Best Animation Style: A Guide for Your Video
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. What is animation style?
  2. How to choose the right animation style?
  3. Traditional animation style
  4. 2D vector-based animation
  5. 3D animation style
  6. Motion graphics style
  7. Stop motion animation
  8. Whiteboard animation
  9. Typography animation
  10. How to decide which animation style suits your video?

Choosing the right style of animation can be a game changer when it comes to delivering your unique message. Whether you're launching a new product, educating your audience, or telling a captivating story, the animation style you pick can make a world of difference. This guide will walk you through different animation styles and help you decide which one suits your video best.

What is animation style?

Before we dive into choosing the right style of animation, let's clarify what we mean by 'animation style'. Animation style is the visual technique used to bring characters, objects, and scenes to life in a video. It's not just about moving images around. It's about creating a visual language that speaks to your audience and supports your message.

Choosing the right style of animation is like picking the perfect outfit for a big event. You want it to reflect your personality, resonate with the audience, and suit the occasion. And just as there are countless fashion styles, animation styles are equally diverse, each with its own vibe and appeal. Some are traditional and time-tested, like the classic Disney hand-drawn style. Others, like 3D animation or motion graphics, are more modern and innovative.

The right animation style can help you:

  • Connect with your audience: Different animation styles evoke different emotions. For instance, a funny cartoon style can make your audience smile, while a dramatic 3D style can pull at their heartstrings.
  • Clarify your message: The right animation style can make complex ideas easier to understand. If you're explaining a technical concept, a whiteboard animation might be the right choice.
  • Stand out from the crowd: A unique animation style can help your video grab attention in a crowded digital landscape.

So, how do you choose the right style of animation for your video? Let's explore some popular animation styles to help you make your choice.

How to choose the right animation style?

Choosing the right style of animation is a bit like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet. There are so many delicious options that making a choice can feel overwhelming. But don't worry, we've got some tips to help you navigate the animation buffet.

First, consider your video's purpose. Are you trying to teach something, promote a product, or tell a story? Different animation styles lend themselves to different types of content. For example, if you're explaining a complex concept, a simple and clear style like whiteboard animation might be the best bet.

Think about your target audience too. Different styles can appeal to different age groups, cultures, and interests. A colorful and playful animation might catch the eye of younger viewers, while a more sophisticated 3D animation could impress a professional audience.

Next, consider your brand. Your animation style should align with your brand's personality and visual identity. If your brand is fun and youthful, a cartoony animation style could be a great fit. If it's serious and professional, a more realistic style might work better.

Finally, remember your budget and timeline. Some animation styles require more time and resources than others. Traditional hand-drawn animation, for instance, is labor-intensive and can be costly. On the other hand, styles like motion graphics or typography animation can be more affordable and quicker to produce.

Choosing the right style of animation isn't a one-size-fits-all decision. It's about finding the style that best suits your video's purpose, audience, brand, and resources. Now, let's take a closer look at some popular animation styles.

Traditional Animation Style

When you think of classic animation, the chances are that traditional animation pops into your mind. This style, also known as cel animation, is the oldest form of animation and has brought us timeless classics like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny. But what makes it unique?

Traditional animation involves drawing each frame by hand. Imagine that—you're creating 24 drawings for every second of your video! That's a lot of work, but it also allows for a high level of detail and fluidity. This style can produce stunning, expressive animations that are full of life and character.

However, the painstaking process of hand-drawing each frame means traditional animation can be time-consuming and expensive. It's not the quickest route if you're on a tight deadline or budget. But for projects where authenticity and craftsmanship are paramount, traditional animation is hard to beat.

It's like the difference between a handmade piece of furniture and a flat-pack from a store: both serve their purpose, but there's a certain charm and quality in the handmade piece that mass-produced items just can't match. So, if your project calls for a distinctly classic, handmade feel, traditional animation might be the style for you.

2D Vector-Based Animation

As we shift gears into the digital realm, 2D vector-based animation takes center stage. Unlike traditional animation, which involves hand-drawing each frame, 2D vector-based animation is created using digital tools. This style is super versatile, and it's a popular choice for everything from online advertisements to explainer videos.

The magic of 2D vector-based animation lies in its simplicity and efficiency. You use digital tools to create and manipulate shapes, which are then moved and morphed to create animation. Sounds pretty simple, right? That's because it is! This process is quicker and more cost-effective than traditional animation, making it a go-to choice when choosing the right style of animation for many projects.

One of the major perks of 2D vector-based animation is that it's highly scalable. You can resize your animations without losing any quality or detail, which is a big win if your project needs to work on a variety of screen sizes.

Another notable aspect is the clean, modern look that 2D vector-based animation can achieve. This style tends to have a more flat, graphic look compared to traditional animation, which can be a perfect fit for projects aiming for a modern, minimalist aesthetic.

So, if you're looking for a sleek, efficient, and flexible animation style, 2D vector-based animation might just be your perfect match.

3D Animation Style

3D animation is a whole different ball game. It adds an extra dimension to the mix, and with it comes a level of depth and realism that other styles can't quite match. If you've ever watched a Pixar movie or played a modern video game, you've seen the power of 3D animation in action.

Creating 3D animations involves building characters and environments in a virtual 3D space. Think of it like digital puppetry — you're controlling digital objects and characters, making them move and interact in a three-dimensional world. It's a complex process, but the results can be truly stunning.

One of the standout features of 3D animation is its ability to create realistic, lifelike movements. With 3D animation, you can replicate the subtleties of real-world physics, like how fabric moves or how light reflects off surfaces. This can make your animated video feel more immersive and engaging.

