The association between animation and kids is strong. Many of us grow up watching cartoons for entertainment, and some of us were sat in front of the TV as youngsters for the mildly reviled ‘educational cartoons’. But the uses of animation for education are far more wide-reaching and a lot more entertaining than many realise, finding modern applications within work, hobbies, and new technologies, while still holding the power to teach much younger audiences the basics of life.


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Animation is a visceral visual medium which demands you take control of it. There’s no passive visual elements: you can’t sit a camera down and film whatever happens in front of it. Every element you see on screen is intentionally created and placed.

If designers and animators choose their elements so carefully, then how can one explainer video feel inexplicably appealing while another just doesn’t sit right? It’s due to the way we use the 7 elements of design, and how we arrange them on screen using the 11 design principles. Today we’re giving a bite-sized lowdown on the elements and principles that help take an animation from bland to grand.