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You’ve decided it’s time to bring your website into the 21st century with a fresh update. During your research of options, you come across animation and motion graphics. The terms sound interchangeable; both are images that move, but are these two graphic terms the same? If not, which do you need for your website? Which has the most marketing appeal? Don’t abandon your update because you don’t understand the terms; read on, learn a little more about the market and animation, then call the team at Rein and set it all in motion, literally.

Motion Graphics and Animation Defined

In the simplest of definitions, motion graphics is graphics with motion added. Think of a graph on your website showing consumers how much they can save with your company versus using competitors. The graph is just a picture, a static, non-inviting image. It doesn’t catch the eye and could easily be overlooked.

Now, consider this same graph with motion. The bars rise and fall as the site-visitor follows the data. It is engaging and more likely to hold attention than static views. Over 60% of people are visual learners, making this graph more likely to engage potential visitors than the original one.

Animation is very similar to motion graphics; in fact, motion graphics can be used in animation. Animation brings images to life – pictures do more than move on the page. Think of the word animal, a living creature that has movement. Cartoons, CGI, and claymation are examples of animation. This adding of action can confuse the terms since the two are not always mutually exclusive.

The most significant difference lies in the narrative. Animation typically tells a story or conveys a message. There is a story being told by the animated characters. The images that have been animated are more than just logos or backgrounds; they are central to using animation.

Visually Speaking

The visual impact is crucial in attracting and retaining consumers. One study found that over 90% of feedback for websites was related to the design. Our brains receive more information visually than any other way, over 90%. It only makes sense that you design your marketing strategy with motion graphics or animation to convey your message.

Think back to your school days. When your teacher explained science or math to you, did you understand better when it was a lecture or when the big overhead projector flipped through slides? The majority of people understand better with images.

The Differences

There are differences between the two that will help you decide if you want to add motion or animation to your website and other advertising platforms.

  1. Motion and animation may appear to be the same; both involve movement. However, in graphic motion, text and objects have motion added that grabs the audience’s attention. Animation is characters that are put in motion.
  2. Animation is intended to tell a story. Motion graphics are designed to catch your attention to entice you to further your stay on the website. This type of picture can also be useful in pulling consumers in from social platforms. For example, Facebook ads that have motion catch your eye faster than a simple text ad.
  3. Motion graphics are typically less expensive than animation. This is one of the most significant factors for many businesses when deciding which one will work best for your business.


The benefits here are for both types of graphics are similar, with slight nuances in how each one adds value. The benefits should be weighed along with other factors when making your final decision.

  1. Both types of graphics help break information down and make it easier for the audience to understand. An MIT study found that the brain identifies pictures almost instantly. Your intended viewers will more easily understand and get your message when graphics are incorporated.
  2. Emotions play a large role in the decision-making process. When visually stimulating images and animation are introduced on your website or social media platform, you do more than get your client’s attention; you engage their emotions. Your choice of style, music, characters, and more all lend to how the client will react to your business.
  3. Hours and hours every day are spent watching video ads on Facebook, YouTube, and many other websites. Hitting play is a passive action that doesn’t require the viewer to engage in any other way. However, the viewer is absorbing the information on the screen.
  4. Motion graphics are typically short, anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes. This is much shorter than the time it takes to read and comprehend a three-page report on the subject.

These benefits make it easy to see why adding motion graphics or animation is a good decision. You catch your audience’s attention and hold it while engaging their emotions, which can help sway them in the direction you want them to go.

Putting it in Action

There are multiple ways you can put these types of graphic options to work for your business. Outlined here are just a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Social Media Content: If you don’t know what social media is, you are already behind the curve. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, every day, there seems to be a new platform. Adding GIFs, 10-second video clips, and explainer videos all attract new clients and help you stand out among the thousands of users daily.
  2. Video Titles and Overlays: As discussed earlier, people spend hours daily watching videos online. How do you grab their attention and steer them to your video? Add graphic animation video titles or overlays that make you stand out in the sea of videos.
  3. Logo: It should be apparent by now that the idea is to make yourself memorable. Add animation to your logo and use it in your email signature or loop it in on your videos’ footer.

Take these simple ideas and add to them as you expand your business’ reach with these visual tools.


The bottom line when deciding between motion graphics and animation may simply come down to the cost. Both are highly effective at catching the intended audience’s attention. Both can be implemented across various platforms. If you are having a hard time deciding on what to use and how to put it in action, give the Rein team a call and let them show you how.


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