S2E5 – Motion design

Motion design is the trade of making design move. In this episode we interview Mark Lawrence, a 24 years in the making and super talented Motion Designer, and he tells us all of the knicks and knacks of motion design.

We learn what it is, and what his day to day job entails.

Takeaways of this episode

From a personal point of view, my favourite bit was understanding that Marc is the salt of any design, enhancing and pushing the original design to the edge and really making people engage in what you want them to engage in.


Marcs homepage

Marcs Linkedin

Marc talks about the difference between Harveynichols and Primark

Disneys 12 Principles of Animation


Martin Whiskin 0:02
You’re listening to hidden by design a podcast about the stuff that you didn’t know about design. My name is Martin. And this is

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 0:10
Hidden by design.

Martin Whiskin 0:11
Nailed it.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 0:12
Oh, yeah. And my name is Thorbjørn, the podcast starts now

Martin Whiskin 0:18
and we should start recording now

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 0:20
you’re not recording?

All right. So I guess I get your honor of leading everyone in. Saying Hi, and welcome to Hidden By Design. Season two, Episode Five. So today, we’re going to talk about motion design. And since neither Martin or me is an expert, or knowledgeable in that area at all, we decided to do something a little bit special. And invite Marc Lawrence, is that correctly? Because I’m Danish. So is that correctly said? Did I pronounce

Marc Lawrence 1:01
This spot on, spot on

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 1:03
Awesome, thank you very much. Welcome to the podcast Marc.

Marc Lawrence 1:06
So it’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Martin Whiskin 1:10
You want to do a little quick little intro Marc about who you are, what you do and where you’re from, what you’re wearing your age, that sort of thing. Shoesize?

Marc Lawrence 1:20
Marc Lawrence, I am a motion designer. For predominantly for advertising and marketing agencies. I’ve been a motion designer for about 24 years now. I’ve worked in TV, watching film. And I’ve worked my way through to the digital world. At the moment, I basically, what I tell people is I make adverts. So if you’re at a train station or an airport, and you see the ads on the huge billboards as you’re going down the travelator towards your plane that’s going to take you to Mauritius, and you see those cool animations for, for whoever big global brands, it’s likely that I, well, it’s not really likely that I’ve done them, but that’s the kind of thing I do. And it’s slightly unknown that people that do that sort of thing, especially in sort of the UK anyway. I also do a lot of social media animations, all the way down to simple logo animations for all companies. So I generally work with agencies and the odd direct client as well.

Martin Whiskin 2:34
One thing I need to pick up on there, is that the the airport example you use with Mauritius? Let’s see Thorbjørn knows what I’m gonna say here, but we are podcast was number two in Mauritius.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 2:47
Yes, we’re big in Mauritius.

Martin Whiskin 2:51
I think it’s the same podcast in a row. I’ve mentioned that as well. So

Marc Lawrence 2:56
it’s all about Mauritius.

Martin Whiskin 2:58
Oh, yes.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 2:59
So So can’t it’s like would it be? Would it be the right thing to say that your job is to make cool animations?

Marc Lawrence 3:08
Essentially, yes. I mean, motion design is a huge umbrella term that encompasses encompasses a lot of disciplines. The kind of work I do is, I will take if you’re a company, for example, and you have some photography assets, you have your logo, you have some copy, you have a font, you have like a brand, some brand assets, and you need adverts to sell your product, or to promote your event, or to market the campaign, I will knit those elements all together. So that instead of a static graphic design, so the graphic designer might have done a fantastic job for print media, I will take that design, and our animator will have things coming in and out of frame. So it grabs the viewers attention, say on those adverts that you’re watching at the airport or the train station, so it will grab your attention and it will engage you more

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 4:18
To go to Maricious. To listen to a podcast.

