The Top 20 Motion Graphic Trends of 2018

Motion graphics trends are created and impacted by the pop culture zeitgeist and the latest technological innovations. While it is not recommended to blindly jump on the bandwagon of any and all trends, it is a vital practice for all of you motion design ninjas to be well informed of what is hip and on the cutting-edge in the motion graphics industry as a source of creative inspiration and also to be able to best cater to the needs of your clientele. Nobody wants a project with an out-of-date look!

So what are the major trends and design patterns of motion design that have emerged in the design scene and will continue to grow throughout 2018?

Let’s explore it all in this trend-spotting post where we have identified the top 20 motion graphic trends of 2018 and will present all the trend insight you need to add some contemporary flair to your motion design projects.

 

TECHNIQUES

1. Glitch Effect

The glitch distortion effect — think pixelated off-register images or the visual crackle of a video stream evoking the scratchy static of an old TV — has been used by a number of big brands recently. No other trend has garnered quite as much ubiquitous traction as the glitch effect. Adweek & Shutterstock report that glitch design has permeated almost every aspect of culture, from fashion to marketing, branding, packaging, to TV, film and motion design.

As a trend that manages the paradoxical feat of having a vibe that is both futuristic and retro — glitch is inspired by an overall move in design towards celebrating the eerie beauty of controlled imperfection.

If you’d like to explore this fun and interesting major trend, you can now create your own glitch distortion in After Effects with our Glitch Toolkit.

Glitch Builder by Motion Factory

Glitch Builder by Motion Factory

Glitch Builder by Motion Factory

Glitch Builder by Motion Factory

 

2. Morphing

The trend of morphing shape layers — morphing between shapes, objects, or icons — is one that has been around for a good few years but we continue to see a lot of this morphing trend in contemporary motion graphics and it is by now an established trend that continues to gain momentum and popularity. The morphing trend is particularly prevalent in logo animations.

Numeral Morph

Numeral Morph by Sara Farnsworth

Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday by R A D I O

 

3. Mixing 2D and 3D

The capabilities of 3D allow creative opportunities that otherwise would be almost impossible to reach. It is very safe to say that we will continue to see more 3D throughout 2018 in not just the motion design sector but all industries and sectors for everything from small to big-budget productions and commercials, product shots, marketing campaigns and game design.

A hot emerging trend in the motion design industry is that designers are exploring new ways to mix 2D with 3D animation and graphics to achieve a more graphic, stylized look and create complex visuals. This leads to a variety of new and interesting experiences to offer the viewer. Experts predict that the trend of mixing 3D and 2D in motion design will solidly continue to gain in popularity.

 

Castle by Monument Valley

Castle by Monument Valley

The Sphere by Aslan A.

The Sphere by Aslan A.

 

4. Liquid Motion

Liquid motion — animations in which organic shapes transform in a liquid way — is a trend that (just like the morphing trend) has stuck around for awhile but continues to enjoy enduring popularity. After Effects allowed smooth fluid transitions between scenes or images which catapulted liquid motion as a trend to a whole new level and has secured its popularity in the advertising world.

Liquid shape by Grégory Villien

Liquid shape by Grégory Villien

OK by Eduard Mykhailov

OK by Eduard Mykhailov

COLOR

5. Bright Bold Colors

Bright, bold, brave colors and hues are surging in popularity this year and making a prominent impact in the digital design world. Utilized and praised for their visual prowess, the trend is to use colors to “Make it pop!” Given the growing demand for designs that stand out, the trend of bright bold colors will continue their trend in 2018.

 

Digital media designers have witnessed vibrant violets become a popular color choice in recent years, especially in web and mobile app design. Pantone affirmed this trend by naming ‘Ultraviolet’ as Pantone Color of the Year 2018. With its official “Color of the Year” status, we can expect this trend to gain steam in 2018.

Pantone Color of the Year! The bright bold ultra violet.

Pantone Color of the Year! The bright bold ultra violet.

6. Punchy Pastels

The soft & lulling candy colors of a pastel palette remind most of us our childhood. Driven perhaps by the wave of nostalgic vintage vibe that is on the rise right now, the retro pastel palette as interpreted with a modern eye that punches up the saturation of the sweet candy colors and infuses them with an undeniable kick is now very much on trend.

