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How to hire a great motion graphics designer

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The profession of motion graphics design is relatively new on the design front. Technology-enabled design professions are growing. And there are so many different types of designers out there, it’s tricky to keep them all straight! There are graphic designers, web designers, user experience designers, user interface designers—the list goes on.

As creative filmmakers and video producers expand both their imaginations and their budgets for impressive technology and design, skilled motion graphics designers are essential. Without these savvy, innovative artists, your favourite shows, movies, and even websites and apps would look very different.

But if you’re in the market for a motions graphics designer to help bring focus and efficiency to your content, where should you be looking and what should you be looking for?

What is a motion graphics designer?

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Motion graphics designers, sometimes just called motion designers, create artwork for the web, television, or film. They use visual effects, animation, and other cinematic techniques to bring life to their creations. A motion graphics designer creates live video content, graphics, and animation for handheld electronic devices, web programs, video games, and for smartphones and mobile platforms, including apps.

Most motion graphics designers have an interest or background in art, and/or graphic design. In fact, most typically have a strong sketch and/or creative/graphic design skill sets, and while pursuing or exploring those opportunities, learn about and add motion graphics design to their list of skills and abilities.

These designers must be skilled at hearing about an idea or concept and then creating a sketch to flesh out that idea or concept. They can often create several versions of a sketch or animation and edit it frequently before completing the final version. Motion graphics designers should be skilled at using constructive feedback to adjust as needed by the company or client.

But how do you go about ensuring that you hire a motion graphics designer that’s able to understand your goals for a project and create content that furthers them?

What to look for in a motion graphics designer

Motion graphics done well are a fantastic tool for any brand or creative project. Engaging an audience with beautiful animations and powerful stories, they help brands to share their story, reach people in different ways, and present their message in a compelling package. If you’re looking to mix up your company’s current content, a top motion graphics designer is your ideal choice.

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But there are several qualities and skillsets that all motion graphics designers should possess.

3D modelling

Calligraphy and 2D art still have their place but most motion graphics are now based on 3D modelling, and that is a huge part of the future of graphics. Understanding points in 3D space, lines connecting those points and polygons made up of those lines comes from working with modelling programs.

Animation perspective

A good 3D designer understands motion and timelines. Objects can move. So can light sources. The camera, which is the view of the audience, can also move. The designer can choreograph complex movements, one element at a time, and spin them off in multiple ways.

Organization

Organization is crucial for both freelancers and team members. Keeping a tidy file with organized assets, dependencies, layers, etc., becomes more crucial the bigger your projects become. Organization and multi-tasking are critical attributes we look for in new motion designers. You’ll be managing a lot of layers and elements simultaneously. Keep your files neat and tidy, or you’ll pay the price down the line.

Procedural animation

One of the biggest challenges to creating motion graphics is the fact that it can be incredibly time intensive. Procedural animation is one way to cut down on that. There’s been an awakening of the word ‘procedural’ in recent years, and this trend is set to explode over the next decade. Through simple and complex algorithms, procedurally generated, full animations can be created in a fraction of the time. Work can be tweaked, adapted, and revised at ease thanks to automated processes.

Texturing and lighting effects

The audience doesn't see the model, they see the shapes and the images. Surfacing is part of making 3D graphics look photo realistic. Surfaces can be reflective, shiny, transparent, translucent, rough, or refractive. They can also simulate textures or display moving images. The potential is unlimited.

Understanding big-picture context

The best motion graphics designers knows what their designs will be used for. Video, multimedia, game design and virtual reality are all growing and a possible destination for motion graphics designers. But each different application warrants a different approach. Understand all these applications and how to plan for them.

Adaptability

Plans change, as do project scope and goals. Skilled motion designers need to be ready to change their original vision to accommodate client feedback. Stay humble and roll with the punches.

