Good graphic design is good graphic design, right? Sure, there are sizing considerations or color space differences between media, but once you have a design set, it’s merely a matter of adaptation, not reinvention. There is an exception, however. Video. Design for video opens up a world of new considerations. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you take full advantage of a dynamic medium:
How does it move?
The first thing to consider when translating a graphic design is movement. These are “moving pictures” after all. How does your design move into the frame, out of the frame, and through the frame? Does it grow larger to increase emphasis? Are some elements diminished as others grow and change? Is the movement motivated by the camera or story? Think about the design in terms of cinematography and how great directors draw the viewers eye to points of interest.
Where does it exist in time?
Unlike designing for print or digital, design for time has a dynamic sense of impermanence. You are no longer creating a static image, but a living, breathing work that exists on a larger temporal canvas. Think about the when of your design. When does it appear? When does it disappear? How long does it remain visible, and to what effect?
Where does it exist in space?
The added dimension of time in video also unlocks a third spatial dimension of depth. Much of today’s modern motion graphics take advantage of technological advancements to utilize 3D space. Think about how your digital design moves through this space and how the virtual camera sees the design elements. Which elements are in focus? Which are not? Is the viewer flying through the design? Think about the viewer’s point-of-view and how changing it in relation to your design can enhance meaning.
How does it evolve?
If there’s one quality that differentiates video from other media, it is change. Even in the simplest cinematic scenes, there is a sense of change – the slightest movements, a character simply breathing, small movements of the camera. Think about how your design will evolve over the course of time and in space.
And let that change tell a story. Story is, after all, rooted in change. Our hero’s world is challenged, accepts the call to adventure, ventures out into the unknown and comes back forever changed by the experience. Think about how the evolution of your design takes the viewer on a journey. What does it tell viewers about the brand? Are you a fast-paced company that adapts quickly to changing industry environments? Maybe the design should evolve rapidly to reflect that. Is the brand tried, tested, and true? Then a simple, bold, unwavering design might imply those strengths.
How does it sound?
Any filmmaker will tell you that good sound is crucial to an effective video. That includes how the sound design relates to the visual design. Think not only about how your design will look – moving and evolving through time and space – but also how it will sound. Consider how musical cues or “stingers” might enhance the design. Maybe the design calls for its own custom sound effects. Or maybe the sound doesn’t follow the design, but the design follows the sound, moving and changing to the rhythm of the soundtrack, or responding to on-camera audio cues. This is an area where you can let your imagination run wild. Adding even the smallest of sound design elements can elevate your design to levels you never thought possible.