What’s the best video style for your business?

Are you looking to create a company video but wondering what is the best video style for your business? Do you need a bit of inspiration? Or does choosing the right style for your video feel confusing? This article is here to help! Below we give a few suggestions and show some examples to help you choose the best style for your video.

How to Choose a Video Style

The good news is that you don’t have to do this yourself. A good video creator will help you create a style that works for you. The factors to take into account include:

  • Your company’s brand identity
  • Budget
  • Timeline
  • Production flexibility.

About that last point – production flexibility – this refers to how easy it is to adapt to unexpected events while making the video. Like, if you need to make late changes to a script/storyboard that’s already in animation or any other shock to the system. These events can lead to delays and even cost overruns. A complex style like 3D character animation will inherently have less production flexibility. If this is your first time making a video or you have lots of decision-makers who frequently disagree with each other then you may need to consider production flexibility when deciding on a style.

2D Character Animation

This is the most common style used in company explainer videos. There are plenty of creative ways to execute character animation. For example, your styling may range from something fun and informal to something more corporate and serious. Below is a more informal example.

And here’s an example that’s cleaner and a bit more corporate.

The advantages of 2D character animation are that it is engaging to watch, can be created on a reasonable budget and the production process is fairly simple.

2D Motion Graphic Style

Motion graphic videos use moving elements, icons, typography and animated transitions to tell the story rather than animated characters. This could be a good choice for you if your brand identity is more serious and you want a video that isn’t too cartoony. The advantages of this style include budgets that are generally favorable and a relatively flexible production process.

2D+3D Videos

In modern videos, it is common to combine 3D elements into 2D videos. There are established workflows to help streamline this, for example within Adobe After-Effects you have the Element3D plugin which also has Cinema4D integration. Here is an example below.

Hand-drawn (frame-by-frame) Animation

A lot of the best videos out there are still created by hand. Well, technically the designers use digital tools these days to help, but fundamentally the process is still the same as it was in the early days of animation with each frame being individually drawn. This is known as frame-by-frame (or cel) animation. Illustrators will work with a digital tablet with a stylus and will use software tools like Adobe Animate and Toon Boom. The advantage of this style is that it results in very smooth motion. The disadvantages are that they are more labor intensive, more expensive with longer timelines and the production process is less flexible when it comes to rolling with unexpected shocks.

Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard is a style where the video shows a hand drawing the illustrations. Traditionally this was filmed live on an actual whiteboard but these days many of these videos are created digitally with a “fake” hand added by the creator. In modern videos, there will also sometimes be some animated typography or other motion graphics. The advantages of whiteboard animation are that it’s often more affordable and it’s also highly engaging for the viewer, e.g. these videos get consistently good engagement metrics on social media. The main disadvantage is that they can be perceived as being simplistic and may not be as suitable if you want to create high-quality branded content.

Software Demos

Software demo videos are technically not their own style, e.g. they can be considered 2D animation or 3D animation, but we’ve listed them separately for convenience as that’s how many clients think of them. In general, styles will range from more abstract representations of your software to exact screen recordings or accurate recreations of those recordings. There are many creative approaches and you can see more software demo video ideas here.

3D Animation

In this type of video, the artwork is created in 3D space. The art style can be abstract or realistic… or anything in between. The advantages of 3D animated explainer videos are that they allow you to represent a physical product or space, and they also look impressive. The disadvantages are that they cost more and the production process is less flexible. You can read more about 3D explainer videos here.

2.5D (Isometric) Style

Isometric videos are a style of video where the camera angle is locked so the viewer looks down from the top and at an angle. Kind of like a computer game! This style is useful when representing a physical space. Technically these are usually executed as 3D animation, combined with some 2D. Below is an example.

Live Action – Filmed

There are a great many ways to execute live-action videos. They can range from complex shoots with professional actors and interesting locations to simple interview videos conducted by a single videographer. The advantage of this style is that you can show something real and tangible and tell human stories. The disadvantage is that they can be expensive, risky and complex depending on what you’re looking to do.

Live Action – Stock Footage

It is possible to create entire videos by combining stock footage with animation, i.e. no filming required! This allows for a ‘real-life’ feel without the hassle, risk and expense of a film shoot. Need aerial footage of New York City? No problem – stock footage has you covered! There are many databases with high-quality footage available, e.g. Pond5, Artlist, Shutterstock and Getty. To find out more, read our article about stock footage videos here.

Mixed Media

This style of video combines different media like photos, 2d animation and footage into one video. This is normally done in cases where the brand wants to have a bit of fun and do something engaging. There are many ways to do this, e.g. using photos in a cutout style.

Conclusion

This was a quick overview of the different styles. Within each category there is a near-infinite way to execute these! Reach out to us if you want to see more ideas and inspiration.