Marc Lawrence 4:23
So essentially is if you if you if you’re talking about cool animations, call engagement equals call. So if you want

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 4:32

Marc Lawrence 4:32
if you want call the really you’re talking about engagement, especially with digital they’re called Digital out of home ads. So not just in train stations, but airports but in your local high street. Piccadilly Circus for example, that huge example is huge examples Vegas. That’s huge examples. And you essentially want people to take notice and be aware Wear of your brand your event, the fact that this brand is sponsoring this event. And animation is a way to really grab people’s attention really, really quickly. So it’s the way I use it anyway, the way I use animation to grab attention quickly. But like I said, it’s such a broad term, I used to work in TV, I used to work on TV title sequences, the whole mindset change is completely different. So when you’re working on title sequences for TV, it’s not necessarily about grabbing attention quickly. But you’ll you’re more likely to try and sell a narrative is an intro to the program, or the or the documentary or the film coming up, you’ve got 30 seconds to really set the scene and the pace and the mood for the viewer, as a TV title sequence, and is very, very similar to film as well. It’s a completely separate discipline. And I know many people that have spent 20 30 years working in TV, creating title sequences is a completely separate discipline. And that’s a fabulous one to be in. But it’s, it’s, again, because motion design is such an umbrella term. The way I use motion design is completely different to the way somebody that creates title sequences would use motion design.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 6:30
So So All right, so So let me just into so motion design, it’s like when I saw it, I think I gave it the it’s like the subtitle not an afterthought, because often I feel that it becomes an afterthought. But as you’re explaining it, it’s is like basically, as the word says it’s adding motion to design. And in our what hidden by design is all about is understanding that design is just like getting people to do stuff, it’s it’s, it’s about leading people and helping them actually achieve or do something that you would like as a designer for them to do. And what I’m hearing is like, I’m just trying to encapsulate or collect everything you just said and says like motion design for you is, like the spice on top of the design enhances. And it’s, it’s like, salt to food is like Does that make sense? That

Marc Lawrence 7:36
It performs a job, it still has to, if you’re looking, if you’re talking about an ad, it still has to perform a job, it still has to make somebody aware of a brand, a product or an event or something. But it has to do it in the in the way that that brand has their guidelines. So you sum, the way you move things in and out of frame is going to be different, for example, Harvey Nichols, compared to Primark, you’re going to be Primark is, you know, the job, the jobs is essentially the same, to grab attention and to sell product.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 7:36

Marc Lawrence 7:38
enhance the brand. But the way you do that, for Harvey Nichols is gonna be very different to Primark, because of their brand styles. They got very, two very different brands, styles, and there to two different ends of the market.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 8:39
So with the danger of going a little bit late, so that means that just like style guides, tone of voice, all of these things that typically follows along with the brand is very important to you.

Marc Lawrence 8:52
Very, very important. Yeah.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 8:53
And so as a motion designer, do you typically are you like, do you get the assignments? Like? Do you get the assignment of coming up with the message? Or are you getting the typically the assignment of enhancing the message or helping guide

Marc Lawrence 9:12
Good question, motion designers can do can do do it either way. The way I like to work is within large teams. So the design would already have been created by the artwork or graphic designer creative director. Copy would have already been created by the creative director and the copywriter. So everything’s there everything will then be handed to me. And then I will, I like to tell people I like to move it move it haha

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 9:48
We liked that too.

Marc Lawrence 9:57
Everything is basically handed to me on a plate Design, copy shots, photographic elements. I’m told what size to create these animations in. Because often with print, print sizes and animation out for size is completely different, completely different format. So you have to reconfigure everything. So actually get things to be able to animate from the off. But essentially, everything’s done beforehand. Now I know many, many motion designers who like to work directly with companies strategically, to actually work out with the team, exactly how they’re going to create the motion. The way I step in most of the time, the creative directors have a clear idea of what they want. Although I will pitch in because I know what looks good. If I think their idea makes makes that design look bad, I have to say it’s my job to tell them.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 11:03

Marc Lawrence 11:03
As as Martin with yourself, you know, if the tone of voice is completely wrong, for whatever you’re doing, you’re going to step in and say, you’ve given you know, give them your experience, give them the benefit of your experience. But like I said, there are many motion designers who like to work further up the chain, before a team has gets their hands on what were those elements and ideas, and work with founders, for example. And help create their brand using motion because motion design is part of branding.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 11:43

