123’s of Media Production

Getting Started with 2-D Animation: Using What’s Given to You – Brand Guidelines

by Zeke Dowty

I spend a fair amount of time doing custom 2-D animations for all sorts of clients. There are a few steps I follow before really cracking open an animation project. In the first part of this series on Getting Started with 2-D Animation, I will go over what [hopefully] you can expect to receive from a client.

Every organization should have and make available to you, their brand guidelines. Now you’re asking, what should I expect to find in that kind of document?

A company’s brand guidelines is a document that helps identify their look, style, and feel, it often covers their mission statement and company values. It also contains all approved colors, do’s and don’ts for use of logo(s), fonts and sizes. The list of what is in these guidelines can be very extensive. This will give you a solid idea as to where you can take your animation project.

In this example I will use YouTube as they have very comprehensive brand guidelines.

Here, they provide you with YouTube approved colors. You can see the hex code, RGB codes as well as CMYK (for print). Black and white are pretty obvious, but your eye can fool you when trying to match brand-specific colors.

They also provide you with downloadable links for their logo as well as their icon:

YouTube’s brand guidelines continue with the no-no’s of their logo. I know it seems like they are stifling your creativity, but a brand’s identity is just that, their identity and as an animator, make sure to honor the hard work they have put in to these guidelines.

Hopefully your client has these guidelines that can give you some direction, if so you are well on your way to begin getting into working on your animation.

In our next part of this series, I will go into how to work around the event you don’t have the luxury of brand guidelines.

Three things to keep in mind with 2-D animation:

Creating Your Palette:

What is your artistic palette:

  • Brand
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Color Palette
  • Shape
  • Feel

All these assets give you a starting point, the playground if you will, to begin working.

Creating Motion

How do client assets (images, logos, font, etc.) direct the motion

  • Push
  • Slide
  • Zoom/Dolly
  • Building/Typing
  • Reveal

Finding the Right Tempo


  • Understanding the Audience
  • Understanding the Delivery/Destination

Good job, you. Come back next week for more!

Zeke Dowty

Zeke Dowty

Technical Director

Check out what else is new with Glass River Media!