The universe of visual content just keeps expanding. With a huge variety of design styles for brands to choose from, the key is to work with your agency partner to pick a style that fits the goal that you want to achieve with your infographic, motion graphic, or other piece of visual content. You’ll also need to consider what approach will be most engaging for your target audience.
Here are just 6 styles that we can’t get enough of lately, and a few recommendations for how to use them. We love these techniques because they’re eye-catching and versatile, and can be used by brands across a wide variety of industries.
Isometric design uses flat, angled shapes to create a sense of depth and physical space. While a design agency might use the technique to create maps or diagrams, we also love seeing isometric illustrations and icons used to elevate a static infographic.
You can also use this style in motion graphic designs. When included in an animated video, isometric art feels precise and technical. And if it’s done well, it’s just plain fun to watch:
The motion graphic shown above premiered at the GeekWire Awards. It uses lightning-fast isometric animation to celebrate Seattle’s tech boom and make some tongue-in-cheek predictions about the city’s future.
2. Digital Pen and Ink
Although this style has been around for hundreds of years, it can bring new depth to your infographic and/or motion graphic design. Crosshatching adds a texture that many infographics don’t have. This style can also lend a hand-drawn look and a retro feel to a motion graphic.
This series of designs from RetroSupply Co. uses crosshatching and restrained colors to create a mood and sense of place with just enough visual information. Here’s one example:
Geometric design is popular with many an infographic design agency, and it makes sense why. Geometric design is clean and versatile, with simple shapes and colors that can be used to create intricate visuals. This style is a perfect fit for a complex or abstract topic that isn’t easily illustrated in a literal sense.
This infographic and motion design series for Epson reflect the technological precision and brilliance of Epson’s 3LCD images by using crisp, tessellated geometric shapes. Here’s an example of how this piece illustrates the benefits of 3LCD Technology:
4. Textured 2D
This design style brings the best out of 2-dimensional visuals. It simplifies more complex elements, especially focal points, and contrasts them with just the right amount of subtle texture. This technique is very effective at creating a classic illustrative style without too much visual clutter.
For example, in a series of holiday-themed motion graphics for CBS, simplified characters stand out against painterly background textures. The resulting design is not only beautiful but also tactile and friendly. And we like the sound design, too. It’s a perfect hybrid of nature and orchestral accents:
When it comes to infographic and motion design, a clean, sleek aesthetic often outperforms a cluttered one. That’s why we love high-contrast design, which draws the viewer’s eye by placing bold light and dark tones side by side.
An infographic design agency can also create contrast between text and background to make its designs readable to people with a diverse range of hearing, sight, movement, and cognitive abilities. So this design style isn’t just visually striking — it’s accessible.
Check out this motion graphic by Oliver Sin:
The design uses high-contrast shadows to bring depth to each scene, without complicating the shapes that give the story its playful tone.
(Note that accessible design experts recommend avoiding combinations of light green and yellow. That said, the dark blue and pink/orange tones in this design helps offset and distinguish the shapes.)
6. Simplified Vector Illustration
This style probably looks a little familiar to infographic enthusiasts. That’s because it’s a design style that plays very well with typography. Although it’s built with basic, rounded shapes, simplified vector illustration looks anything but simplistic when it’s well-executed.
And for a motion graphic that includes human figures with more complex movement, this style looks great and helps you stick to a more moderate budget.
Take this explainer video for Ford as an example:
It uses basic circular and rectangular shapes to build a world of cars and drivers. The motion design style finds creative ways to render everything from bubblegum to hamburgers to a field of cows. Even so, it still leaves plenty of room for on-screen text:
Finding the Right Design Style for Your Infographic or Motion Graphic
In the end, any design style is only as good as the visual strategy behind it. No matter what style you choose for your next infographic or motion design project, make sure to work with a visual communication design agency that offers strategies to engage your audience on a new level.