Marc Lawrence 11:44
Motion designs, the way you animate things in and out frame, the way the logo animates. That’s all part of the branding together with colors, logo, tone of voice, all of that motion design should be part of company’s branding. And again, there are a lot of motion designers waving the flag for this should be your branding. And there are people I know that are going into companies to say, look, if you animate things in a very set way, then that will help you because people will understand how things work consistently. Uber is a great example of that, who have quite well known in my field for having a very, very clear and concise set of motion design branding guidelines, specifically for freelance motion designers that needs to go in and help them create campaigns and ads. But they can then create them quicker, because the guidelines are already there. And they don’t have to work out how am I going to animate this. They don’t have to do that, because the guidelines have already been created. But how to bring things in and out of frame? How elements transitions from one thing to the other, how many seconds they’ve got exactly all of the guidelines are they’re just like brand classic branding guidelines where you’ve got RGB values, hex values, CMYK values, branding guidelines for motion, I just another thing that you can add on that will essentially help them save time helped companies save time because freelancers will be on that job for X amount of time.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 13:37
So if you’re a for a bank as an example, and then you definitely don’t want to have goofy animations of squirrel, you know, robbing a bank or something. You can come up with anything. He’s very tired. It’s my bedtime. So So usually we do this at five in the morning, and now it’s half past nine in the evening.

Marc Lawrence 14:03
Yea Marting said this, I cant believe it Thanks. Sorry, but bit of a side. Thank you for agreeing to come on.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 14:09
No problem. It’s fine. It’s this is absolutely amazing. So I was like I was seeing that Martin was trying to chip in and I have a million questions already. But so I don’t know. Do you have any questions Martin before I kind of unleash the hound.

Martin Whiskin 14:33
I’m trying to remember back to what it was. Marc was talking about a time I might I was making some notes about why motion design is I don’t know more engaging than just a poster. For example, like Marc was saying about the the moving billboards in the in the airports like and I was trying just to make some notes on why that is obviously you Can Marc mentioned narrative you can you can build a story with moving images, you know, moving the simplest form a person from A to B, you know, on an aeroplane because we’re talking about airports, it’s more engaging, when there’s stuff moving around, people like to see what’s going on when the eyes are moving around the page, you know, you’ve got them, because they’re looking at stuff happening. And when it’s more engaging, people are drawn into it, they will remember it more. And it’s and I was obviously I tie a lot of stuff back to what I do voiceover voiceover, you can tell that I’m, I’m this is late in the day for me, there was no resonance there at all. But yeah, there’s so much here that is applicable to what I do as well, all the way from the story to making the people remember it. Because of the increased engagement. There wasn’t a question of just a statement, I think.

Marc Lawrence 15:56
That’s exactly right. That’s right. It’s your you do what I do. But it’s a different area.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 16:02
Yeah, you animate sound. And I guess Marc, you animate images.

Marc Lawrence 16:08
Ohh, I love the way you just done that

Martin Whiskin 16:10
We might as well end the podcast now,

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 16:13
Alright, that’s it. Let’s go to bed.

I have some questions Marc. So so because I think it was very, very interesting, just like the way that you like to move it, move it. I like that. And so we have kind of just like the word itself, motion design goes into there’s motion, and then there’s the design. And it sounded to me a little bit like, depending on who you are, like, it really depends on the brand, the company that you’re doing it for, and understanding the depth of all of that is it’s like is there? Like, how is the distribution of is like doing the motion part and the design part? And how does that? Like? Is there? individuality? How do you deal with that on a market where you have to get jobs, etc? So like, do you understand what I’m getting at? Is?

Marc Lawrence 17:18
I mean, are you asking if I do design as well?

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 17:22
Yeah, it’s like, how much of your job as a motion designer? Is design? And how much is motion? And if I ask a different motion designer than than Marc, it’s like, is that going to be looking totally different? Or?

