Motion design is taking over the internet. Icons blink and move, pages fill with content as you scroll, and video content made up 67 percent of all internet traffic in 2016 — and its market share is only growing.
While there are still plenty of pages and mediums where static content is appropriate, the eye is drawn to motion. Businesses should be using this human instinct to their advantage. An animated logo could get you more attention and conversion. . . if you know how to use one.
Why would I want an animated logo?
Marketing succeeds when we understand the needs of the consumer. If the natural inclination to prioritize viewing moving objects isn’t reason enough, there could be several other reasons your target market wants an animated logo:
- If you have a digital footprint, you’re in the right place for animation. “You would want an animated logo for your business if your goal is to target customers online,” Audrey Strasenburgh, SEO Strategist at LogoMaker explains. “Any e-commerce stores or cloud-based companies looking to showcase their brand in a modern light should consider this logo style.”
- If you’re competing in a packed industry, animation could help you stand out. “Today, with literally billions of people using social media sites, standing out is getting harder and harder,” Blogging Coach Janice Wald opines. “Marketers need online attention.”
Lizzie Dunn, SEO Associate at Fundera, agrees. “As consumers are exposed to an increasing amount of advertisements and brands a day, you must go above and beyond to stand out amongst competitors,” she asserts.
Janice Wald used the free tool Introbrand to create a video intro of her logo that is timed to music.
- If you need to communicate your brand’s unique services more effectively, an animated logo gives you more time and space to convey what makes you different. “Animation is a great way to help communicate your brand in a short and impactful way,” Nathan Hall, CEO of Simple Story says. “It can speak to certain brand characteristics, like playful and fun. Or it could be a signal to the world as to what your company actually does — picture an airline having their logo flying into frame.”
Simple Story's own animated logo is elegant and professional.
Pamela Webber, COO of 99designs, seconds this idea: “In addition to grabbing a viewer’s attention, it’s possible to incorporate an element of storytelling in an animated logo that helps communicate a brand’s personality. For example, when we recently animated the 99designs logo, we worked with platform designer Maryia Dziadziulia to incorporate a sense of creativity and playfulness.” It's amazing what a choice of motion can do. From a calligraphic brush stroke to letters bouncing into frame, how a logo moves can suggest how a business brands itself.
Where should I share my animated logo?
So you’re convinced you could use some motion design in your branding. But where can you put this design so that it isn’t too distracting, but it will still garner attention? Most web platforms are becoming more open to a variety of file formats, meaning you’re less limited to a static image than you thought. Here are some places where an animated logo would be ideal:
- On social media — “You can share your animated logo around the internet,” Shane Naranjo of Sigil Digital Creative Agency explains. “The best way, though, is on social media platforms.” Sigil Creative has an animated logo for their Facebook banner. Did you know that was possible? You might be surprised to know that most social media platforms can handle animation in some form or another. You could pin the animated logo in a tweet on your Twitter account, or you could post it as a short video on your Instagram.
Sigil Agency uses this as a Facebook banner, along with a few animated listings of their services.
- In promotional videos — “Animated logos are great for the intros and outros of your video,” Hall says. “It not only communicates who you are, but it tells the viewer what you are about right off the bat. Video is all about motion, so leaving your logo static on the screen for a number of frames would be unengaging and fall flat.”
Dave Bloom, President of Bloom PR, seconds this: “Animated videos are an excellent relatively new visual that’s placed at the beginning and the end of a business video feature, no matter how long the feature video might be,” he says. “It’s an excellent way to brand companies in a colorful and visual way that has a 3-D look.”
Bloom PR has animated several logos for video intros and outros.
- In fact, nearly any digital promotional material benefits from an animated logo. “Today you could have an animated logo that precedes your social media marketing videos, instructional videos, an app loading screen, digital signage, or even some companies use animated logos as their LinkedIn profile picture,” Shane Hebzynski, founder of 3 Cats Labs elaborates. You can use an animated logo in the place of many other motion graphics for loading screens and videos.
When should I stick to a static logo?
Animation doesn’t belong everywhere. Sometimes a page can feel busy if too many parts are moving, and you want to remember where your consumer will be focusing. There are some places where an animated logo doesn’t belong:
- E-commerce product pages shouldn’t overwhelm a user. “One place that you may want to keep logo animation out of is a product page or shopping experience (unless the transaction is complete),” Dunn warns. “You don't want to risk distracting the user away from a buying experience with an animation front and center.”
- Formal situations call for a traditional, static logo. “You should not include your animated logo on any digital PR material,” Strasenburg advises. “Press releases are much more formal and should therefore include just your static logo.”
- On images and media where your logo acts as a watermark or credit, animating it will distract from the media itself. “You would still use a static logo on documentation, as a watermark or branding on a photo, traditional signage, and where we commonly see logos,” Hebzynski says.
- When you’re a new business and when you’re on a tight budget, animated logos might not be your priority. “There are times when a static logo will serve the needs of your brand better, especially if you’re a new brand,” Webber suggests. “Your static logo is important for building quick, instant brand recognition in your customer base that will be invaluable in the long run. Equally, if your budget is tight, consider sticking with a classic fixed logo — hiring a good animator is an investment.”
Who should I hire to create an animated logo?
You might be wondering where you could find someone to make an animated logo. Not all graphic designers have the skills necessary to animate, and you might not have anyone on your team who has experience with motion design. But you have a few options for where to look:
“There are really three types of agencies that you'd turn to for an animated logo,” Hebzynski explains. “An animation studio, a video production agency because they often do VFX, and a creative agency (like 3 Cats Labs) that offers VFX or video production/editing services.” You could also find a freelancer with these skills, because some graphic designers now study motion design in conjunction with their more traditional services.
3 Cats Labs creates its own dynamic logos.
But beyond an impressive portfolio and range of VFX skills, you need to find a designer or company that can tell a story. “It is simple to find someone who can animate, but be sure to invest in a partner who can turn a five-second logo animation into truly valuable asset that can communicate what your brand’s all about,” Hall warns.
For this reason, you might even want to work with the same designer or team for multiple projects. Discovering a designer who you feel "gets" your brand is essential to consistent design that will speak to your audience.
This logo from Simple Story will instantly make you think of fresh water.
Being clear about the direction you want to take with your logo can also help your designer execute your vision. “Work closely with them and ensure you give the creative working on the project a really clear brief about what you’re looking for to ensure a successful outcome,” Webber advises.
Wrapping it up
Can you see why animated logos are gaining popularity? They're fun, magnetic, and unique — not to mention perfect for many digital platforms. It makes for a great video intro or outro, and video content is on the rise. If you're looking for a way to enhance your brand's visibility, you might consider hiring a logo design company, team, or individual to create an animated logo for you.