A guide to help you navigate the design process behind great logo animations – from conceptualization all the way to animating logos like a pro!
Memorable logos are considered to be core components of a successful branding strategy, and for good reason! A logo is ultimately a condensed depiction of a brand’s identifiers, whether we’re talking about brand colors, taglines, or the feelings you want associated with said brand. Animating logos eases nuance, wit, and personality into the mix, giving your logo designs better odds of excelling in the digitalverse.
A logo animation can extend the range of emotions that a brand’s logo can evoke at all of its client touchpoints. Think of the refreshing feel of an effervescent CocaCola logotype animation. Adding animation to your logo designer skill set is a sure-fire way to upscale your portfolio!
As there is no shortage of tutorials on how to easily animate a logo, we thought it would be useful to round up the 10 golden rules of animated logos all in one place. Putting these rules on your workflow checklist will help you design and animate logos that are not only eye-catching, but truly remarkable!
What Do You Need to Start Animating Logos?
Figuring out how to animate a logo from scratch might sound daunting when you try out tools that have a steep learning curve, require coding, or make you jump through third-party plugins for the final exported file. Fortunately, accessible and intuitive animation software is evolving just as quickly as the demand for motion graphics is rising.
Nowadays, all you need is a good handle on graphic design basics and lots of practice, and in no time you can list animating logos as a skill you’re proficient in. Of course, a bit of inspiration to jumpstart the flow of ideas (this article includes plenty), and some process checkpoints (the golden rules!), will get you closer to your goal faster.
Let’s dive right in!
10 Golden Rules: How to Animate a Logo
Whether you plan on creating an animated logo from square one, or you’re breathing new life into an existing static logo, the rulebook stays pretty much the same:
1. Create/Optimize the Static Logo File
Crafting a logo is an artform itself. Naturally, working your way through conceptualization all the way to implementing this fresh-from-the-oven logo design into a client’s branding strategy will take some extra time. The process includes (but isn’t limited to) defining the brand’s distinctive traits, finding the right type of logo, outlining the qualities it should spotlight, choosing the ideal typography, etc. If this is your first time in logo design territory, you can find some useful tips in this “How to design a logo” guide.
Once you’ve settled on a static logo that you wish to animate, it’s time to prepare the file for all the exciting digital sorcery you’re about to perform! You’ll need to be mindful of optimal performance throughout the logo animation process. An animated logo can serve countless branding purposes (mobile app splash screen, website CSS loader, etc.), so we need to make sure the file size remains as lightweight as the SVG format allows it to be.
Of course, the vector format is the best choice for both your static and animated logo files, given its high resolution, small file size, infinite scalability, encoded data and transparent background support. You can start the logo design process directly in SVGator’s interface, or import your file with one click. To optimize your static logo file before importing it into SVGator from other tools, like Illustrator, you can take easy steps like using simplified paths to draw your logo design, avoiding high-accuracy settings for the pencil tool, etc. We have this handy SVG optimization guide you can follow for the best results.
2. Match the Animated Logo to the Brand’s Core Identity
When planning the motion design effects you’re going to use to animate your logo, you’ll need to factor in all the design decisions that made the static logo a perfect match for the brand it represents. Clearly defining the message that the animated logo is meant to convey, and the type of audience it is meant to engage, will help you decide how vibrant or subtle the motion graphics should be in order to be suitable for the brand’s identity.
A super bubbly and eccentric logo animation is not likely to be a hit with the audience of a prestigious fintech company, just like an elegant logotype animation in pastels won’t wow too many esports fans. As long as you keep the animation on brand, there’s no limit to how crafty you can get! Our whimsical Hocus animated logotype for a kids’ party entertainment business is a great example of following this golden rule to a T.
3. Cover the Basics — Readable, Discernible, Easy to Recognize
There’s no denying it — we’re big fans of using handwriting animation for taglines in animated logos and other motion design effects that can be a slippery slope to hard-to-discern branding assets. But there’s nothing that a bit of preemptive care won’t fix! A logo animation’s ability to be easy to recognize, memorable, and just a bit enchanting, is crucial, so we need to make sure that we don’t fall into the trap of sacrificing the basics of accessibility for the sake of ingenuity.
If at any point in the animating process, a wordmark becomes hard to read, or a mascot gets their hallmark features masked, all you have to do is retrace your steps and either switch to an easier to read typeface or make any other necessary readjustments. Later, test out the final result on various platforms, devices, and browsers to ensure that the animated logo is all set for streamlined implementation. Both loyal customers and new potential clients should be able to quickly make out what the brand stands for from the very first loop!