However, it's worth noting that 3D animation can be more time-consuming and resource-intensive than other styles. It requires specialized software and skilled animators, so it might not be the best fit for every project. But when used effectively, 3D animation can create a compelling, visually impressive video that really stands out.

So, when choosing the right style of animation, think about the level of realism and detail you want to achieve. If you're aiming for a high level of visual complexity and realism, 3D animation could be the right choice for you.

Motion Graphics Style

Motion graphics is a style of animation that brings text, shapes, and images to life. If you've ever seen an animated logo, a catchy explainer video, or a dynamic infographic, you've likely seen motion graphics in action.

This style of animation is all about conveying information in a visually stimulating way. It involves using movement, color, and timing to tell a story, explain a concept, or highlight data. It's a fantastic tool for making complex ideas more understandable and engaging.

One of the great things about motion graphics is the versatility it offers. You can use it to add flair to text, animate icons, create transitions, and so much more. It's a style that's well-suited to business and educational videos, but it can be used in any genre or format.

When choosing the right style of animation, consider the nature of your content. If you're dealing with data, text, or abstract ideas, motion graphics could be an excellent choice. It can take your content and transform it into something that's not just informative, but also visually captivating.

Remember, the aim is to choose a style that complements your content, enhances your message, and connects with your audience. And motion graphics might just be the perfect fit for that.

Stop Motion Animation

Imagine taking a photo, moving an object slightly, taking another photo, and repeating this process hundreds of times. When you stitch these images together and play them rapidly, you get what we call stop motion animation. It's like playing with toys and bringing them to life—pretty cool, right?

Stop motion animation is a hands-on, physical form of animation that lends itself well to tactile, visually rich content. Claymation, a sub-genre of stop motion animation, is a famous example that involves molding clay figures and animating them frame by frame. Wallace and Gromit, anyone?

But stop motion isn't limited to clay. You can use anything from paper cut-outs to Lego blocks, from toys to everyday objects. The possibilities are as wide as your imagination.

The charm of stop motion lies in its tangibility and texture. It has a certain whimsy and depth to it that other styles of animation may lack. But, it can be time-consuming and requires a lot of patience.

When it comes to choosing the right style of animation, ask yourself: does your video need a touch of nostalgia or a crafty feel? If yes, then stop motion animation could be just what you need. It can create a unique, charming world that draws viewers in and leaves a lasting impression.

Whiteboard Animation

Remember when your teacher used to explain complex topics on the whiteboard with drawings and diagrams? That's essentially what whiteboard animation is all about. It's a simple, clear, and engaging way to communicate ideas.

A whiteboard animation video typically shows a hand holding a marker, drawing on a whiteboard. The drawings come to life, illustrating the narrative. It's as if the story unfolds right before your eyes—quite captivating!

Whiteboard animation is popular in educational videos, explainer videos and product demos. Its simplicity and clarity make it easy for viewers to follow and understand concepts. It's also a cost-effective option as it doesn't require fancy equipment or software.

So, when choosing the right style of animation for your video, consider whiteboard animation if your goal is to explain a complex idea in a straightforward, engaging manner. It's a powerful tool that can break down even the most complicated topics into easily digestible bits. Plus, who doesn't love a good doodle?

Typography Animation

Ever watched a music video where the lyrics pop up and dance around the screen in sync with the rhythm? Then, my friend, you've encountered typography animation. This style involves animating text in various ways to convey a message or evoke specific emotions. It's like the words themselves are performing a dance on your screen.

Typography animation can be used in many ways. From lyric videos to movie title sequences, to attention-grabbing advertisements, it's all about making words visually entertaining. This style can add an aesthetic appeal to your video while keeping your audience hooked on the message.

When choosing the right style of animation, typography can be a game-changer. It's perfect if you have a text-heavy message to share but don't want your audience to yawn midway. You can make words fly, spin, change color, and more—the possibilities are endless.

So next time you want to make a statement with your video, remember typography animation. It might just be the secret ingredient that makes your content pop.

How to Decide Which Animation Style Suits Your Video?

Deciding on the right style of animation for your video can feel like trying to pick your favorite ice cream flavor at an all-you-can-eat buffet — too many good choices! But don't worry; here are some tips to help you make that choice.

Understand your message: The animation style you choose should align with the message you want to deliver. For instance, if you're explaining a complex concept, whiteboard animation can simplify it, making it easier for your audience to grasp. On the other hand, if your video is about a product or service, 3D animation can provide a realistic visual of what you're offering.

Know your audience: Are you targeting kids, adults, or a professional crowd? The animation style should appeal to them. Kids might enjoy colorful, exaggerated animations, while a professional crowd might prefer a more sophisticated style like motion graphics.

Consider the duration: Some animation styles take longer to create than others. If you have a tight deadline, you might want to opt for a simpler style like typography animation or 2D vector-based animation.

Factor in your budget: Animation can be an investment. More complex styles like 3D can be more expensive. If you're working with a tight budget, simpler styles can still create engaging videos without breaking the bank.

Remember, the goal is to pick an animation style that makes your message shine, engages your audience, and fits within your timeline and budget. Choosing the right style of animation is a crucial step in creating a successful video, so take your time and choose wisely!

If you're eager to explore different animation styles for your video and want to learn more about the process, check out our 'Daisie Original Animation Course' with none another than Alex Jenkins who will you take you through his complete animation process. Dive in and take your animation skills to the next level!