About the GIF

GIF technology originates in the ’80s yet remains a popular and valuable tool in web design and banner advertising.

GIFs don’t need embedded players (as Youtube clips do) or plug-in (like Adobe Flash does) sand sit on a web page in the same space a still image might usually occupy.

The fact that GIF presentations need to be lean in system resource requirements, to work effectively, brings an exciting challenge to the GIF designer – for example,  there will be only a few frames to play with where image quality is an issue or if working to Google’s AdWords image file limit (150 kilobytes!).

Of course, many GIFs uploaded onto most people’s blogs and websites actually exceed Google AdWord’s spec. They work fine and the designer likely employed various optimisation techniques at his or her disposal..

(Indeed, these 30+ years after the GIF’s invention, the only serious contender for producing animated online banner ads and announcements appears to be HTML5 – a technology bringing its own its own advantages and disadvantages.)

It fascinates me that devising GIF projects, such as for a banner ad, demands a particularly focus on storyboarding well before any keyboard gets touched.

Smile, Russell Caanagh.

Of me

Although born in Edinburgh, I currently live in Glasgow, after many years  in England and latterly the Czech Republic.

I’ve a bachelors degree in photography, am an accomplished musician and have made highly successful crowdfunding promo videos for business start-ups (e.g., Indiegogo and Kickstarter). There’s much more to me but I won’t bore you.

But my aptitude for visuals, a decent sense of rhythm and a wider understanding of business all seem to combine behind my passion for exploring the GIF as a lean and smart communication tool.

Being a recent devotee of the GIF, I’ve recently played with some impressive creation software that is cloud-based. But these came with too many limitations in terms of use and effective ownership.

So I use GIMP software for editing images and producing GIFs. Being a fully featured program, GIMP is a delight to work with.

About the site

This site’s COMMERCIAL GIFS category contains content filtered from the wider BLOG section.

The blog is basically a sketchbook where I develop ideas, try out techniques and, once in a while, write stuff or embed video clips.

I’m not trying to teach people how to make GIFs but am instead documenting a journey from my first handmade GIF to work that becomes increasingly professional in design and production.

There’s a free subscription form on the blog section and I’m always happy to talk to others who are passionate about the medium.