4. Try Out Advanced Animators
Learning how to easily animate a logo using beginner tutorials can help you master fundamental animation techniques in no time – but limiting yourself to basic animators can get quite dull in time, for both you and your logo design portfolio. Take advantage of the fact that animating logos is such a versatile creative outlet, and experiment with more advanced animators (morph, fill, filters, skew, stroke path animators).
The best animated logos can tell a story in a matter of seconds, and when there’s lots to illustrate, the morph animator feels like handling a magic wand. SVGator’s automatic motion path feature can help you save loads of time in crafting effects similar to those in the “Pizza Time” example, so don’t hesitate to tackle more complex logo animations. The payoff is totally worth it!
5. Be Aware of the Importance of Easing
Easing functions allow you to dictate the speed of an animation between keyframes. The default easing when animating a logo with SVGator is set to Linear. While this is the baseline setting, there is a considerable number of easing presets you can use to control the pacing of your animation, and there’s also the option to customize easing to your liking. Getting the hang of easing helps you create logo animations that feel more natural. But there’s more to easing than a natural feel!
Mastering custom ease effects will vastly improve your ability to influence the perception of any animated logo you create – from creating dramatic entrances for industry titans, to delighting a brand’s customer base with playful satisfying loops. Along with easing, there are other motion design principles that you’ll need to take into account for stellar animated brand assets, like anticipation, exaggeration, etc.
6. Don’t Disregard Interactivity
Interactive SVG animation is one of the superpowers of the vector graphic format. While interactive animated logos aren’t the first thought that comes to mind when planning the full-scale implementation of a logo, they are in fact engagement hooks! There are plenty of reasons why you should use an animated logo, but interactivity is one of the most underrated of them all.
Direct immediate feedback isn’t a UI-only function. It can be used as a valuable brand recognition tool as well. For example, an animated cat mascot will leave a stronger imprint when it’s an “easter egg” on the brand’s website, reserved for those visitors curious enough to click the static logo. The same special connection can be established with clients when an animated logo is triggered on tap in the business’s’ mobile app, or on hover at any other touchpoint in the customer journey.
7. Infuse Animated Logos With Humor (When Appropriate)
Easing humor into a static logo can be a double-edged sword, since we don’t want to distract from the brand’s keynotes. Witty slogans and taglines, on the other hand (e.g., Lay’s “'Betcha Can't Eat Just One”), are easier to free-hand, but even those take a certain boldness to pull off. All things considered, the funny animated logo alternative is the safest shortcut to creating memorable branding! Of course, you’ll need to make sure that the sprinkling of fun you add to the logo animation is in good taste, and appropriate for the brand’s customer base.
Cute anthropomorphized mascots, goofy kinetic typography, or good ol’ situational humor can all be used to give your logo animation the ability to tickle anyone’s funny bone. A big advantage of following this golden rule is that you increase the “share” factor tenfold, making room for viral branding to happen organically.
8. Explore Graphic Design Trends in Motion
A logo design should be, among other things, timeless, and that’s why seasoned designers recommend against creating a logo that rides the wave of any fleeting design trend. But seeing as an animated logo is a captivating top-up of an already established brand identity, there is no drawback in getting inspired by the year’s current graphic design trends.
Use logo animations to mark a new campaign, show awareness of recent events, celebrate milestones that the customer base is excited about, announce the brand going international, or share season’s greetings. Just make sure that the animated logo, no matter the context, remains aligned with the brand’s development strategy.
9. Speed Up Your Logo Animation Process
If you’re just now jumping into the world of animating logos, you may find some tasks in the SVG animation workflow to be a bit more time-consuming than expected. In reality, it’s just a matter of finding the right ways to speed up your design process. Reuse animated elements (by accessing SVGator’s asset library), learn the animator’s shortcuts (press F1 to see the entire Keyboard Shortcuts panel), or use the tool’s guides, grids, and snapping options. You’ll soon be putting any brand’s logo in motion in a flash!
10. Guide the Client to Cohesive Animated Logo Implementation
Animated logos, or logo video animation production, is by no means something new in the branding/advertising industry, but when you’re working directly with company founders or businesses that are a one-man-show, some coaching during the roll-out will be necessary.
Creating video logo mock-ups (see SVGator’s SVG to video export option with transparent video backgrounds!), and showing clients how to make animated logo assets part of the bigger picture, are both perks you can include in your logo design/animation packages. Ensuring a successful logo design handoff (static and animated) will no doubt get you more return customers and word of mouth recommendations!
Take note of these 10 golden rules and you’ll be creating the best animated logos brands can pay for! If the examples included in this post didn’t jump-start your creative engine, check out our top 20 animated logo examples for more inspiration.