Image + Space + Time: James Pannafino on Motion Design


Interdisciplinary Interaction Design CoverJames Pannafino isn’t just a design practitioner — he’s a design educator, an associate professor in the Art and Design Department at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. This popular HOW Interactive Design Conference speaker and author of “Interdisciplinary Interaction Design: A Visual Guide to Basic Theories, Models and Ideas for Thinking and Designing for Interactive Web Design” is part of the Interactive Design Program at HOW Design Live. His session in Atlanta will take you beyond the technical aspects of motion design to explore the principles and processes behind designing moving images for film and the web.

We recently queried Pannafino about what he’s working on, what he’s seeing and what he’s inspired by.

What are you working on right now that has you particularly excited or challenged?
Not a big surprise but I am working on a book about motion design with a slightly different point of view. It will be similar to my first book Interdisciplinary Interaction Design in format and context. Besides that long-term project, I tend to present a lot, and my full time job as a college educator always keeps things busy/interesting.

Looking at the world of design around you, what’s your take on the current state of our industry?
Since I’m an educator I try to look at things through that lens. In the professional realm, I feel like that are many people that still don’t get what the field of interactive design (UX, motion, web, etc) is about. It’s not that they don’t know certain technical skills, it’s that they don’t know what they don’t know. It’s tough because I’ve been there, and the landscape is so wide and intimating. The best advice I could give is to talk to people in person. Taking online classes, reading articles and other learning channels are great, but nothing can replace interacting with people in person. Learn from others what is out there and then pick a path for your future.

In the educational field I am still surprised how many educators are still teaching curriculum mainly focused on a print based communication context. By all means print is not dead, but in a digital world it is important to give the proper attention to interactive design. My hope is that programs and curriculums adjust to meet modern design problems and solutions.

What kinds of information and inspiration will you be sharing during your session at HOW Design Live?
I love talking about the concept of language and timeless principles in motion design. Often, outsiders think that learning time-based design programs is the first step to creating a motion graphic design, but that is not always the case. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned and now teach to others about motion design and the thoughts we need to hold on to to maintain narratives that are the core to an idea, no matter the context.

Find Pannafino and other presenters on the Interactive Design Program at HOW Design Live, where you’ll experience new technologies, new methods and new projects that will give you skills to grow in your career. Register by April 1 for the best savings.