Marc Lawrence 17:37
Yeah, that’s a great question, actually, how much of the job is design? While I get like a, like I mentioned, I tend to get the designs given to me generally. Sometimes I’m asked to just come up with something that’s appropriate for the actual for the ad, or for the for the space that I’m animating within. Which is which is great, because then you have to put your design head on. And to me design is the the the arrangement of space, how you arrange space, to make something look pleasant and look, make it look right. But if I’m working with a brand, then I can just refer to their brand guidelines. For their designs, I can refer to previous designs they’ve had to get general steer. I’m not essentially a graphic designer. Graphic designers have fabulous. Good graphic designers have a really good eye for space. And for negative space. As well, you know, less is more. And I’m always learning and I’m always learning from designers. And graphic designers less is more and the less you put in often the more it says. You know, you have to let certain elements breathe, you have to let a logo breathes. You have to copy breathe, you have to let shots for like shots or lifestyle shots, you have to let them breathe. And I’ve learned to do that properly through working with graphic designers over the years. When I first started out as a motion designer, I couldn’t design but I could make things move. But there’d be no be very little class to it. Because I had no sense of design. I couldn’t arrange space the way I wanted it to look and I realized I was missing that graphic design element to the role.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 19:08
yeah you go.

Martin Whiskin 19:55
There was you spoken too much already They were one of the I think the the phrase was there, we should use this for the quote at the beginning. This like, I think it was designed as the arrangement of space. I think you said and that was a, that was brilliant, but then you followed up with negative space, less is more things need room to breathe. And again, I’m going to come back to let try again, voiceover that was a bit better. That, again, is, in a way, the arrangement of space, if you listen to an advert, a 32nd advert on the radio that is talking from the first second to the 30th. Second, you’re gonna lose the listeners, because it’s just going to be like a wall of information. And that’s the same with, you know, a blog that is 3000 words saying the same thing over and over. Or, like you were saying, you know, a design a logo that has no white, no space for the eye move around. And I think that’s, that’s the same for, I think, probably all creative services, space needs to move around

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 21:06
is absolutely amazing. Because like, I usually say this about this, like, so design is getting people to do stuff, right? So it’s telling his story, it’s engaging people, it’s all about that. And, and it’s, it’s like a conversation. And this is a thing that I’m really bad at, just like really, really bad at when it comes to conversation. And it’s being quiet, and just embracing the silence a little bit. Right. And, same with design, it’s the same with the motions, I guess, sometimes no motions can be as expressive as a lot of motions. If the timing is perfect.

Marc Lawrence 21:43
It’s true, it’s true. And you know, it’s, it also depends on what you’re looking to achieve. Sometimes you only need some very subtle motion. That may have been technically very challenging to, to actually create that motion buddy of mine a few days ago posted a really, really, really cool motion design piece. And it looks like it’s been hand animated in an old school way. It’s a lighthouse, with some waves lapping up at the bottom of the lighthouse. And it’s a very sort of calming scene. It’s all digital. It’s done in the same software that I use in After Effects, Adobe After Effects, but it looks it’s so it’s just fabulous, because it’s all hand crafted. So it’s you know, you can use digital products to get any kind of look and style based on what you want to achieve or based on the branding that you’ve got to stick to

Martin Whiskin 22:47
was that the one where he sketched it out on the notebook first. It was really nice,

Marc Lawrence 22:53
but over the years is I suppose not

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 22:56
I did not see that I feel left out now.

Martin Whiskin 23:00
And you’ll see the stuff he’s commenting on,

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 23:01
we got to I guess we’re going to add a link to that post in our show notes.

Martin Whiskin 23:06
Link to Marc’s post as well though, because Marc’s work is not just good. It’s very very good.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 23:11
Absolutely going to do that. So anyone listening just go to hidden by design.net and find the show notes.

Martin Whiskin 23:18
And then what you do is you pause to give people the time and space to process.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 23:24
Alright, just watch me pause. But this Yeah, that’s about it.

Martin Whiskin 23:33
Which is what we’ve just been talking about. So yeah, exactly. When linking it all together nicely here.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 23:37
So So Marc, I have more questions. Yeah. So you’re talking about After Effects like I’m from I’m from the world of 3d I’m just like I’ve been using Maya to do character animations in my past I don’t do that anymore. And then there’s you know, hand drawn animation says as you talk about like what’s what’s the what’s your take on that? Like if you want to just like do you use everything? Do you even animate live characters? Or like what was the world like in that aspect?

