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Taking animation around the nation. Why is animation important?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Animation, Creative, Events
Animated gif with stills from animations created by Design102. A rectangle is divided into 4 evenly spaced squares, each featuring an image. The rectangle has an orange border at the top and the bottom in the brand colour of Design102 and ‘design102’ is displayed in white in the bottom right corner. The borders and design102 name remain static throughout the rotation of the gif images. Top left image features a row of people from a range of ages, genders and races, standing in front of a school building, Top right image features a space rocket flying between planets. Each planet has an inset graphic of an icon representing an educational asset, in this case materials, development, timetable reduction, mentorship, curriculum support and financial incentives. Bottom right image features a Smarter Working heading with a subtitle of ‘Culture and people, leadership, workspaces and technology’. The graphics represent a view into several buildings where various groups of people are undertaking or representing the ideals and activities referenced in the subtitle. Bottom left image features a female scientist looking through a microscope with a thought bubble above her head indicating ideas she is having. Top left image changes to an image of an office environment featuring two sitting people looking at a woman who is pointing to unseen information on a flip chart. Top right image changes to a graphic of a mobile phone with the phrase ‘before applying to GCHG’ written in a font similar to neon lights. Bottom right image changes to a graphic featuring the words ‘work and welfare’ beneath four side-view head and shoulder profiles each with different face shapes and hairstyles to indicate they are different people, yet in a generic cartoon style so no gender or race is apparent. Each head has a speech bubble featuring a graphic related to work and welfare. In this example, the graphics are a file, a piggy bank, a bar graph and a briefcase. Bottom left image changes to a DNA helix and 3 graphics including an atom, a conical flask and a diagram. Top left image changes to a graphic of two unrelated people in a park including a man sitting on a bench and drinking a coffee, and a woman walking past looking at her mobile phone. Top right image changes to a graphic of a cricket glove accompanied by the text ‘Heading to the UK for the cricket this summer?’ above a graphic of a wicket. Bottom right image changes to a graphic of several work related desk items overlapping including a memo pad, a spiral bound notebook, an iPad and some copy books, all with indistinguishable text. Bottom left image changes to a graphic of starburst patterns with the phrases ‘satisfaction with’ ‘’customer service’ and ’99%’ in speech bubbles. Top left image then rotates back to the start and the gif continues to rotate through the images previously described.
Stills from animations created by Design102

Taking animation around the nation

I recently had the pleasure of touring the country with Civil Service Live to talk about the benefits of animation. Civil Service Live is the government’s annual, cross-department learning event, attracting thousands of civil servants to regional events to learn, network and share best practices - with the goal of providing better public service.

2018 saw Civil Service Live events in Glasgow, Birmingham, Blackpool, Cardiff, Newcastle and London, and I was lucky enough to be able to speak at all of them. I was regularly joined by either Sarah Fysh or Ross Middleham from the Met Office, who shared the stage to present the work they’ve been doing in animation.

We shared examples of animation created by Design102 and the Met Office. We also explained why animation is so important and shared some predictions on the future of animation… and here’s the summary version!

Why is animation so important?

  • It’s fantastic for grabbing people’s attention on digital and social media
  • You can animate anything you can imagine, so you can produce movie scenes without needing a Hollywood budget
  • The brain processes visuals much faster than text so animation is a great form of visual story-telling
  • When made well, animation is a very effective way to convert complex information into simple messages

What examples did we show?

A blog isn’t the best place to try and share all the animation examples we shared, but if you want a flavour of the animation work Design102 does, have a look at the Design102 2018 animation show reel

What does the future of animation look like?

  • We’re going to see more and more animation
  • Animation is fashionable now and it’s only likely to get more popular
  • More DIY tools, meaning more people will be creating good, bad, and downright ugly animated content
  • More 3D animation, as people try to differentiate themselves in an increasingly busy market
  • A blurring of skills boundaries, with creatives from many disciplines working collaboratively to produce great animation

It was great to get out there and speak to so many colleagues across the country. Wherever we went, we got plenty of interest and lots of interesting and challenging questions. It was also an absolute privilege to present with colleagues from the Met Office, who made the whole process so much more enjoyable – thanks to both Sarah and Ross!

If you’d like to find out more about what Design102 has been doing with animation please get in touch at

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