5 Amazing Motion-Graphics Studios

For our Design And The Marketplace module last semester our final outcome was to produce a proposal, saying what we would produce, research, and hopefully learn and conclude over the next few months. It included a timetable for summer research, because after all, they wouldn’t be summer holidays without a little bit of university work. For reference I’ve posted my timetable below:

May 30th    Review/list of motion design firms around the UK, or perhaps just Scotland
June 6th        Contact further motion design studios following review of local firms
June 13th     Contact broadcaster or film company for interview on motion design
June 20th    Blog post/review of the potential clients for motion work in modern business
June 23rd    Review design press on motion design, eg: Design Week, FastCo
June 27th    Investigation into commercial animation (inc. blog post)
June 31st     Contact band/DJ/musician who uses live motion graphics
July 5th        Contact Dayna Galloway @ Abertay on motion design in video games
July 12th     Reassess NESTA toolkit entries, redo practical sheets
July 19th     Review motion graphics community through social networks like Vimeo
July 26th    Research on history of motion and graphic design, with artists like Saul Bass
July 29th     Second review on design press on motion graphics, eg: Computer Arts, Creative Review
July 31st     Review use of motion design in new video social media, YouTube in particular

I’ve already fallen a little bit behind. I’ve yet to ask my employer, Creative Graffix, about how they decided to move from franchise to independent business. That’s the next step! Another opportunity to interview professional designers will come from my placement in the start of July. I’m set to work with Glasgow design studio CityHall from the 1st of the month. They’re a small 2-man operation and it’s a testament to the trend I highlighted when interviewing Elastic Creative, a shift towards more numerous, smaller studios in not just Scotland but throughout the industry.

I also need to get back in touch with Elastic Creative. I’ve had a quiet couple of weeks, but I’m settling back into a full-time pattern on Monday. I’m planning out interviewing them on YouTube. This not only links in with the growing prevalence of video in the way the industry communicates but is also good publicity for Elastic to show their versatility in working through multiple channels and social media formats.

The next step is to take a proper around the industry at motion graphics. I’ve featured 5 below, with more to come in the next week. I’ve tried to vary their location around the UK and I’ll then be taking a look at how they apply their craft (the crux of my business plan) and if their location has any bearing on their work.

Courtesy of Animade

Courtesy of Animade

1: Animade, London

Animade classify themselves as an “animation studio” proving there’ll be some blurring in terms of what a motion graphics company is and what an animation company is. Motion graphics is really a blending of animation and graphic design after all, but much of Animade’s material falls under this category. Based in London they’ve worked on projects such as commercials and assisted in brand collateral in cooperation with other design agencies but have additionally provided artwork and animation for apps such as the fantastically minimalist “Ready, Steady, Bang” and other mobile device games, another interesting application of their craft. They’re becoming a big deal in the motion graphics and animation studio community, quite a feat in London, especially if working exclusively in 2D.

Showreel Highlight: More Than Just A Hobby”


Courtesy of Flaunt and Axis Animation

2: Flaunt, Glasgow

Once again Flaunt sell themselves as an animation studio and are a sub-division of the incredibly successful Axis studio. The difference between them and Axis however is that slight lean towards motion graphics. Additionally they’re client base is more commercially orientated, producing more traditional outcomes of motion graphics. They focus mostly on character animation, giving their work a really great sense of character. They also focus a lot on 3D character animation, but tend not to work with any live-action footage.

Showreel Highlight: “Cartoon Network Laughternoon”

Courtesy of superestudio

3: superestudio, Buenos Aires

I’m looking pretty far afield now, but it’s useful to see the standard and perspective of work across the globe to see how demand varies globally. superestudio, based in Buenos Aires have some fantastic work, and cross a really wide selection of mediums over each project. They’ve produced motion commercials and the like but have also produced graphics and animations for award ceremonies, another really interesting application of the craft, but one that’s worked fantastically. Working across so many disciplines means that superestudio are quite a large business, but are also one of the few to market themselves as both an animation and design company. Very interesting.

Showreel Highlight: “The Countdown, Sony Spin”

Courtesy of Man Vs Machine

4: Man Vs Machine, London

I’ve already mentioned Man Vs Machine on the blog so far, but what the heck, they’re so good I’ll mention them twice. They tend to specialise in branding and brand execution with a strong leaning towards motion graphics. This would be my ideal kind of company, especially considering their clients include ident heroes Channel 4. They predominantly produce idents and stings for channels and production companies, which strongly ties in with their branding branch. Additionally they’ve had more unusual projects, such as being commissioned to create abstract animations on ‘the architectural process’ – motion graphics fine art effectively. They’re another massive company covering countless mediums, but undoubtedly cool.

Showreel Highlight: “4seven Idents”

Courtesy of Monkey’s Cobbler

5: Monkey’s Cobbler, Sydney

I may have also mentioned Monkey’s Cobbler already. My brother knows the people at the head of the company, but they’re perhaps the most interesting out of the whole featured 5, due to how they’ve applied their craft. They’re a company which has expanded to cover a wide range of specialisms beyond motion graphics, even delving into projection mapping projects. Another noteworthy feature of their portfolio is a healthy selection of online and interactive work, which could provide very interesting avenues in terms of motion graphics, especially when applied commercially or even academically.

Showreel Highlight: “Microsoft Imagine Cup”

So there’s 5 very different and very interesting motion graphics, design and animation companies from around the world. The one thing they share is that they mix design sensibility and motion and animation processes and turn this into something commercially successful. Next blog post I’ll look at exclusively Scottish companies and see the specific trends that emerge on a local level.

Listening to: Jets by Bonobo


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