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Hire Animation Designer
to Revive The Brand’s Image

Hire Animation
Designer to Revive
The Brand’s Image
Hire Animation Designer to Revive The Brand’s Image

What do your banking app, a kid’s game, and a ticket booking website have in common? Let's bet animated interfaces will be the last thing you think of, but don’t underestimate their importance.


Animation can be everything: from art to a functional tool. Holloway Art Gallery in Australia utilized both these features perfectly. They hired a team to create an animated video loop using world-famous paintings for their walk-in area. 

Example of animated visuals created for the Holloway art gallery

As a result, people watched the complete 5-minute video, interacted with it, and even asked if they could buy an animation. Plus, they set up a loop to play during night hours as well, so people could see the animation and book a visit during the day.


Want to repeat their success or even surpass it? One of the crucial steps is to hire an animation designer. So, fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy your flight as we help you find the perfect candidate for your project.

What does an animation designer do?

The primary animation designer skill is to make static objects move. They use this skill to create special effects and interactive elements for various mediums. An animator can help you in a lot of situations.

  • Create instructional or educational videos for your product
  • Animate mobile interfaces: volume toggles, feedback forms, etc 
  • Expand the usability of websites using HTML5 designer animation
  • Create short animations to boost engagements on social media
  • Incorporate augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) into visuals
  • Animate characters and create 2D or 3D mascots for your business
  • Design storyboards to communicate to your audience


Most of the animation designer’s work is done using computer software: Adobe suite, Autodesk Maya, Zbrush, Cinema 4D, Houdini, and other programs. Some designers are proficient in illustrations and drawing, and might paint or draw their concepts before animating them. Others use 3D sculpting or even write code to bring their creations to life. 

Different types of animation designers

Today, there are four ways of creating special effects: 2D animation, 3D animation (also known as CGI), motion graphics, and stop motion animation. You can use all of them as visuals for your projects, depending on the outcome you want to get. 


However, understanding the aspects of each type will help you hire an animation designer with relevant experience and create a compelling visual story. Let’s see which one will work for you.

2D animation designer

Cartoons aren’t children-only entertainment. We adults enjoy it too. Moreover, hiring an animation designer skilled in 2D graphics is a great way to build a story around your brand. 


Watch Lyft’s “Origin Story” video, for instance, and say that you didn’t feel inspired by their ambitions. World’s largest share-ride company builds its image around forcing positive changes on a society. 


They aim to reduce the environmental impact of cars and want to turn a boring car ride into a place for shared experiences.In the end, they successfully deliver  these messages by using bright colors, uplifting narration, and fun animation.


Aside from creating animated stories, 2D animation designers are involved in character design, location design, creating visual effects for different media, and storyboard design. They also can make instructional videos and video presentations for your product.

3D animation designer (CGI) 

The job of a 3D animation designer is somewhat similar to a 2D designer. They also create and animate concepts, except this time in all three dimensions. Many 3D animators work in the movie industry and make all the special effects in modern blockbusters.


A 3D animator specializes in creating different concepts: humans, objects, landscapes, etc. They make character rigs and calculate trajectories using computer software such as Maya, Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, Motionbuilder, etc.


By hiring an animation designer specializing in 3D, you can create a mascot for your brand or add special effects to your presentation materials. 3D graphics also combines well with modern technologies, like augmented reality in the Pokemon GO mobile game.

Motion graphics designer

Motion graphic is basically any visual element that creates an illusion of motion. It can be 2D or 3D and is mainly used to animate interface elements, such as fonts, logos, sliders, or short clips.


Motion graphic designers don’t need to create concepts or storyboards and work much faster than other animation designers. If you are looking for someone who can make your brand presence on the web more attention-grabbing, a motion graphics designer is the one you need.

Wanna see some Awesomic examples of motion graphics?
Click here 👈 to explore our portfolio.

Stop motion animation designer

Stop motion animation uses photographs of objects instead of drawings or vectors and is very similar to the traditional frame-by-frame animation. 


