19th June 2015

Which Video Animation Style Should Your Brand Invest In?

Video Animation Style - character example

As simple as animated videos are, you still have the difficult decision of deciding which animated style will work best for your video’s message.

Animated videos offer a range of styles that are able to help define the core components of your overall message; but, what is the difference between the video animation styles and which one will work the best for your business?

To help you determine which animated video style will best explain your business, we created the above visual demonstration that illustrates the same character, in this case – Tom, being designed in the three different styles to help you understand the differences.

To begin with, we specialize in three different animated video styles:

  • Whiteboard Animation
  • Cartoon Animation
  • 2D & 3D Motion Graphics

Whiteboard Animation
Typically, whiteboard animation consists of a video with a white background and a computer-animated hand that quickly draws and writes core concepts.

From a design perspective, whiteboard animation videos use limited colors and resemble more of a “sketch” and are therefore less detailed than that of a cartoon.

Whiteboard animation has proved to be an effective style of video for businesses that are interested in pitching new ideas or concepts. The real power behind whiteboard animation, however, is that it simulates how we learned in class by directing your viewer’s attention to the whiteboard.

Cartoon Animation
Cartoons are typically the most detailed and colorful style of animation. They are particularly good for communicating a lot of emotion or a closer attention to detail, such as a product or public service. In terms of design, they are the most flexible and allow characters to really interact with other characters, products or objects.

Motion Graphics
Motion graphics focus less on emotions and characters and more on intricate details that you may not even be able to see in reality.  For instance, the screen can take you inside of a detailed engine or breakdown a device into visual, understandable layers. Motion animation will visually take your viewers’ eyes beyond where reality can reach.

Visually, designers and illustrators focus on using basic shapes when it comes to characters, but add significant detail to technical components.


Video Animation Style - Background setting example


To further clarify the difference of video animation styles, we applied the same concept to a typical backdrop without characters. As you can see, the whiteboard animation maintains a simple color scheme in a sketched style and is clearly defined by the physical hand drawing out the story.

In the cartoon setting, we can see that there is a full color palette and there is significant detail applied to each individual element – similar to an actual cartoon series you would see on TV.

Finally, in the motion graphics scene, the designs typically stay within a singular color palette and are less detail-focused on every-day objects. In ways, motion graphics can be seen as a more minimalistic approach, but on the other hand they have the unique capability to really explain intricate and complex concept.

To help visualize a complex idea that was broken down through a motion graphics design, take a look at the following video produced for TydenBrooks:

At the end of the day, the style of video for your business really depends on what you have to offer. Still have questions? Feel free to ask!


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About the Author

Andrea lends more than 10 years of professional experiences working as a graphic designer, illustrator and animator and has contributed to two award-winning videos from the PROMAX BDA Latin America for her work on the video series for Discover Kids LA. As a natural creative, Andrea loves the arts; from going to the theater and cooking to simply reading a good book.

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