This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best possible experience. See our Cookies Policy.

PMG Digital Made for Humans

GIFs – Why the Hilarious Internet Antic is No Joke

3 MINUTE READ | June 28, 2016

GIFs – Why the Hilarious Internet Antic is No Joke

GIFs have been a staple for web humor since CompuServe founder Steve Wilhite debuted the first GIF in 1987. What began as a format for compressing images so that slow modems could load them easily, soon turned into a widely used internet sensation. With its ability to achieve animation through time delays, the animated GIF started appearing on websites throughout the 90’s.

GIFs also gained internet fame on popular crowd-sourced sites across Tumblr, Myspace, and Reddit. Sites like #WhatShouldWeCallMe and GIFs From Last Night gave a forum for internet wisecrackers to craft the perfectly suited reaction for every situation.

When you find the perfect GIF for this section of the blog post:

Even messaging apps have adopted the usage of GIFs. Slack implements a simple command that auto-generates the perfect GIF for any word. Additionally, Riffsy offers an embedded GIF keyboard for your iPhone, so that users everywhere can respond to their friends and co-workers with hilarious moving images.

by artist Skip Hursh for Computer Arts Magazine, Spring 2015

The popularity of GIFs across blogs and social media platforms makes the format a force to be reckoned with. Artists and advertisers are catching on, taking the chance to fuse art into the world of internet humor. Opting for cleverly animated illustrations over cuts from popular film and tv, this new wave of GIFs showcase a coveted skill in art production. Advertisers are also using the format to add depth to editorial photography with the GIF medium, the cinemagraph.

In a time where we can scroll past a piece of content in under a second, keeping our audiences engaged is key. For most users, a GIF is just as snackable as a photograph. Some illustrators and expert GIF-makers have taken the opportunity to keep viewers engaged with a trance-like quality to their pieces. Check out Archery, a GIF artist who uses mathematics to create mesmerizing loops.

credit: Archery

What’s really cool and interesting about how popular GIFs have become is the massive amount of variety sprouting up in the GIF art world. Publications and brands alike are hiring GIF artists to give their creative a fun and refreshing spin. Starbucks jumped on by hiring artist Julian Glander to illustrate a series of fun frappuccino GIFs.

Starbucks Frappuccino by Julian Glander

We’ll definitely be seeing GIFs around for a while in advertising and design, thanks to the artists and animation pioneers configuring cool new ways to give art movement. Check out more pieces of amazing GIF art at the links below. Happy browsing!

Insights meet inbox

Sign up for weekly articles & resources.


Posted by Alana Mandel

Related Content

Get Informed

The Most Memorable Ads of Super Bowl LV

4 MINUTES READ | February 8, 2021

Get Informed

Preparing for Streaming’s Growth & The Future of TV Buying

7 MINUTES READ | December 11, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

PMG Boosts Brand Creative and Expands Creative Studio

3 MINUTES READ | November 24, 2020

Get Informed

Athleta Honors Women Everywhere in New Post-Election Ad Campaign

2 MINUTES READ | November 10, 2020

Get Inspired

Why You Should Tap TikTok Influencers Now

4 MINUTES READ | July 29, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

Will UGC Be the Norm in a PostCOVID World?

6 MINUTES READ | June 26, 2020

Get Informed

Takeaways from the Virtual Snap Partner Summit 2020

4 MINUTES READ | June 20, 2020

Get Inspired

Staying True to Your Brand During a Crisis

7 MINUTES READ | June 16, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

COVID-19 Crisis: The World is Getting More Creative

7 MINUTES READ | April 10, 2020

Get Inspired

COVID-19 Crisis: A Pop Culture Break

3 MINUTES READ | March 31, 2020

Get Inspired

Navigating Ad Messaging During COVID-19

6 MINUTES READ | March 30, 2020

ALL POSTS