The New Yorker Illustrates the Art of the GIF With First-Ever Animated Cover

October 2nd, 2014

badge-image-of-the-weekKnown for its artistic and unpredictable covers, The New Yorker is generating headlines this week with the debut of its first-ever animated GIF cover on its website and mobile applications. Created by artist and designer Christoph Niemann, the GIF cover was inspired by the beauty of New York City in the rain.

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While other publishers have experimented with GIFs on their website, this is a first for The New Yorker.

With The New Yorker’s cover, simplicity was prioritized. The viewer is transported to a New York City taxi while it’s raining with the telltale GIF animation to bring a drop of water traveling down a window pane.

The end result compliments the artwork in a way that adds value versus coming off as gimmicky.

Although the concept of translating art into a GIF is innovative, it was reportedly not as easy as it sounds. In an interview with Mashable, Françoise Mouly, art director at The New Yorker, noted that, “dozens of iterations of the image were required to fit all the possible screen sizes.”

A photo may be worth a thousand words, but a well-placed GIF can cause viewers to pause and absorb a bite-sized story in a completely different way. Inspired by The New Yorker’s GIF cover, here are five ideas to inspire companies on how to incorporate GIFs in their digital and social media content mix:

  • Products: GIFs can help accentuate key features or showcase how a product works in a fun, engaging way.
  • Events: Highlight a key moment from an event, whether it’s a quote, feature, or funny occurrence.
  • Behind The Scenes: Offer fans a glimpse into your office culture, whether it’s a monthly ice cream sundae party, or celebrating a big moment, GIFs can make these small but meaningful moments pop.
  • #TBT: Add a pop of animation to your #TBT by bringing historic imagery to life in a GIF.
  • Quotes and Statements: From a pop culture trend, a brief quote, or humorous Meme, GIFs can add emotion to quotes and statements when paired with a complimentary visual.

What’s your experience with GIFs, both as a marketer and as a consumer?

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