The Storytelling Power of Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs became more accessible than ever when Apple created its GIF keyboard for iOS 10. The addition offers users a fun, easy way to interact with friends on mobile that has further broadened our digital forms of expression. GIFs provide us with a visual way to describe how we’re feeling. My wife knows exactly what I’m trying to say when I send her a simple GIF of Michael Jordan crying, or Kim Kardashian rolling her eyes. Though sending these types of GIFs is an entertaining form of expression, they don’t even begin to show how powerful animated GIFs can be as a storytelling device. Businesses have an opportunity to use custom-designed GIFs to help tell their story and expand their reach. There are many super-talented artists creating amazing GIFs that transcend how most people view the medium, and companies should take notice. I’ve listed some of my favorite artists below:

Rebecca Mock:

Rebecca was a classmate of mine at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), and she creates thoughtful GIFs that tell a rich story with just a few subtle movements. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

rebecca-mock-main-street-blues

Main Street Blues, Rebecca Mock, NY Times

Guillaume Kurkdjian:

Guillaume is a French artist who combines simple geometry with playful motion, in both 3D and 2D, to make mesmerizing loops.

Maison 2, Guillaume Kurkdjian

Maison 2, Guillaume Kurkdjian

Robin Davey:

Robin is an artist based in London who specializes in GIFs that have a distinct, mid-century style.

Yule Log, Robin Davey

Yule Log, Robin Davey

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