A styleframe is essentially a single or series of compositions that demonstrate the style, mood, and overall design of a piece of time-based media. As time-based media takes a lot of time, energy, skill, and often a whole team of people to achieve, there is no question that styleframes are indespensible when trying to communicate to funders and fellow crew members what you want to achieve: sort of like a visual elevator pitch. 

However, styleframes are also very valuable during the development and production process, as they keep the entire production team on the same visual page. During the development process, as multiple people begin working on digital assets, or string together work in a timeline, etc., the styleframes can be referenced at any point to make sure everyone is on point.

Styleframes can also be really beautiful and inspiring works of art! Below are various examples of styleframes I find to be really beautiful: 

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://schwittek.com/teaching#sigFreeId72208b5103

This is the collective work of my Art 325-Intro to Motion Graphics students at Lehman College, from Spring 2010 to Spring 2011. Good job, everyone!