Logos are immensely important, playing an important role in the first impression of a brand or business. As a result, there’s debate over the role of animation in logos. Some find animated logos too distracting, while others see them as an opportunity to engage audiences with greater effectiveness.
Whether or not animated logos belong in web design depends on the brand’s aim, though there are certainly advantages and disadvantages of animated logos that designers and marketers should consider:
Pros of Animated Logos
Brand Awareness Increase
With the ability to develop and change colors, animated logos have the potential to be more memorable than a typical image. Animation provides a more memorable image in a viewer’s mind, impacting their memory more quickly than a typical logo. Similarly, marketers find video ads are more engaging than text ads, with studies showing viewers retain 95 percent of a video’s message compared to its textual form. Ultimately, videos and animation improve brand recall. Animated logos seize on the general consumer preference toward moving parts over static text or images.
Standing out from the competition is a priority for any business. Individualizing a logo is contingent on diversifying colors and a graphic style, so it fits the brand. Animation opens up the possibilities by providing a way to pop with these colors and graphics. The general audience consumes an abundance of content on a daily basis. So an animated logo would seem likely to have a greater chance of being memorable.
Animated logos also provide an opportunity to promote cohesiveness as a brand and business in general. Creative agencies especially can use this visual consistency to promote their innovation. For example, Giant Owl Productions uses owl eyes as its animated logo. The logo seems static at first. However, upon browsing the website the eyes turn like wheels, clockwise or counterclockwise. It all depends on which way you’re navigating the main page’s content.
The animated logo provides consistency within the website as a whole, while simultaneously offering a fun navigational quirk. The logo also showcases the company’s innovative knack for visual design, a plus for any business specializing in creative work in any capacity.
Animated logos have a long shelf life for effectiveness, especially when fitting remarkably within a brand’s familiar visual theme.
For example, Moving Brands’ creation of BBC Newsbeat’s logo is sleek and effective. At this point, fans of Newsbeat are familiar enough with the logo where it has become a fixture of the programming, along with several other iterations. Logos like this, which are straightforward though effective, can be frequently reused and still maintain effectiveness.
Subtlety Is an Option
When some hear the term animated logo, they tend to think of the worst-case scenario: an in-cohesive graphic with odd colors and annoying flashing, essentially being way too much. In reality, animated logos have ample artistic flexibility. Subtlety and minimalism is always an option, evidenced by the animated logo for Echo Capital Group.
The logo is futuristic and intriguing, though with consistency in the developing shapes that do not distract. The color scheme is simple, helping elevate its minimalist presence with a sleek and cogent appeal. Regardless of whether an investment company is seeking a minimalist, corporate feel or a children’s clothing store is seeking something that’s fun, vibrant and active, animated logos provide even more versatility in the artistic process than their static counterparts.
Negatives of Animated Logos
Animated logos can be very effective, though not when they’re taking away from goals and conversions. A logo shouldn’t be the star of the page it’s on, especially when most logos are not able to fully deliver a product or brand in visualization alone. Certainly, an effective logo can lead people to inquire further, though one that simply screams out with its distracting nature is unlikely to lead to much further inquiry.
Naturally, animated logos have greater potential to be distracting. They tend to incorporate more colors and moving parts in general. Although an overly distracting logo is more at the fault of the creative team than the concept of an animated logo itself. Animated logos do require a more arduous and careful creative process than their static counterparts. As a result, those who are hesitant about their creative team are not wrong to be skeptical of their ability to create an effective animated logo that does not distract from other content.
Overreliance on the Animation
The animation aspect of an animated logo can vary in detail. It can range from simple and minimalist changes to an entire image morphing into something else entirely. For the latter, difficulties can arise if the logo is impossible to emulate in static form. For example, Echo Capital Group can effectively use the finished frame of its animated logo in general copy. However, if a brand uses an animated logo that is too incoherent or presents several iterations of the same logo, the brand can become confusing.
An animated logo should strive to stand out while also centering on a cohesive logo or visual presentation that can be replicated fairly similarly in static form. If not, the overreliance on animation over a cohesive image can result in a confused audience.
While animated logos do present a few concerns and risks, they also have inarguable potential in elevating web design and a brand’s overall presence. When used effectively, animated logos can help to stand out from competition. They provide a more memorable imprint on those viewing the logo, compared to a typical logo without animation.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.