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August 9, 2012

It moves!

In the geeky world of web design, the animated GIF has gone from cheesy to classy just in time for its 25th birthday (June 15th).

The genius of the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is that it can bundle multiple frames of an animation into a single file, like an electronic flipbook.

Recently, artists and designers have taken this relatively crude technology and transformed it into something magical.

If you've never heard of animated GIFs, this video from PBS Off Book will get you up to speed in no time (by the way, Off Book is a treasure-trove of short videos on contemporary design).

Like the peanut butter

The most controversial aspect of the GIF format is how to pronounce it. I've always used a hard "g" as in "gift". After discovering the GIF Pronunciation Page, I guess I need to change my ways. The guy who invented it, Steve Wilhite, declared it should be pronounced like the peanut butter. Who am I to argue?

Glad we got that resolved.

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