7. Gradients

Gradients — or ‘Gradient 2.0’ or “color transitions” as they are increasingly called nowadays — reigned supreme in the design world until they were dethroned by flat design but now are making their modern-day comeback as a semi-flat design enhancement.

The reappearance of gradients in iOS and adoption by industry leaders like Stripe, Spotify and Instagram have solidified their popularity. Considered as one of the biggest graphic design trends of the year, right now, the world is obsessed by the transition of one hue to another, and the gradient trend is likely to be fueled by the onset of Virtual & Augmented reality as websites and designers try to incorporate more realism, immersion & 3-dimensional elements in the design and we will be seeing more of them not just in the foreground but in the form of vibrant UI, branding, backgrounds, illustrations and overlays and eventually a natural element of design, bringing more depth and dimension to compositions.

Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ

Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ

Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ

Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ

Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ

Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ

TYPOGRAPHY

The use of typography in motion design is a classic trend. We think that David Fincher’s Se7en directed all the way back in the dark ages of 1995, is a film that has withstood the time not just for its acting and plot but also for its sublime use of kinetic typography in its title sequence but let’s look at the motion graphics typographic trends of 2018 and how motion designers are practicing typography artistry in 2018 to bring fonts to life in animation, TV, Film, Videos, Title Sequences.

8. Collage Typography

 Masking visuals inside the lettering itself. The technique of embedding visuals inside the text alluringly references the content and draws the viewer’s attention. This catchy typography trend of 2018 has been used in titles sequences of shows and films such as Top Gear, Stranger Things, and The Deuce.

9. Macro Typography

Using extra-large font sizes and huge and bold text graphics in different font styles is very much in vogue right now in web design animations and also as eye-popping title sequences in films — as successfully used to establish menacing unsettling vibes in shows and films such as Mindhunter and Split. When it comes to typography in 2018 you’ll find that size matters! The bigger and the bolder: the better!

10. Layered typography

As used in films such as Thor Ragnarok and Downsizing, this is the trendy typography style where typography and title graphics are layered with 3D elements to establish the mood of what viewers are about to watch.

11. Kinetic Typography

Kinetic typography, the technical name for “moving texts” is an animation technique mixing motion and text. Text that moves across the screen like it’s being typed or revealed in real time creates a visual effect with immediate impact as it pops up and writes out word for word. Kinetic typography is essentially motion typography and it is a big trend that is overtaking video text graphics today.

12. Animated Fonts and Titles

Using animated Fonts and Titles is a trendy way for gaining attention and keeping the audience invested while also conveying them a message, two birds with one stone! The designs range from simple moving characters all the way to paying homage to social heroes.

 

MOTION GRAPHICS IN WEB & APPS

13.Micro-Interactions

Major players in the digital sector are increasing their resources towards building fluid user experiences. Interactions have proven to be a capable form of improving the users’ experience and lately, there’s a lot of buzz about “micro-interactions.” But what exactly are micro-interactions?

Micro-interactions are very subtle animations that enhance user experience and allow the user to engage with an interface in a single moment. For example, it is the mouse cursor that changes from a black arrow when moving, to an insert bar when it hovers over a text field, to a finger when it moves over a button.

Micro-interactions are possibly one of the biggest UX trends to date — they are everywhere and will only grow in use and popularity.

Web Interaction by InVision

Web Interaction by InVision

App Interaction by Leo Leuong

App Interaction by Leo Leuong

Interaction test by Riccardo Agostinelli

Interaction test by Riccardo Agostinelli

UI Interaction by John Oates

UI Interaction by John Oates

 

14. Animated GIF Logos

According to various creative trends reports, from Behance to Shutterstock, the overall trend is more animations and video on the Internet and an ever more increasing demand for GIFs by companies looking to market themselves in the digital space, especially on social media.

Funny, clever and appealing, GIFs entertain and engage users and fit in fabulously with the very short modern attention span, and are thus valuable tools for reaching customers and communicating ideas. Let’s face it, it is an emoji and GIF world and we only live in it.

Animated GIF logos, in turn, have become a super hot trend of their own. Distinctive and unique, animated logos captivate and draw the users attention and are popping up in interesting and creative ways.