An animation designer sets up a scene, takes a photo, moves objects for the next frame, and photographs it again. The process continues until the sequence is complete. To create the objects for animation, the artist can use puppets, clay figures, cardboard figures, paper cut-outs, and other things. 


Brands love stop motion animation because it’s fairly simple to make and produces impressive results. For example, Starbucks’ “Mondays Can Be Great” video is made using stop motion animation and promotes an uplifting mood for the grumpiest day of the week (and a discount).


The drawback of stop motion animation is that it requires time and patience. If just one frame is slightly off, the animation designer might retake the photos of the whole scene. Plus, it might not work for you if your brand is strictly digital and doesn’t have a presence offline.

So, which designer do you need?

Different types of animation designers are pretty interconnected. So which one do you need? To find out, determine the goals of your project. Do you need an explainer video? A mascot for your brand? Or just animated elements for your app?


Typically, a 2D animation designer can work on small interactive elements for your social media. Or, they can stage and design an explainer video or a presentation for your company. 


If you need a 3D mascot or want to use AR or VR technologies for your business, a CGI animator will be your best bet. All you need is to create a detailed job listing and describe what you need.

Steps needed to produce
a professional animation

Steps needed to produce an animation.Steps needed to produce an animation.
Steps needed to produce an animation.

Animation designer skills aren’t limited to software proficiency. In fact, the animation is one of the final stages of the production process, which takes around six weeks for a 1-minute explainer video. An animator is involved in the project from start to finish and takes part in the following steps.

#1 Meet with the client and create a brief

Creating a brief helps an animation designer to understand the client's do's and don’ts. Also, this document outlines the essentials, such as the estimated production time and the purpose of the animation: educational, functional, or entertaining.

#2 Brainstorm the ideas with other creators

If you work with the agency, they might collaborate with art directors, marketers, copywriters, and other creators to develop several ideas for the final product. Or, if you hire an animation designer on a freelance website, they might want to contact your marketing team and work on concepts.


The brainstorming stage depends on the candidate’s skill. If you work with a senior animation designer, it might take 2-3 days. Juniors and mid-level specialists might take up to 5-6 working days.

#3 Write the script and hire voice-over actors if needed

Once you pick an idea, the animator starts working on a script. It will communicate the company values to the users and help them know a brand more. Plus, an animator might collaborate with voice actors to narrate the script at this stage. Each of these steps will add 1-3 days to the estimated project duration.

#4 Create concept arts and storyboards

The next step is to visualize your script. To do this, an animation designer will create location and character concepts according to the overall style and colors. After that, they will make a storyboard that will show how the story unfolds, scene by scene, and how it synchronizes with the script. 


At this stage, the project typically becomes more resourceful. Creating concepts takes 3-5 days, and drawing a storyboard may add an extra week.

#5 Work on illustrations and visuals

After the storyboard is complete, the fun begins. The animation designer will now turn the concept sketches into detailed illustrations, work on backgrounds, locations, and other technical aspects. Depending on the complexion, the final rendering might take 5 days for a senior animator and up to 12 days for mid-level and junior designers.

#6 Animate everything

Now, the animation designer will use the illustrations and concepts and bring them to life, using ancient knowledge, magic, and computer software. This part requires most of your participation and feedback to ensure that every scene is perfect. For a 1-minute explainer video with simple graphics, the animation stage will take around 10-12 days.

#7 Work on sound design

After the 2D or 3D animation work is complete, it’s time to add sound effects, voice-overs, and music to the animated video. An animator might work on these technical aspects of the project for 1-3 days to ensure that everything is synchronized and creates a perfect flow.


Six weeks for the production is a median time. Adding 3D might add another 2-3 weeks, and expanding the length of the video to 5 minutes might result in 2-3 months of work. If you want a shorter time frame, look for the mid-level and senior animators, but note that they have higher rates.

