Career Profile: Motion Graphics Designer

motion graphics designers at work

If you have a passion for art and design and crave a career that allows you to work with the latest technology, then a job as a motion graphics designer could be the right choice for you. Motion graphics involves the use of movement in digital footage and animation. It’s often combined with audio to produce multimedia works of art for television, movies and digital content. This dynamic career is at the forefront of emerging technologies, making it an exciting choice for students who wish to develop their technical skills.

Overview of the Motion Graphics Design Career

One of the most intriguing aspects of the motion graphics niche is its versatility. You’ll find examples of motion graphics just about everywhere. In movies and TV shows, creators use motion graphics to develop lifelike landscapes and fantastical beasts like dragons. In marketing, motion graphics are used to depict brand stories and to explain products and services. You can even find motion graphics being used in music videos, apps and informational YouTube videos. Of course, motion graphics are also at the heart of video gaming and virtual reality systems.

Because of the versatility of the motion graphics field, you will find motion graphics designers working in all sorts of industries. Many motion graphics designers are self-employed freelancers who may work for a diverse portfolio of clients. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business and working remotely from home, the motion graphics niche presents exciting possibilities.

Main Responsibilities of Motion Graphics Designers

The job duties of motion graphics designers can vary widely, depending on the specific industry and company they work for. In general, these professionals may do any of the following:

  • Meet with clients or project managers to discuss new projects, review client expectations and develop project guidelines.
  • Conduct appropriate research and plan concepts for the project.
  • Use advanced graphic design software to create motion graphics content.
  • Collaborate with other team members to ensure that the content aligns with project expectations.
  • Review feedback from game designers, other animators, directors or clients and edit the motion graphics accordingly.

Some motion graphics designers specialize in a particular medium or type of project. For example, some may specialize in using computer-generated images (CGI), which involves imaging the movements of a real-life actor and then creating animated, three-dimensional characters based on that actor’s movements. Other professionals may specialize in creating fantastical landscapes.

Important Skills and Traits of Effective Motion Graphics Designers

To be successful in this field, motion graphics designers need to have a unique blend of technical skills and artistic vision. Fortunately, both of these can be acquired and developed as you work through a bachelor’s degree in animation. You’ll also want to work on developing the following:

  • Adaptability: It’s not unusual for clients to change their minds about what they want from a project after the project is already underway. Motion graphics designers need to stay flexible and adaptable and remember to always prioritize the client’s needs and preferences.
  • Communication: Most jobs require solid communication skills, and this one is no exception. Motion graphics designers often need to work collaboratively with other team members, as well as art directors. Even designers who work on a freelance basis from home must be able to communicate effectively with clients.
  • Passion for lifelong learning: The technologies available to motion graphics designers are continually evolving, allowing for greater capabilities and features. Successful professionals are those who are passionate about staying on top of the latest trends in their industry and who are eager to learn new skills and refine existing skills.

Pathway to Become a Motion Graphics Designer

Another great aspect of pursuing a career in motion graphics design is that a graduate degree is usually not required. There are entry-level positions available for motion graphics experts who hold a bachelor’s degree. It’s best to look for an undergraduate degree program in animation, digital film or a related subject.

While you’re working toward your bachelor’s degree, you’ll begin to build a professional portfolio using projects completed for classes. Include your best work in your portfolio, as it will be instrumental in helping you land a job or secure freelance clients after graduation. You might also consider looking for an internship in the field, which will help you develop advanced skills and industry knowledge while also building professional connections in the field. Another way to get an edge over the competition is to stay current on trending issues in the field. Check out active blogs and podcasts in motion graphics design to stay on top of the latest technologies and techniques.

The College of Fine Arts and Production at Grand Canyon University is pleased to offer multiple degree programs in digital arts, including the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation degree. Graduates will emerge with marketable technical skills and an advanced sense of artistry and design. Begin exploring your pathway to success by clicking on Request Info above.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.