Your Motion Design Directory #1: the companies you need to know about
Wouldn’t it be flipping dandy if there was some sort of Motion Design Bible out there? Or a Motion Design Phonebook, for you non-religious types. A Motion Design Directory if you will…Yes, we felt the same way. So we went ahead and made one. Scroll down to ingest all the need-to-know companies who are killing it in their field. We’ve even listed the places alphabetically for your convenience and plan to continually update this page.
Oh and another thing, if you ever stumble upon a piece of work that just speaks to you, don’t simply save it / pin it / thumb it / file it. Go track down its creator. There’s sure to be more eye candy and inspiration if you follow the scent.
In the meantime, feast your eyes on these giants of motion design.
Analog’s client list is as impressive as it is diverse with brands from Honda to artists like Bjork lighting up their reel. What a name to launch the Motion Design Directory with. Presenting themselves as a “Creative Visual Effects and Realtime studio”, one of the standout things they do as far we’re concerned, is discussing the specific challenges of each of their projects in a way that is totally comprehensible and humble. They even take the trouble to mention the software they use for each brief. Total legends.
The chaps and chapettes at Buck describe themselves as a “design-driven production company” and they’re based out in LA, NY and Sydney. In this day and age, where every Tom, Dick and Montgomery are banging on about collaboration, the good people at Buck prove teamwork makes the dream work. Seriously. They have described their integration of designers, artists and storytellers as a kind of “alchemy”, which is so evident when you check out their portfolio. It don’t just look good. Sure, their slick 2D animations with butter smooth transitions deserve a massive shoutout, but it’s their narratives and direction that are super stellar.
And we double dare you not to LOL when you scroll through their Play page.
There are not enough positive adjectives in the dictionary to describe our feelings towards Cookie Studio. Their playful branding has attracted an array of clients that clearly appreciate their joyful take on motion design. The self-professed “dough” of the “bakery” is Thiago Maia, Founder and Creative Director. You might know him as one of the co-founders of See No Evil, an equally delicious initiative where animators, directors and animators meet for inspirational events.
Electric Theatre Collective, otherwise ETC for short, produce award-winning visual effects. Talk about your rags to riches tale. What started out as a humble team of four, now spans the breadth of two studios across London and LA. These teams encompass a wealth of “makers” and “agitators” across all disciplines of visual creativity including CGI, 2D, animation and colour grading.
Found are pure class. There is something so effortless and stylish about their presentation. They’re a studio specialising in high-end film production and 3D motion design. They have a section on their site dubbed the Lab, which is worth a hat tip as it features random experiments, ideas and techniques. Something else for you to gaze at with fondness.
Framestore Design Studio
The fam at Created like to bend the rules every so often and here’s one instance of that. Whilst not purely a motion design studio, t’would be a sin to not mention Framestore, the Oscar-winning VFX and animation company, in our Motion Design directory.
They work across a wealth of areas, including feature films, commercials, music videos, title sequences, feature animations and digital. The results? Well, they always pack a mega punch to the face, in the best possible way.
You get a real sense that the bright minds at Future Deluxe are wanting to push boundaries. Describing themselves as an “experimental” studio, they’re all about the research and have a deep focus on exploring what’s possible with technology.
Go look at their brief for Nike, Magista 2. You’ll get what we mean.
H Block are the definition of small and mighty. All the best things come in pairs if you ask us. Starsky and Hutch, Torvill and Dean, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. But back to H Block. They’re a dynamic duo who do it all – designing, directing, concepting and creating VFX and animation projects. Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by the world either. Besides that, they’ve got a string of awards to their names including a Bronze Lion at the 2013 Cannes festival. Good lads.
These guys are one of the absolute original players. Most importantly, we recommend you check out Supporting Artists, their page dedicated to deciphering technical questions from the community about software they’ve developed with Autodesk. And yes, their answers have accompanying visuals.
This lot have set Instagram ablaze with their trend-setting, eye tangling motion design offerings. ManvsMachine are a multidimensional creative studio in LA and London.
They’ve mastered that so-clean-and-so-fresh vibe that has the fellas at Nike and Apple knocking their door off the hinge. Have you seen the latest iMac Pro campaign? It’s theirs and it’s a beaut.
Marshmallow Laser Feast
With a name like that, even if they manufactured something as useless as a goldfish walker, we would be big fans. But don’t let their name fool you, because they don’t muck about when it comes to utilising tech. These guys use drones, mirrors and light sculpting to make motion design something that can be experienced, not just witnessed on a screen. Consider our minds suitably provoked.
So you know how we said we sometimes flex the rules? Well, this is us doing it again because we don’t know any other way to roll. The Mill comprise of 3 arms, but we’re focusing on Mill+, which is their own integrated production team of Directors, Designers & Creative Technologists who focus on concept-to-delivery creative partnerships. They’re another one that’s too significant to not mention.
Motionographer, pronounced like “Oceanographer” (but are in no way are the same thing) are based in NYC and are a huge platform of inspiration and insight for designers, animators and storytellers. You need to be following them.
They’ve got a mega global presence and showcase a truly impressive range of work from studios, freelancers and students. One of the prominent things about them is that they feature stories and commentary to set alight debate and further your understanding of the industry. It gets better still. They also run live events and conferences in major cities across the world and have their own Motion Awards. A must look for major inspo. Your eyeballs will thank you.
When compelling ideas meet flawless execution, you have the guys at weareseventeen to thank. Their work for Buster + Punch, a high-end interiors brand is real testament to that. Otherwise lose yourself in their miscellaneous Feed page which has a giant squirrel lurking around, because it’s worth it just for that.
And here’s our stop
It’s been emotional. We’ll be updating this Motion Design Directory as we go, therefore it’s worth bookmarking. Can’t wait that long? So inspired you need to take some action? Apply for our Created In Motion Design course because not being funny, maybe you take over the world and we end up talking about you in here. Nothing will make us happier, frankly.
A selection of resources to help you get your work out there, focus on your life/work balance and future-proof your career.
Practical advice to help you manage your time like a pro.
In episode 4 of our How I Got Here podcast series, we chat to Motion Designer Yukari about her career journey.