Animation 101 Pt. 1

Alex Barton

Category: Creative


In 2016, the website GIPHY won a Webby award for integrating “animation or motion graphics in a seamless, superior way that enhances user experience.” The site functions as a database for easily searchable and sharable GIFs. These days, it’s hard to scroll through social media without seeing attention-grabbing motion graphics. Luckily, the NJI Media design team not only has experience developing animation for social media, but using animation as a tool within the design process. Here are a few of our tips. 


Not all Graphic Designers are illustrators, but illustration is just one of the many tools in our toolbox here. We’ve illustrated everything from steel mills to corndogs and there’s a benefit to keeping animation in-house: we illustrate with motion in mind. We’re constantly asking questions like “What if there were sparks coming from that furnace?” or “What if a hand grabbed a corndog and returned it with a bite missing?” Thinking about illustration in multiple dimensions also guarantees that our product is efficient and feasible. What sets illustration apart from static photography is that it is highly original, and can be tailored to fit specific objectives for an organization.


Traditionally, the basic visual components of branding include logos, typography, colors, and shapes. Increased interest in animation has introduced a new idea into the mix: motion as a part of identity systems. I recently switched from iOS to Android and the first thing I noticed was the presence of animation. In Android upon start-up, four bouncing dots transform into the word “Google,” when I tap the stopwatch’s hourglass icon it rotates, and holding “delete” in the calculator creates a wave that emanates across the screen. These active interactions present a stark contrast to the subtle transitions and color changes found in iOS. Android’s willingness to integrate active interactions help them differentiate themselves from competitors.

Hooked on animation? Keep an eye out for Pt. 2 of our animation tips.

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