The body language of motion
Think of a brand. You probably think about its static visual assets or its sonic identity. But the way a brand moves is just as important. Our Motion Designer Ed Steadman shares some thoughts.
You already recognise your brand
If your brand were a person, I’m sure you would have a good idea how they look, what clothes they wear to express themselves, what they sound like and how they communicate. There are many parallels we could draw between brands and people: both are complex, full of ideas and constantly learning and evolving.
But as with anything so complex, there are often layers we don’t always think about, and if we move past the surface level there are all manners of nuanced things that can really make them stand apart. Take someone's body language for example. How do they walk down the street? Do they talk with their hands? How do they dance at a bar?
These elements aren’t necessarily the first things that come to mind when we think of someone, but they’re important factors in what makes them unique, authentic and well-rounded. Have you ever seen someone talk whilst remaining completely still, without hand gestures or head movement? It’s incredibly jarring.
Motion in an identity
We’re all aware of how colours and brand marks can provide instant visual familiarity, and how sonic can play a huge role in brand recognition too, but motion is a space with so much more room to explore. Sometimes all it takes is some horizontally moving panels for us to know we’re looking at Netflix; some animated circles to place us in the world of Google; or a well-placed wipe transition to know we’re watching Star Wars.
Googles motion work hinges on the playfulness and adaptability of their circular graphic elements.
Brand motion is more than just a logo sting we see at the end of a video. It’s how we move between scenes, how we introduce graphics, tell stories and give a feeling to our viewers. It can be anything from the driving force behind a brand film to the small but personalised animated icon in an app that lets us know that someone is replying.
And with each of these movements, no matter how large or small, is a chance for us to communicate with our audience. If something moves quickly it can feel bold and confident, but too quickly and it can feel erratic and stressful. Something with flow can feel reassuring and concise, but too slow and it feels menial and dated. Every movement has meaning, and we need to make sure we’re encoding the right ones into our animations.
Moving towards movement
It’s easy to see why many broadcast and video centric companies are utilising motion to help define their brand, but there are tonnes of consumer brands still feeling their way into the space and even more B2B brands who are yet to tap into that potential.
Our motion work for Aliaxis demonstrates how you can bring life to an identity for B2B brands.
We all know how effective video marketing is, both in a traditional sense but more importantly in the ever-growing digital world where we’re seeing hundreds of social media campaigns in our feeds every day; or being met with digital screens lining our Underground stations.
For some brands these digital formats make up a huge portion of how their brand is experienced, and yet video is still often just a footnote in their brand guidelines, an afterthought, a quick application based on a passing comment. But when the average adult is now watching 5+ hours of video per day, shouldn’t we be ensuring our video content is just as on-brand as everything else?
Websites, mobile apps, social media videos, TV commercials, ad banners, brand films, tutorial videos, digital out-of-home screens, recruitment films and more. Brands can utilise all these things to ensure that every time their brand moves, it reinforces the brand values, enhances brand awareness and provides the brand with an underlying authenticity across everything they do.
It’s an exciting space to explore, and something that drives us at Dragon Rouge in pushing brands every day to consider their motion, making sure it’s an integral part of their identity. The pace of change is increasing all the time. And if you’re not moving, you’re standing still.
So, when you think of your brand walking down the street, how does it walk? With purpose and speed? Is it skipping? Jogging? Strolling? Dancing? When in conversation, is it articulating it’s point with concise hand movements or making large gestures with flair and charisma?
The key question you need to ask yourself now is; how does your brand move?
Ed Steadman is a Motion Designer in Dragon Rouge’s London office.