Marc Lawrence 24:12
Oh, like I said, motion design is a massive umbrella term that encompasses encompasses so many disciplines 3d design is a beast within itself. And I know many many amazing 3d designers they you know, some do product design you know spend days and days and days crafting a bottle of whiskey Yeah. To get the right angles the right light cetera some some composite 3d 3d animations into film and TV. Some do 3d animation for events. Guys, I know that done. The John giga, best and break The screen behind that, John, I know that one of the guys that does those screens, you know, like I said, motion design encompasses a huge array of disciplines. And then we can go all the way back down to the tiny little details you see on your phone. When, when you’re waiting for something to load, loading screen exploding icons, the way pages animate to other pages, whether that goes down on or left to right. That’s UI design, which is motion design. Another form of motion design. I feel I’ve gone off piste a little bit, because you were talking about 3d.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 25:47
No, no, no, no, you’re absolutely spot on. It’s like answering the question slightly, because I was I was really curious about, like, the variations like, as you say, it’s like, it’s a big umbrella. And I think that was interesting to kind of see like, so motion just like so. Now I’m paddling around, avoiding silence. What I meant was what I was, what I was trying to get to is there’s not one way into motion design. As a like, again, there’s like if motion is what you’re like and care most about. That’s the way in if design is what you care most about. That’s a different way in. And the combination of motion and design is is is sounds like really like something you can you can penetrate from any angle you really

Marc Lawrence 26:44
liked it. So there’s no set route to become a motion designer. Like there’s a set route to become a GP or, or teacher. You can essentially teach yourself. I, I learned on the job many, many years ago, before motion design was a term. I was a broadcast designer used to be called broadcast I also worked in TV, creating title sequences. Right? Yeah. Do we live?

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 27:17
Breaking news at the bottom of the screen? Yeah.

Marc Lawrence 27:20
Yeah, exactly. I did that as well. Did the news use graphic life graphics play out. But essentially, someone has to design and animate those graphics for someone to play them out. Yeah. So again, like I said that that in itself is motion design. So I went from that to learning after effects. And then probably combination of years and years of my head spent in books and YouTube to get better and better and better. But nowadays, there are many, many different courses, you can take digital courses that you can take from online schools, that sort of nationally and globally renowned for their motion design credits, when they get the obvious one for me to mention a school of motion. And the the guys, Joey, that, that runs that he used to be a motion to freelance motion design himself. And he’s like an inspiration to a lot of people because he worked in house came freelance and then developed with the School of motion that now is a globally recognized school for to train motion designers in many, many disciplines, from explainer videos to 3d. Even if you want to have your show reel checked out, there’s a special class to go to for that. So there’s no real in but what I would say is that experience matters.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 29:04

Marc Lawrence 29:05
To be to be you can you can have, you can be brilliantly gifted, technically gifted. But if you if you have little experience of working with teams and working with people and knowing where how your output fits into the bigger picture, and accepting that and trying to do your best and being flexible, then you’re, you’re not going to be a great team fit.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 29:37
So is is giving and receiving is like I have a slide. I’m not going to be able to ask all my questions, but it’s like, as a general or normal design. I think it’s like one of the biggest and most important skills that you can have is giving and receiving feedback. It’s like and being constructive about it, but also understanding what people say and And

Marc Lawrence 30:01
that’s hugely important. I mean, when you’re in sort of advertising teams, you’re working directly with creative directors 99.9% of the time, their vision has to be realized. Unless it really is poor. I’ve never worked with a creative director that has had a really bad vision. I’ve worked with some change their mind several times. And that’s fine. You know, it’s still part of the job. I still get to do what I love doing from the comfort of my own home. So I still I enjoy it. I love it work in these teams. But I completely forgot the question. I’ve just gone off on a tangent.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 30:54
That’s perfect. It’s great.

Martin Whiskin 30:58
Conversations, right?

