Motion graphics have enhanced the way that we experience televised sporting events, from the grand opening sequences of games and programs all the way down to how viewers keep track of scores. If there’s anyone who knows the ins and outs of the marriage between sports and motion graphics, it’s Tyler Joynt. Since graduating from Full Sail University’s Digital Arts & Design bachelor’s degree program in 2009, Tyler has worked as a lead editor/motion designer for practically every kind of sport that exists, both in a freelance capacity as well as an employee for entities such as University of Alabama, sports media/technology company SMT, and full-service agency STN Digital.
Growing up in Alabama, Tyler has been a football fan for as far back as he can remember. The only thing that rivaled his passion for sports was his interest in drawing and painting. An early encounter with some Adobe Photoshop tutorials ignited his interest in the world of graphics, eventually leading him to Full Sail. While enrolled in the Digital Arts & Design program, he jumped at the chance to enter a contest the school offered that challenged students to design graphics for the Orlando Magic’s video board. Not only did he and his design partner win the contest, but it also jumpstarted his career.
“I was hired by the University of Central Florida’s Athletics department a month or two before I graduated from Full Sail. They were looking for someone to do motion graphics and video, and they found me through the Magic,” Tyler says. “Right off the bat, I was working in sports. It was a huge stepping stone for me.”
After learning and growing in his position at UCF, he returned to Alabama and found himself busy juggling freelance work, but it wasn’t long before he returned to Florida, landing a position at Jacksonville-based company SMT (formerly known as SportsMEDIA Technology), where he built broadcast graphics for a wide variety of sports and events. But, like a ball propelling back and forth from both sides of a field, Tyler would eventually return to Alabama when he was offered a position at the University of Alabama to work as the athletic department’s lead motion editor.
“I apparently stay at places for two years,” Tyler laughs. “At Alabama, I worked on the college’s five main sports – football, men’s basketball, baseball, softball, and gymnastics. It’s a great department, and probably one of the biggest in the country at the time as far as college athletics go.”
After his stint at Alabama, Tyler relocated to San Diego to at STN Digital, where he created social media graphics and animation for various sports teams, particularly in the NHL and college football. He also worked on graphics for the broadcast of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, traveling to London and working alongside the BBC.
Today Tyler dedicates all of his time to freelancing, even taking many of his previous employers on as clients. While the deadlines are still just as demanding as at a 9-to-5 (and even more amplified in the world of sports), he enjoys the flexibility that his current lifestyle offers.
“I’m very much about working when I want to work. Sometimes you want to take a break for a couple of hours and go outside – especially now that I’m in sunny San Diego,” he says. “There may be days that I get up early and work, then take a break for six hours in the middle of the day, and then stay up late working. It’s still the same type of deadlines and you have to focus on prioritizing your time, but the freedom is great.”
Tyler’s drive and passion for what he does has definitely been the fuel for his movement throughout his career. But from his perspective, not much as changed since the early days of the Photoshop tutorials.
“I love learning new programs and software, diving in to see what I can do,” he says. “And I just love being able to take two things that I love – sports and graphics – and melding them together to create something that so many people are going to see, whether it’s a graphic that gets shared on a Twitter feed or it’s a broadcasted graphic that shows viewers a stat.”
Looking back at his experience at Full Sail, Tyler is quick to offer up words of advice to current students who are looking to enter the industry after graduation.
“Always do more than you should. School is all about what you put into it, and not just doing a project and getting a grade. Halfway through my program, I started realizing that doing two or three iterations of a project can really pay off and help you in the long run,” he says. “There were people who were in my classes who just did what was expected of them, and then there were people who tried really hard and went above and beyond. And it was the people in the second group who all have really awesome jobs today.”