Top Motion Design Trends To Look For In 2021

Avatar AE Tips And Tricks | January 2, 2021

Motion design has become quite useful in the advertising, marketing, and social media industry. It fuels business promotions to represent the products and services in a whole new way in this modern digital space. From slight in-app animations to full-fledged promotional videos, motion design has taken over. In an earlier write up, we talked about how the emergence of motion graphics trends can been seen on social media, and you can get inspired by our insta-inspiration page with the top posts from instagram.

Anyone can pick up motion design from online tutorials. There are numerous blogs, videos, and courses that can teach you to become a professional motion designer in a couple of months. With the boom of YouTube and Vimeo, motion design became mainstream. This is where our site can help. With over hundreds of freely listed tutorials, chances are you’ll be able to find what you need.

You can come up with most motion designs using Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D, and more. A touch of motion graphics changes the whole outlook of a project, making it more powerful and impactful for personal and business use. It has been evolving drastically the years, and we are going to talk about the top motion design trends to look for in 2021, as well as some helpful videos to get you on the right track.

Restricted Color Palette

Using Color Palettes by: The Futur Academy

Similar to how poetry can be expressed well in simple words, primary colors can tell an incredible visual story. A classic color palette with few primary colors instead of a rich one with semi-tones is more than enough to be visually appealing. Animation with limited primary colors looks sophisticated and straightforward at the same time.

You may think that a limited palette may look too plain and unappealing, but the results are quite the opposite. Such motion trends stand out with a slight feeling of nostalgia and retro.

Thin Lines

Hand Drawn Thin Lines by Ben Marriott

Lines can depict quite a lot in a motion design. A single line can show a direction, define shapes, and even display a mood. Making lines super-thin yet distinctive makes animations look like hand-drawn images. It provides a unique touch in your animations.

Linear art is quite underestimated in animated videos, yet has become a popular trend in motion design in 2020. Many businesses have made use of the power of thin lines in their promotional and other videos.

3D (Cinema 4D)

Why Is Cinema 4D Good For Motion Graphics? by InspirationTuts

3D has become an integral part of motion graphics this year. More and more, we are seeing programs like Cinema 4D becoming more accessible to motion designers. Since C4D is part of After Effects, more Artists are inserting 3D elements everywhere in various promotional videos.

Computers help generate objects that move in three-dimensional space. Combined with the right visual effects, it can make a great motion design for businesses.

The 2D and 3D Mix

Blending 2D in 3D Environments by Olof Storm

2D and 3D are still combined in motion design this year. Motion designers often say that this adds a particular style to the video, making it more enjoyable for customers. This style is found not only in small digital ads but also in big-budget ads.

Motion graphics tend to use three-dimensional elements in two dimensions. It provides attractive isometric animations that make the ideal use of objects and colors.


Kinetic Typography

Twisted Kinetic Type by Dope Motions

Businesses prefer simple fonts and typefaces to increase the chance of readability.  But this year, artists have been taking up new challenges in typography, which has yielded excellent results.

Kinetic typography helped artists go beyond traditional typography by stretching, twisting, and distorting letters. Surprisingly, people like it, and such animated videos draw more attention to the brand.

Animated Logos

Animate Iconic Logos by: Broken

An animated logo never goes out of style. With businesses aiming for an online presence, they try to incorporate animation into various branding materials. Animated logos have become a significant trend this year and will continue for years to come.

Motion graphics bring static typography and icons alive, making it more attractive and dynamic.

Sophisticated VFX

Learn CG & VFX by Andrey Lebrov

VFX has changed the entire motion design industry. Adding sophisticated visual effects to a video catches more attention of the customers. Complex scenes such as explosions, fires, and much more can be computer generated and still look very realistic. In 2021, these tools are even more accessible.


Creating and adding animated grain by Ben Marriott

The grain is a popular tool that adds an authentic look to motion design. It creates a texture on vector imagery and makes it lively. The visuals tend to look rougher and more natural.

Motion graphics with grain effects tend to stand out from others as it is more eye-catching and displays home-made creativity.


Make amazing morphs using Super Morphings by aescripts + aeplugins

Morphing has become a motion trend in 2020 too. It is an effect that morphs one image or shape into another in a seamless transition. This concept of morphing is becoming even more popular today.

Morphing acts as a visual magnet, keeping the viewer’s attention and making them watch till the end.  This technique is useful for website animation as it keeps the visitor’s attention on the page.

Liquid Motion

Fluid Liquid Animations by Motion Designers Community And Eduard Mykhailov

There is something visually pleasing about splashy and liquid transitions. The liquid transforms into new shapes, making it a visual delight. This motion trend has become quite popular over the last couple of years.

Shapes are smeared and splash together at the moment of a peak in action and then move in slow motion with twists, zooming in, and bends. The liquid motion has been around for over a decade and is still trending due to modern advancements.

Amazing Sound Design

Star Wars: The Last Stand – Winner Of Best Sound Design at the Motionographer 2020 Awards

One of the most important part or foundation of motion design is sound design. Any background music and dialogues can set the premise, making it realistic and more captivating for the audience. The ambiance and good voiceover are crucial for a motion design. Having the best sound design is equally essential with great motion design. But even more importantly, you should look at different examples of how sound design is used in the best motion design work. Check out the Motion Design awards from 2020 by Motionographer, where you will find some of the best sound design (and motion design) work out there. 

Final thoughts

Despite all the motion trends, a motion designers must keep in mind that the design must suit the idea behind it. 2020 has been a great year for many beginnings and breakthroughs in various fields and industries. The motion design industry has also been gravely affected by the changes in human perception and preferences.

We have discussed 11 different motion design trends for 2020. These motion trends are equally attractive, visually pleasing, and can tell a story or set the mood. If you are looking for tutorials, be sure to check out our list of the top motion design tutorials of 2020

The trends listed above are useful for most types of businesses who require motion graphics for their videos. Go through them thoroughly and select the most appropriate one, depending on what you are trying to do.

Hopefully, these trends help you design the most innovative and visually appealing videos and animations to help you or your company succeed!




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