Creative

Is static design on the decline?


Is the growing trend of ‘branimation’ here to stay? Here, we discuss motion-forming brand identities, and explore the instances where static design remains the better choice.

What is ‘branimation’?

As the name suggests, branimation combines branding and animation to create a ‘motion brand identity’. While the term might be new, the practice of it isn’t – brands have been dabbling in moving image and animation for years. Take 20th Century Fox for example – they’ve had an animated opening sequence forever! And, with an increasing number of brands incorporating motion into their branding over the past few years, a conversation has started around whether static branding is on the decline.

How the pandemic impacted design

The global pandemic changed a lot of things in design. We spent a lot more time indoors, staring at screens. Digital took over print, and animation took over static. Consumers moved their purchases online. In 2020, many brands used motion design for the first time due to restrictions – and are still reaping the benefits, as highlighted by The Drum:

“Generally speaking, the rate of online growth had been slowing over the last 10 years; however, 2020 saw a +37% increase, over six times that of 2019. E-commerce was a key beneficiary, as there were not many other options for spending money. By June, growth reached 57%. Rising to +71% in the final lockdown.”

The role that movement can play in conveying the essence of a brand and bringing it to life is becoming increasingly apparent. From adding emotional intrigue to broadening the emotional impact of the brand and creating a lasting memorable impression, branimation can be an effective part of your storytelling process.

Motion detection is in our DNA

As human beings, it’s in our DNA to notice movement. When something moves, we’re wired to notice and perceive it as a potential threat, so we pay close attention to it. In fact, one study reported that animated content was a whopping 400% more attention-grabbing than static imagery! This finding is reinforced by data on the performance of moving image on social media, with Facebook video ads receiving 10-30% more views than other ad formats. On Instagram, organic video posts and video ads get 38% more engagement than images. Finally, over 50% of consumers say that they want to see more video content from brands they like.

“Video ads drive more views and engagement than image ads, which leads to a higher ROI for the majority of campaigns.”  – Mark Jenkins

Screens are everywhere!

Motion branding can be used on pretty much every digital platform – TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, tv ads, marketing videos, websites, presentations – the list is endless. This means your brand can reach more audiences than ever before and gives you the tools to raise brand awareness more effectively across more mediums. Even out in the real world, moving image is being brought into advertising, from digital escalator panels on the underground to digital signage popping up in more and more towns and cities across the UK.

Is static branding on the decline?

While there will always be a place for static branding (think business cards, letterheads, van livery etc.), branimation is undoubtedly on the rise. Therefore, my advice would be to future-proof your brand by designing in a way that works across all mediums, and that’s a true reflection of your brand identity and story. Moonpig is a brilliant example of this. While Moonpig’s business type means it still relies heavily on print (think packaging for example!) the rebrand ensures a seamless flow between their print and static digital design right through to their branimation.

Your brand is your customers’ perception of your business, so it’s crucial you get it right. Explore our branding services to discover how we can help.


Written by Kara Clifford
Design perfectionist Kara adds creative flair to all our projects. Her skills lie in print, branding and moving image.