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Animation as a teamwork

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Today, you can click on a freelance website and hire an animation designer in a heartbeat. However, the animation is a collaborative effort. Even something simple as an animated social media post might need a brainstorming session with a 2D animation designer and the marketing department.


This means that you cannot simply hire an animation designer and expect professional quality. You need a team of creators: UI/UX designers, marketers, illustrators, voice actors, etc. If you don’t want to go through the time-consuming process of hiring them, you can turn to an easier option — a subscription platform like Awesomic.

The way it works at Awesomic

Awesomic creates a digital space where you can add unlimited team members.
Also, by choosing the Ultimate subscription, you can add a second animation designer to speed up the work and embed your project into Slack to make it visible to the whole team.

Your team can reach out to the designer using chat or meet them via a 30-minute video call session and discuss everything in detail.

5 reasons why your design needs animation

If you are still hesitant about hiring an animation designer, GetMePilot CEO Sairaj Manesh has got some news for you. He says that interactive content makes users view your page 4-5 times more and drives conversion rate up to 55%. Aside from that, animation positively impacts your design in the following ways.

• Draws the user’s attention

Let's admit it: we all played Google doodle games at least once. This company actively uses animation, 3D models, and bright illustrations to draw users' attention to certain people or events. 


And you can do the same. Adding interactive elements keeps users staying on your website longer and increases the chances of buying from your business or learning something about it.

• Makes the interface easier to understand

No matter how good your product is, if users cannot quickly navigate the website or inside your app, they leave. By introducing animations into your interface, as Gmail did with the customizable swipes for Android, you can make your product more accessible to customers.

• Provides instant feedback on user’s actions

Simple 2D and web animations, such as volume sliders, progress bars, or color-coded contact forms, improve user experience by providing instant feedback on their taps, swipes, and clicks. This minimizes the chances that users will open your app only once — a tragic fate that happened to 25% of apps in 2019.

A simple animation of the account setup sequence.

• Reduces cognitive load

65% of the global population are visual learners, and they don’t like plain boring texts. That’s why more and more brands are hiring animation designers and switching to interactive tutorials. 


For example, the Brilliant app and website use interactive animations to explain math problems, logic, and science. This method combines storytelling, guided problem solving and helps users learn complex concepts without stress.

• Turns negative user experiences into tolerable

Let’s not forget about Google's dino running game that saved thousands of keyboards worldwide from being broken because of slow internet speed. Animated loading bars, clickable polls on websites serve the same purpose: they keep you engaged while completing the main task or updating the app.

Google’s Dino running game.

Average costs of hiring an animation designer

Full-time

animation designer working

Hiring an animation designer for a full-time job is great if you have a project that’s stretched in time, such as a cartoon or series of educational videos. A full-time expert has several benefits compared to a freelancer:


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Shows more attention to your project and spends 8-10 hours per day working on it.
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Creates all the interactive elements in the same style, which will make the final work look more presentable.
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Has a fixed salary per month and year that covers revisions, so you won’t overpay.

 

The average salary of an animation designer varies depending on the candidate’s location because different countries have different cost of living. Awesomic team researched and compared some annual national averages with animator salaries in the biggest US cities and other countries.

NYC
Los Angeles
Norway
Canada
Japan
2D animator
$98,000/yr
$94,300/yr
$80,900/yr
$71,200/yr
$66,000/yr
3D animator
$98,600/yr
$93,400/yr
$83,800/yr
$71,600/yr
$72,800/yr
Motion graphic designer
$86,900/yr
$82,300/yr
$71,000/yr
$63,000/yr
$58,200/yr
*Based on Awesomic’s Glassdoor research in December 2021

 

Another factor that can significantly impact the animator designer salary is the candidate’s skill. Take the American job market, for instance: a junior animator will cost you from $25,000 to 38,000 on average. For the contrast, hiring a senior 2D animator is 3-4 times more expensive and will cost you $100-120k in a year.

