as the content they bookend.
  • Kinetic Typography – This refers to any kind of moving or animated text. Motion graphic designers can use their skills in this area to create social media content, lyric videos, or subtitled videos where text is animated and and moves around the screen in an interactive, engaging way.
  • 2D Vector-Based Animation – Many motion designers are able to animate 2D shapes, characters and text by using existing illustrations.
  • Logos & Websites – Adding motion to a company logo, or graphic elements on your company website or mobile app, can give branding a more refined and professional touch.

For more examples of inspiring work by motion designers, check out these showcasing sites:

What’s in a freelance Motion Designer’s job description?

Writing a creative brief? Based on your needs, you can design a job description for your freelance motion designer that includes any of the following:

  • Work with art and creative departments to establish project vision and objectives
  • Assist in designing and creating storyboards
  • Prepare design plan, concept and layout for motion graphic project
  • Design initial graphics and animations using computer software
  • Assist in selecting audio, video, colours, animation, etc for graphic design
  • Take graphic elements, add effects and create a moving motion graphics piece
  • Edit raw video footage and add effects/elements to enhance motion graphics
  • Deliver motion graphics in various media including web, mobile, etc
  • Work with editors, producers and other designers to resolve technical and/or design issues
  • Project budgets and timelines, and determine resources and materials needed to stay on budget and on deadline
  • Ensure compliance with company guidelines, deadlines and design standards

What is a Motion Graphic Designer’s skill set?

A freelance motion graphic designer will sometimes concept and oversee a project from start to finish, while other projects will simply require them to contribute basic effects and edits. They must have experience with After Effects, Cinema 4D, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop and Flash, as well as a solid understanding of design and animation basics.

Communication skills are also key to work effectively with other team members- a motion designer who can discuss colour theory and audio design with a copywriter, for example,  will undoubtedly be a much more powerful asset to the project.

Why should you hire a freelance Motion Graphic Designer?

Motion graphics done well are a fantastic tool for any brand or creative project. Engaging an audience with beautiful animations and powerful stories, they help brands to share their story, reach people in different ways, and present their message in a compelling package. If you’re looking to mix up your company’s current content, a motion graphic designer is your ideal choice.

Speak to Mary, Yellow Cat’s Head of Freelance, to discuss booking one of our talented freelance Motion Graphic Designers, and check out a selection of their work below.

Richard - Motion Designer & Animator:

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