April 30, 2011

GIF redemption

The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) format has had a checkered history. Introduced in 1987, it has had widespread support in browsers, making it one of the most commonly used image formats on the internet. The format has also had it's share of controversy and patent issues, which led to the creation of free alternatives but never really impacted it's use.

The defining legacy of the GIF is not its ubiquity, or the controversies. Instead it is its capability to show animations that simultaneously made it irresistibly over-used and notoriously hated. Animated gifs, along with the HTML <blink> tag are single-handedly responsible for the seizure inducing pages of the 90's.

Now, the animated GIF is making a comeback of sorts, as nothing less than high-art. The blog From Me to You, has a section called cinema-graphs, which are essentially beautiful photographs, embellished with Harry Potter style animations.

Consider the following:

And this

The blog, which is primarily fashion focused, has a lot more of this. Animated GIF as high-art. Who'd have thought that was possible for redemption.

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