Junior
Mid-level
Senior
2D animator
$25,000 - 38,000/yr
$49,000 - 62,000/yr
$99,000 - 121,000/yr
3D animator
$33,000 - 50,000/yr
$45,000 - 79,000/yr
$96,000 - 118,000/yr
Motion graphics
animator
$40,000 - 54,000/yr
$67,000 - 80,000/yr
$79,000 - 91,000/yr
*Based on Awesomic’s Glassdoor research in December 2021

Freelance

dribbble platform

If you need minor improvements for your website or mobile interface, you can hire an animation designer with an hourly rate or pay per project on websites like Dribbble, Fiverr, Freelancer, or Upwork.


Hourly rates depend on the complexity of the project. For instance, if you look for an animation designer on Dribbble, prepare to pay up to $120 per hour for a senior designer. Mid-level designers and juniors will cost you $30-45 and $60-80/hour, respectively. However, note that they might take more time to work on your project.

Average $ per
hour on Freelancer
Average $ per
hour on Dribbble
2D animator
$20-28
$30-45
3D animator
$30-40
$40-60
Motion graphics animator
$25-45
$30-50
Stop motion designer
$20-30
$60-80
*Based on Awesomic's research in December 2021

 

One more way to find an animation designer is through websites like Fiverr, where you pay experts per project. In such case, the price varies according to the project type:


  • simple 2D animated GIF — $60-80
  • 1-minute explainer video — $500-2,200
  • logo and social media animation — $100-260
  • 3D character design and animation — $350-500


You might wonder: well, that looks like the best deal so far. Yes, hiring an animation designer on freelance websites has some advantages. A big talent pool and the ability to filter your search using the website’s tools are great. However, drawbacks might be much more problematic:

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Time-consuming process

Before you even start briefing with an animation designer, you need to browse and compare dozens of offers. This might take you days or weeks, even if you hire an additional specialist. And you’d rather spent this time working on a project.

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Misleading reviews

Some freelancers can create an employer account on the same website and spam their profile with positive reviews. And you might find out about this on the briefing stage, when your candidate misses deadlines and presents you with mediocre results.

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No plagiarism immunity

The market is overloaded with “experts” who not only skip through the brainstorming stage and have no dedication but offer their clients clip-arts instead of original designs. As a result, that might even get you sued when the original owner of the idea finds out.

Design platforms

awesomic website screenshot

Finally, you can hire an animation designer on subscription platforms, like Awesomic or Penji. These platforms have a lot of advantages:


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fixed pay per month for as many projects as you want
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the algorithm finds the most suitable expert
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candidates are already pre-selected
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project updates every 24 hours
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unlimited number of revisions

 

Subscription platforms offer you a digital space to monitor the progress on the project and pay an animation designer salary instead of you. As a client, you only need to choose one of their 3-5 pricing plans. For example, when you create an account on Awesomic, you can choose between these subscriptions:


  • Light ($699/month) — great for those who need a brand identity, presentational, and promo materials, as well as a wrapped case study.
  • Pro (1,995/month) — this pack includes working with an animation designer, UI/UX designer, responsive layouts for app and web, and email templates.
  • Ultimate ($2,490/month) — all the Product package features + another assigned designer to work faster.


The only possible drawback is that Awesomic offers only remote employees. However, you can choose a subscription plan with a Slack integration and create a remote team.

Get access to our top designers and create your first brand animation. Join today.

How do you know you found a good animator?

nimation designer skillsnimation designer skills

Finding an animation designer skilled at their job is harder than catching a unicorn. But if the candidate has the ticks in the following boxes, you can certainly trust them with your design.

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Understands your vision

An animation designer is a person who transforms ethereal concepts like “values,” “mission,” and “vision” into something your clients can see and relate to. To do this, they create storyboards, scripts, and concepts that make users interact with your business deeper than just clicking on the “About us” page.

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Knows what attracts more clients

Understanding how to deliver your vision will help an animator find those willing to look. A specialist can analyze the competitors and determine what strikes a chord with your audience. Plus, they can define the focal points of your brand and turn them into triggers for the clients.