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 30:59
Exactly. I love it. Because this is usually my job to go out. And forget what I’m talking about. So I’m just enjoying this, I’m basking in me not

Martin Whiskin 31:12
enjoying what Maac was saying about. You can do courses and things like that. Yeah. And I’ll use an example when, back in the day, I was in, played in a lot of bands. And I knew a guitarist who had been to guitar school for want of a better, better term, I believe it was the Guitar School. And he was technically amazing. I’ve never, I’ve never known personally a better guitar player. Yet, it was very rigid. And there was no real sort of soul to it. So when you learn from a course, and don’t get the experience, and perhaps you’re not a naturally creative person, it becomes like, well, motion designed by numbers, I guess. And there’s no proper feeling behind it. They’re just doing exactly what it should do. Rather than someone like you who will put the flair into it and their own thoughts and ideas. Is that recycles is

Marc Lawrence 32:18
I don’t think causes courses pose a risk like that. I mean, I’ve been on courses, partly to meet other like minded people. And partly to, you know, increase my software. Know How. But I know what you mean, though, I have met a lot of people like they were very rigid and very black and white.

Martin Whiskin 32:45
Yeah, just like more technically minded as opposed Yeah, like the creative side. Yeah.

Marc Lawrence 32:51
That’s not to say you can’t learn you can. I think you can learn creativity. I don’t think it’s, it’s clearly black and white. But um, I know I’m fortunate that I know, technically brilliant people. Absolutely brilliant, who are also creatively brilliant. It’s very rare, but they are very rare sort of combination of the two and they are also clinically insane. I should take that back then.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 33:30
That’s that’s a compliment in our business

Marc Lawrence 33:44
I don’t think courses pose of risks like that, but I would happily cool myself. And of course, if I knew people that really enjoyed it.

Martin Whiskin 33:54
Yeah, I think I was more. I’m not gonna do it again. But with what I do, there was during during the lockdowns, there was a lot of people who went out and bought themselves a microphone on Amazon for 50 quid when I’m a voiceover artist now. And that was it. You know, there was no sort of thought process or training or anything. And I guess with perhaps with motion design, it’s more difficult to just all of a sudden say, I’m a motion designer, because you have to know how to use the tools.

Marc Lawrence 34:22
Yeah. But I guess with VoiceOver you have and it’s similar to motion design with VoiceOver, you have your own unique voice. Which kind of make makes you suit specific genres, I suppose. Similar to motion design, there are a lot of people that have a specific skill set or a specific style that if they’ve got a specific style and most of the time, companies and agencies will be attracted to them. Because that style, they know that that style is going to help help out their client. So again, I think it varies.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 35:14
I was thinking about like, so this is this is very much like have having your personal style and being able to hit that tone of voice of any company, right? That’s in my mind, especially for design and for art work for a game, for example, is the ability to remove, remove your preferences, and then hit that style, but still have your own flair in it. And it’s like, it’s insanely difficult. I bet I guess that’s what you’re talking about. is also true for motion design.

Marc Lawrence 35:53
Yeah, 100%. Because when you’re, when I’m picking up a design, someone else’s style and brand style will already be there. In terms of the design, I kind of have to bring it alive by using my knowledge of animation to move it that that brand might have its own specific brand guidelines. In which case sorry, motion guidelines, we have those my own sort of flair. I’ll just put that to one side. And I’ll say okay, they’ve got motion guidelines to go with this specific design. Fine. I’m happy to do that. It’s it’s not a problem. So it’s that so I described myself as a generalist, as a not as a motion design generalist because I can. I can work in I’m very happy to work in any sort of styles resume within my skill set.

Martin Whiskin 36:54
When When was the term motion? Because when I first started out freelancing, I just called anyone that did what you do. I just bunched it as an animator. And I think Thorbjørn has got a question about this. So when did the term motion designer come in? Because I don’t know whether I just missed it. Or it’s quite recent development?

