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8 September 2023 Video production tips and best practices

Design and Animation Choices in Explainer Videos

Explore design and animation's impact in explainer videos, shaping engagement, perception, and message efficacy.

Cracking the explainer video code isn't just about a compelling script or a clear voiceover; it's deeply intertwined with design and animation choices. These decisions, often subtle, have a profound impact on audience engagement and message delivery. Let's delve into how design and animation intersect in the world of explainer videos and why they matter.

1. The Art of Simplicity

At its heart, an explainer video's purpose is to simplify. The design should mirror this ethos:

Minimalistic Design: Clutter distracts. Choosing a minimalistic design ensures the viewer’s attention remains focused on the core message. Think clean lines, deliberate colour choices, and a lack of unnecessary frills.

Fluid Transitions: Jerky, abrupt transitions can jar the viewer out of the narrative. Opting for smooth, fluid transitions keeps the story flowing and the audience engaged.

2. Colour Psychology

Colour isn't just a visual delight; it's a psychological tool. When utilised correctly, it can shape perceptions and drive actions:

Brand Consistency: Using colours that align with your brand reinforces identity and ensures the video feels like a cohesive part of your broader marketing strategy.

Evoking Emotions: Colours stir feelings. Blues might evoke trust, while reds can ignite passion. The right palette can subtly underscore your message.

3. Choosing the Right Animation Style

Not all animations are created equal. The style should align with the message:

Whiteboard Animations: These are perfect for breaking down complex concepts. The ‘drawing in real-time’ feel captivates viewers and feels educational.

Motion Graphics: Ideal for data-heavy content, turning potentially tedious stats into dynamic, engaging visuals.

2D & 3D Animations: While 2D is flat and often cartoon-like, 3D adds depth and realism. Your choice here depends on the tone you're aiming for – friendly or immersive.

4. Characters: The Heartbeat of the Story

Characters are more than just animated figures; they're vessels of relatability:

Diverse Representation: Modern audiences are diverse. Ensuring your characters reflect different ethnicities, genders, and ages makes your content more inclusive.

Facial Expressions & Body Language: These subtle cues can convey volumes, often saying more than dialogue. It’s pivotal to get them right.

5. Typography Matters

While visuals reign supreme, don’t underestimate the power of text:

Legibility: Fancy fonts might look great on a poster, but in a video, they can be a readability nightmare. Opt for clear, bold fonts that stand out against the background.

Animated Text: Animating text can emphasise key points and add a dynamic layer to information delivery.

6. Sound Design & Music

Audio complements visual. The marriage of both creates a symphony:

Background Music: The right tune sets the mood. However, it should underscore, not overshadow, the narrative.

Sound Effects: These add depth, making actions feel tangible. The swish of an arrow, the ding of a light bulb – they anchor animations in reality.

7. Consistency is Key

Jumping between styles can be jarring. A consistent design and animation language keep the viewer grounded:

Unified Palette: Stick to a colour palette. It doesn’t just look aesthetically pleasing; it creates a visual rhythm.

Animation Cohesiveness: Whether it’s the way characters move or how objects appear, maintaining uniformity ensures the video feels like a single, cohesive piece.

Wrapping up

Design and animation choices in explainer videos aren't frivolous decisions. They’re strategic moves that dictate how effectively a message is communicated and received. In a digital age, where every second of attention is hard-won, making the right choices in design and animation isn’t just advisable; it’s imperative.

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Emily Malone

Written by Emily Malone Marketing Manager for Venture — a full-service video production agency that specialises in producing creative videos & campaigns that get real results.

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