The Theory and Practice of Motion Design : Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice book cover
1st Edition

The Theory and Practice of Motion Design
Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice

ISBN 9781138490802
Published July 23, 2018 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

This collection offers an expansive, multiplatform exploration of the rapidly-expanding area of motion design and motion graphics, taking into account both theoretical questions and creative professional practice. Spanning interaction design, product interfaces, kinetic data visualizations, typography, TV and film title design, brand building, narrative storytelling, history, exhibits and environments, editors R. Brian Stone and Leah Wahlin offer an interdisciplinary range of academic essays and professional interviews that together form a dialogue between motion design theory and professional practice.

Written for both those critically engaged with motion design as well as those working or aspiring to work professionally in the field, the book features a range of international contributors and interviews with some of the best-known designers in the field, including Kyle Cooper, Karin Fong, and Daniel Alenquer.

The Theory and Practice of Motion Design seeks to illuminate the diverse, interdisciplinary field of motion design by offering a structured examination of how motion design has evolved, what forces define our current understanding and implementation of motion design, and how we can plan for and imagine the future of motion design as it unfolds.

An accompanying online resource site,, contains visual representations of the examples described in the text.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A dialogue on the theory and practice of motion design - R. Brian Stone


Part 1: Theoretical Perspectives

Section 1: Interdisciplinary Influences and Origins


Liberating Words from the Printed Page - Dan Boyarski

The Evolution of the Motion Graphic Design Discipline Seen Through Its Definitions Over Time - Clarisa E. Carubin

Motion in Graphic Design: An Interdisciplinary Teaching Approach - Camila Afanador-Llach

Re-framing Design: Form, Meaning and Media - Jennifer Bernstein


Section 2: Communication Theory


Figures of Speech Applied to Motion Design - Bruno Ribeiro

On the Semiotics of Title Sequences: Three Modes of Text-Image Composition - Michael Betancourt

Towards the Cumulative Effect of Expository Motion Graphics: How Visual Explanations Resonate with Audiences - Spencer Barnes


Section 3: Science and Perception


Motion Attracts Attention - Elaine Froehlich

A conversation with Daniel Alenquer, Playerium


Part 2: Practice & Application

Section 1: Brand Building and Identities


A conversation with Guy Wolstenholme and Jon Hewitt, Moving Brands

Identities in Motion: Logo Introductions as Brand-Building Narratives - David Peacock

A conversation with Jakob Trollbäck, Trollbäck+Company


Section 2: Interface and Interaction Design


Navigating VOX/UI: The Integration of Motion in a Voice-Controlled

Information System - Andre Murnieks

A conversation with Jeff Arnold, Microsoft

Energetic Alpha: A Design Continuum Created Through Collaboration - Gretchen C. Rinnert, Aoife Mooney, and Marianne Martens


Section 3: Narrative and Storytelling


A conversation with Kyle Cooper, Prologue Films

The Blurry Intersection of Illustration and Motion Design - Adam Osgood

A conversation with Karin Fong, Imaginary Forces


Section 4: Space and Environment


Motion Design in the Context of Place - Cotter Christian and Catherine Normoyle

Motion Design and its Impact on Audiences – from Theory to Practice - Christina Lyons


Section 5: Experimental Visualizations & New Applications


Fragmented Motion: Split-Screen and Asynchronous Video - Steven Hoskins

A conversation with Isabel Meirelles, author of Design for Information

A conversation with Matt Pasternack, InfoMotion


Section 6: Educating Motion Designers


Notes on Education - R. Brian Stone

Teaching Motion Literacy through Music Visualization - Heather Shaw

Conversations on Educating Motion Designers

Kyle Cooper

Daniel Alenquer

Karin Fong

Guy Wolstenholme and Jon Hewitt

Isabel Meirelles

Jakob Trollbäck



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R. Brian Stone works in the area of motion design, interaction design, information visualization, and user experience, and is an Associate Professor of Design at The Ohio State University. His work has garnered numerous awards for design excellence, and he has held visiting appointments at the National University of Singapore, Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial in Brazil, and Universidad Americana Managua in Nicaragua.

Leah Wahlin’s academic background in English literature and composition pedagogy is layered with professional experience in content development and project management. She brings her interest in the intersections of technology, design, and strategic communication to her role teaching technical and professional communications in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University.


"A riveting collection of essays, providing the unique point of view of some of the most inspired members of our industry. Whether you are interested in the science or the practical aspects of this field, this book is certain to provide rare insight, education and inspiration."

—Alberto Scirocco, President / Creative Director, leftchannel

"R. Brian Stone and Leah Wahlin have produced the best book on designing for motion since Peter von Arx’s classic Film Design. Their new book The Theory and Practice of Motion Design should be required reading for anyone concerned with how words and information move on screen and how movement contributes to meaning."

—Hugh Dubberly, Co-founder, Dubberly Design Office; Fellow AIGA SF; Member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy

"Instead of a ‘how-to’ book, this is a ‘how-to-think-about’ book that delivers on its title, combining the history and intellectual underpinnings of motion design with the insights of contemporary design professionals…a thoughtful response to the profession’s shift from the mute flat-land of print to today’s rich, multi-dimensional options for communications."

—Christopher Pullman, Senior Critic, Motion Design, Yale University School of Art; Former VP of Design and Visual Communications, WGBH, Public Broadcasting in Boston