Marc Lawrence 37:15
Great question. Brilliant question. I was always a broadcast design. I then became a leader of a lead a team of motion designers. And every now and then we had to recruit into the job, because someone would leave or some decided to go freelance. So we had to recruit into the job. I noticed that all of a sudden, so motion designs, a broadcast designer. So motion design was being used. Because you’re close to the industry press. You’re close the industry as a whole, you keep on touch of what’s going on. Say that was around the early to mid noughties about 2004 Five motions, the term motion design started being used. And I would, no, other motion designers may disagree with me. But I would put that down to school of motion, a school of motion, really promoting those guys really promoting the the medium of motion within advertising and TV, specifically at that time, because we were talking nearly 20 years ago now. So we’re going to advertising TV predominantly. So those guys ran with that term. So then I started using that. That’s for the ads that I used to ping out in the industry press for for new team members. It seems to sort of happen in a little trickle and then by sort of 2008 2009 I think it was genuinely accepted term, generally accepted umbrella term for a lot of disciplines.

Martin Whiskin 39:12
Okay, cool. And I’m trying to form a question here, live. And Toby on the question that you had, I think was what’s the difference between animation and motion design? Yes, answer that I might be able to form my question better after it’s yes.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 39:32
Is there a difference and what is the difference if there is one, I guess

Marc Lawrence 39:37
Yes, exactly. I don’t know many motion designers call themselves animators. Especially if you do character animation. Yeah. Then you are if you do 2d character animation, then you are kind of leaning heavily on the the 12 principles of animation that the classic Disney 12 principles because of animation, so therefore, you’d want to call yourself an animator. Generally, sometimes I call myself an animator, but a motion designer feels a lot more appropriate. I tell my I tell my parents, I make adverts. Because I made a post about this a couple of weeks ago that motion design is an industry term only and outside of our creative bubble. No one cares what it means. It’s not like graphic design, or illustration, or voiceover, or reducer. Creative Director, people generally know what those guys do. But motion design itself, what is that? Again? It’s an industry term. So if I if I went to direct to a marketing team of a brand that have never used video before, but they use graphic designers, or sell motion, so the question I am bound to be asked is, can you just tell me what that is again?

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 41:06

Martin Whiskin 41:09
I think I think motion design to me like is clearer than animator because it says it there. You’re adding motion to design. But you say, Well, what’s an animator? Will they animate stuff? Okay, so what does that mean? And you can keep going down that road. But yeah, just quickly, Marc,

Marc Lawrence 41:26
the lines are blurred. The lines are blurred.

Martin Whiskin 41:28
Yeah. Marc mentioned Walt Disney. And I don’t think we did the quote at the beginning of the show.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 41:32
Oh, no, we did not. We do so we’re way over time Marc . Okay. Oh, sorry. Absolutely amazing.

Martin Whiskin 41:41
It’s almost definitely Thorbjørn fault.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 41:44
It’s always MY fault. That’s, that’s a burden I carry on my shoulder and I’m okay with it.

But should we do the intro the quote of the day, because we always do that we start our episode with the quote of the day and today because everything is upside down. We do the the recording in the evening, we that is like we have a guest on the podcast like everything is upside down. So maybe we should just do the intro quote at the end.

Martin Whiskin 42:16
So I’m going to slightly edit it. It says animation, brackets motion design can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. And it’s Walt Disney

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 42:25
aye because I have so many more questions. But I think we we we should respect your time. Thank you.

Marc Lawrence 42:35
All right, I’m good. I’m good for another 10 minutes. All right, let’s see if you guys got to shoot this.

Martin Whiskin 42:42
Let’s go for one more question. It might better be good. That’d be good. Thorbjørn.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 42:45
Oh, but so then then it’s about story. Right? So because you’re talking about now you’re talking about the difference between what is motion design now again, and what’s the difference between an animator and a motion designer, what I got from like, I have this vague kind of understanding now. That so design is like graphical design is showing something to people to get them to understand or act or behave in a specific way where the design part of it is the active, you can make something that’s really ugly, but still have a good design. Because it conveys the the the idea it gets the user to understand what they’re supposed to do. And so on with the, like how big of a part because that brings us to storytelling, right? So when you have an animation or an animated movie, or an animated clip is more about it’s it’s truly about the story and the message of the comic or the cartoon. Where does motion design stand in that because you’re also telling a story. But how important is that to the message that you bring about?

