Putting Emotion in Motion Graphics: An Interview with Keyoni Scott

As a Junior Designer at Emotive Brand, Keyoni Scott comes to EB having just graduated from Arizona State University. One part motion graphics enthusiast, one part film buff, Keyoni sat down with us to discuss his approach to design and what he’s hoping to get out of his first job in “the real world.”

First off, welcome! We’re super excited to have you on our team. Can you tell us a little about your background?

I just graduated from Arizona State University with a major in graphic design and a minor in film media and production. The funny thing is, everyone told me that was a weird combination – that I should have paired it with business. But my interests have always been geared towards learning the 3D aspects of media. What excites me most is applying the techniques of film making into the world of motion graphics. I want to find ways to translate that type of visual storytelling for brands.

Are there any designers you look up to?

I’m the type of person that’s inspired by people from all different fields: film, photography, graffiti, design. I don’t like to discriminate, but I do admire the work of Paul Rand. If I had to describe my aesthetic, I like to keep things clean, tight, and minimal. I’m interested in trying to tell full stories in very short spaces. All my favorite creators are people who can remove the unnecessary details while still getting the big message across.

I remember getting to tour Pixar when I was younger. It was the thing that sparked my interest in motion graphics and storytelling. Beyond just loving art, it made me ask, “How can I apply my art? How can I bridge the gap between inspiration and the real world?”

What trends do you see in graphic design right now?

Something I’m seeing is how many brands are embracing motion graphics into their designs. I love the challenges of taking a flat, one-dimensional piece and finding a way to bring it to life. I think more people are realizing that this is something they should be including in the larger package of what they give to clients. Especially with how active brands are on social media, that space can be utilized in an exciting way. When you’re scrolling online and see picture after picture after picture, motion stands out and is so much more engaging.

Given that this is your first job out of college, what are you hoping to get from this experience?

In school, it seemed like there were two options for graduating graphic designers: you either work at a giant corporation for more money, or you work at a smaller, more creative agency for slightly less. I never want to lose my creativity. I always told myself the joy of not being bored at work is worth way more.

I’m a very curious person. The way I learn is just by diving in and figuring out how something works. I’m looking for a workplace that’s open, where no idea is a bad idea, and where people listen. It’s key to create a positive environment where people aren’t scared to share their ideas. I think it’s also important to try to get to know one another. If you’re too closed off, it forms a wall that can’t be broken down.

Now that you’ve graduated, what advice do you wish you had at the beginning of your degree?

When you’re studying in a very small program of around 40 people, it’s easy to compare your talents to them. You might think, “Okay, I’m in the top ten, maybe top five.” You’re in this little bubble, and then you start applying to some outside agencies in the real world and that bubble is quickly popped. You have those days of doubt where you wonder: Did I learn enough? Did I try hard enough? But at the end of the day, I truly believe I took full advantage of my situation. I barely slept during college. I’d just say, make sure that if you’re putting your name on something, it’s something you’re proud to stand by.

Beyond your design skills, what do you feel like you bring to the Emotive Brand team?

I think I bring a fresh perspective and another way of thinking. Even though I’m a super visual person, I want to bring meaning into everything I do – even if it means sacrificing aesthetics. To me, nothing is more important in design than having a big impact.

You can check out some of Keyoni’s work at his website.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency.

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