Timing

Timing is one of the most difficult and most important skills for a motion graphics designer. Motion design is a very story-driven tool—and the best stories contain a natural flow and rhythm. A fantastically detailed and otherwise good-looking graphic isn’t effective if the pacing is strange or doesn’t fit in with other elements like sound. The best animators and motion designers learn to adapt their work and incorporate rhythm and pacing into their process. 

Where to look for motion graphics designers

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Of course, the first place to look should always be your current team. Is there somebody within your ranks you can honestly fulfil all the criteria above? If so, they might be the ideal candidate.

Next, check your existing circle of contacts. If your immediate circle isn’t turning up any obvious candidates, the next logical step is to take the search online. LinkedIn is always an option, but it is a vast and cavernous resource. Creativepool, meanwhile, is focused specifically on creative professionals and there are hundreds of motion graphics designers within our ranks ready and waiting to meet you.

Writing a job description

Of course, if you’re going to be casting the net our for a motion graphics designer, you’ll need to write a decent job description. Start by figuring out how much you can afford to pay them.

The average base pay for a motion graphics designer is around £35,000 per year according to Glass Door. Those with more experience and a proven track record of success in this area can also command even higher salaries.

Be specific about your expectations. While it's important to hire the best person for the job, it's equally important to be clear about what your company needs from that person. Ask yourself if this a full-time or freelance position and whether this employee will be receiving editorial support or managing an in-house writing team?

These are all important questions to answer before starting your search. To hire the best motion graphics designer for your team, it's important to know your priorities and what goals you want to achieve.

Once you have a clear understanding of what you need, take some time to consider what skills are most valuable in filling that role. For example, if you're looking for someone to work on a piece of animation for a campaign, you’ll want somebody with experience working in animation. 

Alternatively, if you're looking for someone to build 3D models for a video game then you’ll want somebody with experience in that field and a vast knowledge of the latest software. Regardless of what skills you prioritize, make sure they align with the needs of the role you're trying to fill. 

With your priorities and skillset in mind, it's time to create a job description. This should include a clear overview of what the role entails and any specific requirements or qualifications you have in mind. 

You may also want to note any benefits that come with the position and let candidates know what you can offer. This will help you attract the best motion graphics deigners for the job.

Using Creativepool

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Looking to hire a motion graphics designer? Creativepool has thousands of super talented individuals waiting to bring your static projects to moving life.

There are 3 ways for you to find a motion graphics designer on Creativepool.

1. Search and Contact

Want greater control of who you work with and the process behind it? Searching for talent directly and then handpicking who you would like to work is a great way to be proactive in your talent hunting. 

Simply search for motion graphics designers and browse through the results. You will be able to look through projects, CVs/Resumes of the talent listed to make an informed decision on your next hire. 

On Creativepool we use a series of indicators to rank our members based on job title. Looking through the top 25 ranked motion graphics designers is also a powerful and quick way to view the best in talent on the platform.

Once you have found someone whose style and experience works for you, contact them directly by clicking on the message tab. Searching is ideal if you have a very specific idea on who it is that you would like to be working with. 

2. Post a studiogig 

Looking for a freelance motion graphics designer? The quickest way to find available talent is to advertise your brief. With us, briefs for individuals are called studiogigs.

Posting your role is formulated to be quick and easy and once you have posted your role, we get busy behind the scenes selecting the best talent to send out your brief to and then post the role on the jobs board. Once you have advertised your brief then just relax and wait for applicants to come to you directly! 

3. Post a job 

If you are looking for a permanent motion graphics designer, then advertising a motion graphics designer job is the way for you to attract talent. The process is identical to posting a studiogig.

Once you have posted your role we will check the details of the adverts, send out job alerts to our community that best match your criteria and post on the jobs board. Like studiogigs applicants will apply to you direct.  

Whether posting a job or a studiogig or searching for talent you are in control on who you hire. You are under no obligation to choose any of the applicants, and you negotiate with them directly on rates. 

If you need any help on your talent hunt. You can chat with us or send us a message. We'd be happy to help. 

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