Marc Lawrence 44:09
I say stories in what I do on a day to day in Ad-land? Aren’t we don’t really heavily lean on stories that much with digital ads. It’s not really narrative driven. However, other formats I’ve worked on such as explainer videos, when you’re explaining what a company does in simple terms, you you stories narrative are key to telling telling the audience what that company does, how their products and services would benefit your life. You know, a motion designers I know many many that are brilliant character animators They can tell that that story through the animation of their characters. You don’t have to use a character to tell a story you can tell a story with a sphere. Yes square, you can tell a story, very sad story that way, which is what a lot of tech and software as a service companies do with their explainer videos, they tend to there’s a very specific look, which I think we’ve seen the last up now a very sort of classic look where you’ll use different sort of shapes in space moving along different other other different shapes are coming in. A VoiceOver will be explaining things and, and the visuals will have a link to what the voiceover is saying. So there’ll be a official story going along, over a minute or so.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 45:51
Is that also because it’s cheap to produce? Or just like

Marc Lawrence 45:54
not necessarily long? All right, not necessarily depends who produces it? Yeah. So yeah, I think explainer videos, title sequences and other classic Yeah, genre for for storytelling, film, and TV title sequences. But the teams that you work in with, with those mediums will already have a story, they’re waiting for you to bring it to life. You don’t just go in as a motion sign and develop a title sequence, tada, there you go. Just like that. But um, I would definitely say, TV task sequences, film, title sequences, explainer videos like classic sort of narrative driven mediums for motion design.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 46:48
What about emo.. like emotions? Do you think about that every time you make an animation, like the receival of the viewers emotion? Or is that

Marc Lawrence 46:58
yea, you can you can elicit emotional responses through movement? Yeah, very, very easily. Through pacing. Timing, doesn’t have to be a character could just be a square. Could be a line could be a circle. Or however those elements animate, you can elicit different different moods. You know, colors can help with the colors will help with the way emotion can be.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 47:29
So you animate colors as well, like you do your changes from that shapes.

Marc Lawrence 47:36
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. abstractions. When you’re talking about abstract shapes and patterns. It’s often quite easy to elicit emotional responses using abstractions. I don’t know why. It just feels really, really easy.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 47:53
Yeah, and it feels powerful, I guess as well.

Marc Lawrence 47:55
Powerful. Yeah,

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 47:56

Marc Lawrence 47:56
You’re just thinking very suddenly very, very simple. shape or color. Yeah, some movement. And you’re creating a feeling with those very, very simple things. I think that is the essence of why I love it so much. Because you can take some very, very, very simple things and great different movies with them.

Martin Whiskin 48:21
Something there is is rather beautiful. Is is the I think what all people creating media should be aiming for and is to make people feel something. When when they watch or listen. Or play it you know, and and if you can do that, you’ve done your job.

Marc Lawrence 48:43
Nailed it. Absolutely.

Martin Whiskin 48:46
Good night everyone.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 48:52

Martin Whiskin 48:56
Marc, do you want to just tell everyone where we can find you?

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 49:00

Marc Lawrence 49:01
Yeah, just hop on LinkedIn. Come find me. Mark Lawrence, MARC, come say hi. Drop by say hi. Awesome. Thank you very much pleasure.

Martin Whiskin 49:17
Thinking our minds

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 49:21
this is absolutely amazing. Thank you so much, Marc

Marc Lawrence 49:25
Thank you. Thanks for inviting me on.

Martin Whiskin 49:27
Thank you for listening to another episode of Hidden by design. You can find out more about us at hidden by design.net. Or you can find us on LinkedIn. My name is Martin whisking. This is Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensens. Yes. Got it. That’s good. You can also like, subscribe, follow the podcast on all of the platforms as important do follow it on all of the platforms. Give us five stars. And an excellent review please as well. Thank you.

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 49:53
Can I say something?

Martin Whiskin 49:54

Thorbjørn Lynggaard Sørensen 49:55
We love you. I said something anyways, I’m a bad boy.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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