GOOD: The Hidden Cost of War

I love GOOD’s Transparency series. By combinging great writing with clean, concise visuals, GOOD consistently produces top-notch visual essays that treat viewers like intelligent beings. The latest in the series, a collaboration between Matt Owens and the Athletics, explains the costs of the war in Iraq.

It starts off with a familiar feeling typographic approach but then builds in complexity as more numbers are crunched and the total dollars are compounded. The project ends with a crisp, stinging finish that lodges in your brain. Whether you agree with the war or not, the overall impact of the video is hard to ignore.

Oh, and three cheers for GOOD’s new layout and video player. Nicely done!


About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



Not sure why this is featured. I’m guessing because of the message because we’ve seen better design and animation carried out by students many times over.

I look to motionographer for outstanding design and animation first, economic insights and depressing war statistics is low on the list.


“great writing with clean, concise visuals”

Whatever Justin. I’ve seen these kind of videos a million of times. Same old same old.


By the way why are these kind of typographic essays always so american-centered? I think Bran DJ did something similar not too long ago. They only feature the loss of $$$ or american soldiers but never mention the million civilian casualties of Iraqis or Afghans.

I guess who cares about innocent people? It’s all about $$$ and american volunteers?

These kind of essays make me ashamed of being an american sometimes.


I’m pleased there’s still enough motivation out there to use mograph to keep these messages from fading into complacency, but this site has got quite a few entries about these now, and the standard far outstrips this one. Knife Party’s “Barry Says” comes instantly to mind, as do the later ones about oil consumption and identity cards. Here the speech comes off as unconfident, and the animation is awkward and misses a lot of opportunities as it tries to work through the list of mograph trends. It’s forgivable I suppose, going by what Good seems to be, but in terms of mograph it’s not great.

Does anyone remember the one about the cost of death, as in the money and resources that go into funerals etc? Was that by Good? That was a lot better.


im going to assume that this piece is coming from a democrat targeting a republican (assuming from the site).

i think that the problem john kerry had with swaying the republicans, is that he was “too smart”. theres too much information to take in, too quickly. too many facts, too many figures, too many numbers.

we need to make these even simpler, and make it appealing to a swing voter. these types of animations only stimulate the left.

palin ’09


Not well animated or designed and adds nothing to the VO which in itself adds nothing to the stats. They should have just printed off the stats for people to read, though as it only relates to figures and finance even thats unengaging. Whoops.


Poorly animated, AWFUL typography, doesn’t look like this was made by someone with a design education. Dull voice over too.



the hate is in the motherfucking air!!!!


i hate to pile on, and i hate to be a hater… but really?
this is a featured spot? as it has been said before me,
this style and message has been done dozens of times..
“brasil”, “what barry says”, etc.. and even if this were completely original
and/or new.. it’s very well designed or executed. i applaud the effort, but not the result.. and certainly not the selection to motionographer.


damn proof-reading skills.. ! i meant to say “it’s NOT very well designed or executed”


Seriously, guys? The anonymous hater posts are really lame. We’ve all got different tastes and different opinions, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, sometimes it’s better to not say anything at all.

I for one love this piece. Thanks for posting it, Justin.


hmmm.. i don’t think my comments were anonymous or inflammatory at all.. remember, this is a site for exhibition AND critique – your line “if you have nothing nice to say” has little relevance here. the subject matter is noble, but i do suspect the subject played too large of a role in the selection process. this is a design group.. not a political group.. content is important, but should not be the deciding factor on what gets posted. but quality should be – and the quality in this piece is lacking. 3 million and team of many or 3 hundred and a team of one – both can create on either end of the spectrum.


Your idea of quality is subjective. Point taken. Everyone’s a critic.


yeah all these car ads are getting boring. who cares what 3 mil and a team the size of congress can do? it’s all technique, shiny shiny bullshit. anyway, i think we’ll be seeing a lot more of this content based work in the near future. time to pull your arse out your software and have a look at the world imploding around us. this piece may look crappy but it’s better than that turd polishing most of us did today.


/\ well put, everyday i read comments here i feel like the mograph industry is like being back in high school. So much drama and people being babies and complaining about everything.


while it’s nice to see something featured that didn’t have the aforementioned 3 mil budget and staff of 300, it’d be nicer to see a spot that had a style that hasn’t been done to death… especially for the subject matter. i am by no means a cutting-edge designer and even i’ve used this technique.

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