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Promptly implements design trends

A clunky design is a sure way to make users abandon your website or app. Today brands are all about lightness, instant feedback, bold statements, and a personalized approach. Hiring an animation designer who understands these trends and can successfully use them is a massive step towards making your brand noticeable.

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Explains the process to you

As a business owner, you might not know a lot about the processes behind animation. A skilled animation designer will explain each step of the process in simple terms and cut off unnecessary things. This will help you estimate time and costs better and know what to expect from the final rendering.

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Swiftly works on corrections and improvements

Given that even a simple animated video will take six weeks to produce, it’s crucial to stick to the deadlines. A good animation designer can quickly revise corrections and work on technical improvements to ensure that everything will be ready on time.

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Has a portfolio with practical cases

Having a selection of pretty pictures isn’t enough. You need to see the results of each job and how it impacted user experience and the brand’s presence on the market. If the cases in the designer’s portfolio correspond with your vision of success, sign the contract.

The way it works at Awesomic

At Awesomic, we love rhythmic work. That’s why we organize the process so that you can see the first update in 24 hours. This helps not speed up the work and improve communication between you and the animation designer, as they will receive detailed feedback on each stage.

Working on each stage of the task takes our designers from 2 to 5 days on average, and you get as many revisions as you want.

Wrapping Up

So, how can animation strengthen your brand’s position on the market? It can help you make your product more interactive, improve social media visuals, and tell your brand’s story in an engaging manner instead of miles of boring texts.


However, animation production is a time-consuming process, and hiring an animation designer who’s good at their job adds to that time. Freelance websites can give you a rough picture of costs and estimated time per project, but picking from thousands of offers is still pretty exhausting.


Subscription platforms like Awesomic offer an easier solution. Our service pre-screens the candidates for you and matches you with a perfect one using AI-powered algorithms. You can start working right away and get your first update in 24 hours. 


So, are you ready to jump in and revive your business?

FAQ

Who is an animation designer?

An animation designer creates an illusion of motion for static pictures, as well as special effects for movies, games, virtual reality, etc. Animators improve your brand’s visuals by making them more attention-grabbing or can create an instructional video that will replace the entire handbook.

What are the duties of an animation designer?

Animators take your brand’s legend and turn it into a story. To do this, they write scripts and design storyboards, work on concepts, location, and background design, and might collaborate with voice actors and musicians to add narration and sounds to your story.

Where do animation designers work?

A lot of 3D animation designers’ work is involved in the movie and game industries. 2D animation and motion designers are also versatile: they can create simple animations for a brand's presentation, detailed explainer videos, or 2D cartoons .

Motion graphic designers can revive the look of your business using HTML5 animation for websites, or adding interactive elements for the instant feedback in the app. And if you need a simple but attractive brand promo, ask a stop motion designer to make it.

What are the top skills for working as an animation designer?

An animator must have strong creative skills to turn the ideas into visual stories. Also, they must be proficient in graphics software and work with programs like Adobe After Effects, Maya, Cinema4D, Houdini, etc. Also, a designer must be skilled in illustration and drawing and understand the composition and other design principles.

How much can a great animation designer
make a year?

If you’re hiring an animation designer for a full-time project, costs may vary depending on the candidate’s location and skill. For example, in the US, annual salaries vary from $38,000 for a junior 2D animator and up to $112,000 per year for a senior animation designer. 

You can hire globally and find cheaper prices in Canada, Asia, or Europe. For example, a 2D animator designer salary in Japan is only $66,000 per year. Compare that to $98,000 per year in New York.
Hourly rates of freelancer animators vary from $60-80 per hour on platforms like Dribbble to $30-50 on websites like Freelancer. Note that creating a short animated video takes 250 hours on average, so the cost of the final project will be around $15,000-20,000.

Finally, you can find an animation designer on subscription platforms like Awesomic. These platforms typically have a fixed price per month that includes unlimited projects and revisions. Plus, they allow you to create a digital team and add other creators, which will boost the efficiency of your work.

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