Fastco Design has a sweet roundup of GIFs that raise the bar of the format, from stupid and banal to arty and classy.
Animated GIFs are like the jazz of the internet: they could only exist, and be created and appreciated, online. That said, PopTart Cat is not exactly on par with Thelonious Monk. But photographer Jamie Beck and motion graphics artist Kevin Burg may have finally found a way to elevate the animated GIF to a level approaching fine art, with their “cinemagraphs” — elegant, subtly animated creations that are “something more than a photo but less than a video.”
You really have to see these to believe them. The animation is subtle, but it feels like plunging into a half-forgotten dream of a movie. They are a whisper of a story, begging for someone to use them as a jumping off point. BTW, if you’re a college writing professor and use my idea for Writing 101, I want a kickback.