2D Animation Services: What You Need to Know Before Hiring

Animation has become increasingly popular in the past decade, and 2D animation production is more prevalent within animation overall. 2D animation is seen everywhere, from social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to cult-favorite animated shows and explainer videos.

While 2D and 3D animation are all over in popular media, advertising, and online and hand-held games and gaming platforms, many communicators are now turning to 2D animation services to create compelling and engaging content that’s got a very zeitgeisty appeal.

What Is 2D Animation?

Sometimes referred to as “traditional” animation, modern 2D animation projects can be surprisingly sophisticated and intricate. 2D animation has come a long way from its painstakingly hand-drawn, cel-based origins, but it has lost none of the charm or allure.

Put simply, 2D animation is an art form centered around creating the illusion of movement in a two-dimensional space. Individual drawings are sequenced together and timed to display at a specific rate, usually 30 or 24 frames per second. This rapid presentation of images creates the perception of moving characters, backgrounds, text, and other effects in a 2D animation video.

This doesn’t always mean 30 or 24 separate and discrete images are present per second of finished video production—though it can. There can be separate images for each frame, or (depending on the style of the animation and other factors) there can be as few as two or three. Much old-school animation was done in “2s,” meaning one drawing every two frames—twelve per second—but more demanding 2D video projects can require the full complement of eye-beguiling wizardry.

Benefits of Visual Communication & Video Animation

Infographic about the science of visual communication

If a picture is worth a thousand words, moving pictures are worth, well, more than that. A lot more, as it turns out. 

Humans are highly visual creatures, and our brains are finely tuned to analyze and extract meaning from the things we see. Various studies have shown that visual information is processed as much as 60,000 times faster than text-based communication.

There’s a reason the 2D explainer video has become so ubiquitous—it works really well. Moving images convey a more nuanced and profound experience and are more engaging and exciting than static text-based displays. With apologies to PowerPoint, staid and still words displayed on a slide are like kryptonite to attention spans.

When faced with walls of text, most readers scan the presented information and (because no one is perfect) tend to miss much of it, remember less, and find it much less interesting than moving visuals. 

When your message is essential, and your audience has limited and imperfect capacity for attention, 2D animation services keep your presentation front-and-center and ensure it’s interesting.

Use Cases for 2D Animation Services 

Visual communication provides a robust and entertaining way to ensure consistency in engagement and communication. People often have a hard time looking away from animated presentations, as the constantly changing visual tableaux are almost like benevolent voodoo commanding that they pay attention.

When your audience can’t take their eyes off your message because they want to see what happens next, they’ll understand more completely, experience greater engagement, retain more, and (if you’ve chosen your 2D animation studio carefully) be entertained the entire time.

Internal Communication Use Cases

Is there anything more boring than a memo? Suppose you have vital information to communicate to an internal team. In that case, you can do things the traditional way and email everyone a short boilerplate with all the charm and personality of a quick nap on a city bus. Alternatively, you can set them up to succeed, filling them in using a colorful, entertaining, and appealing way — with the help of 2D animation.

Memos aren’t very memorable (ironic). Do you remember the last one you read? Our brain spends 90% of its input-processing power on visuals, so communicating in our natural universal language gets your message across faster, more thoroughly — and for longer. Even something as non-scintillating as Q1 Sales Figures can be compelling and memorable viewing if presented the right way.

External Use Communication Use Cases 

Branding is one of the most critical client-facing activities any organization is faced with handling. Communicating who you are, what you’re about, what you stand for, and what you do, is essential to reaching customers, expressing your capabilities, and illustrating the benefits you can provide. There’s no better way to do this than with 2D animation.

Blending your logo, typeface, branded color palette, and other evocative imagery with your company’s unique style, voice, and tone can create a powerful impression and help build lasting and perennial brand awareness. A well-established brand is an excellent resource when trying to reach new customers, launching new products, or venturing out into entirely new markets.

How to a Choose 2D Animation Company

Animated graphic of a video playing on a computer

Oh, just check out freelancers on Upwork or Fiverr. Kidding! While there are certainly some good people working on those platforms, they’re not likely to be excellent choices for 2D animation outsourcing.

Let’s be frank — many people in the gig economy have no business pretending they can pull off the kind of jobs they’re advertising. If your project and message are important to you, it pays to practice due diligence and research your options. Professional teams aren’t built overnight, and they’re generally not available for the cost of an Uber.

When choosing a production company to handle video animation services, it’s important to realize that matching the customer and their message with the proper technique and presentation style is essential, and shouldn’t be done by anyone without training, talent, and experience.

If you’re considering using 2D characters to get your message across, you should be aware that subtleties like character design can take years to master, and no matter how bright that kid on Upwork is, you’re just as likely to end up with a poor pastiche of an effort. Some Pickle Rick knockoff might be entertaining on social media, but is it really the way you want to present your life’s work and passion?

There are many technicalities to be aware of, too. Understanding what goes into a 2D animation project isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, as timelines and revision schedules need to be finely tuned to account for all the complexity and time-intensive effort that goes into a project of this nature.

Top 2D Animation Services in the US 

Here at the Sketch Effect, we have the experience needed to deliver your project in your voice to address your priorities as a complete and top-tier effort. Our company culture stresses communication and understanding our customer’s specific needs, so we pay a lot of attention to what’s important to you.

We have the hours behind the wheel to make it a smooth ride. Though our timelines can change seasonally, we currently have new projects running at a 7 to 9-week turnaround from the time of our Kickoff Call with a new client.

That might be less impressive to you than it should be, but trust us, it’s pretty rad. We take great pride in our abilities to deliver the finest 2D animation services and projects in the fastest time possible, and we’d love the chance to work with you in helping reach your communication goals.

There are many competent and talented animation studios you could choose from, but we’re confident we’ve got special sauce those other guys just don’t. We have 100% 5-star reviews on Google and work with respected brands like Chick-fil-A, Delta, Kimberly-Clark, Home Depot, and many more. 

CTA graphic with screen shots of animated videos

Let us show you what we can do for you — schedule a consultation to discuss your video animation needs today.