Behance Logo by Igor Pavlinski

Behance Logo by Igor Pavlinski

Flickr Logo Animation by YaroFlasher

Flickr Logo Animation by YaroFlasher

Fubiz Loaders

Fubiz Loaders

15. Cinemagraphs

One of the emerging motion graphic trends of 2018, cinemagraphs, is animated images that are essentially still photos with a minor and repeating movement video loop for only a selection of the image. Think a photo portrait of a woman with tresses of her hair blowing in the wind. The juxtaposition and contrast of movement on extreme stillness is surreal, eerie and hypnotically striking.

TECHNOLOGY

16. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has evolved into a new phase with great potential as a medium that all industries and sectors from around the world will inevitably use for various purposes. According to experts, the virtual reality trend will continue to gain in popularity throughout 2018.

Virtual reality lends itself to depicting complex surreal scenes, To wit, in one of her latest videos appropriately titled “Notget VR”, Bjork used utilized virtual reality to create high-quality surreal effects and vibe. (It is interesting to note that in this technically ambitious Bjork video you see a lot of 2018 motion design trends combined: virtual reality, surreal themes, fantasy, and sci-fi.)

Utilizing virtual reality to create surreal effects is an aesthetic that we predict will be an emerging hot trend in motion design.

VIBES

Fantasy, New Minimalism, and Space are the top three style vibes that influence design and visual production in 2018 — as reported by Shutterstock’s Seventh Creative Trends Report. Retro is also another genre with a strong presence and influence across the spectrum of popular culture and visual design.

17. Retro

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. That’s what the bible says! This is very apt to capture the retro vibe of motion design right now as everything old is new gain and the creation of the retro look through animation and motion graphics is becoming quite popular.

E-Sports Explainer

E-Sports Explainer

 

18. Fantasy

With the recently announced Lord of the Rings TV series looming on the horizon; the everlasting popularity of Harry Potter; and the dominating global popularity of Game of Thrones it is not too fantastic a surprise that Fantasy makes Shutterstock’s list as its top design influence.

We already saw fantasy mixed with surreal and virtual reality in Bjork’s video and from mythical beasts to magical landscapes, can expect to see the symbols and styles of the fantasy genre to penetrate the motion design storytelling field.

The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong

The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong

The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong

The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong

The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong

The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong

 

 

19. New Minimalism

Minimalism in 2018 is still a major trend but it is evolving for modern times. The new minimalism challenges the concept of bare-minimum “stripped down” with added texture and concentrated vibrant colors and even loopable sounds and goes beyond crisp, clean lines to feature bold fluid styles that re-imagine this consistently popular art form. It is absolutely on trend to make a statement with the uncomplicated yet bold style of New Minimalism.

Minimalism by Andhika Ramadhian

Minimalism by Andhika Ramadhian

Channel Branding by PALIS - Paula Vidal

Channel Branding by PALIS – Paula Vidal

 

20. Space & Sci-Fi

With the revitalization of Star Wars, Star Trek, and several Marvel cosmic films, as well as TV, in popular series like Stranger Things, Dark, and The Orville; not to mention the surging trend of virtual reality, the space and sci-fi genres continues to infiltrate the popular culture and psyche and in turn pose as major influences in the creative world. Expect to see increasing use of the images, symbols, and styles of space and sci-fi by motion designers.

everydays by beeple

everydays by beeple

Callisto by Aldo Pulella

Callisto by Aldo Pulella

 

everydays by beeple

everydays by beeple

Avengers Age of Altrun -HUD-MONITOR DESIGN

Avengers Age of Altrun –HUD-MONITOR DESIGN

 

 

If these elements of Sci-Fi and Space are appealing to you and want to use them in your projects, you can easily access them using our HUD builder toolkit for Adobe After Effects.

And that’s all folks!

***

Did you find this blog post helpful? We would love to get your feedback and if you would like us to create more content like this, definitely let us know in the comments.

We would also be quite psyched to connect with you on social media. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook.) Do not forget by the way to explore our YouTube channel for excellent After Effects tutorials.

Make sure as well to check out our website for a ton of freebie After Effects templates and motion design goodies to use as tools and inspiration for your projects.

Now go forth and conquer, motion design warriors!

 

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