A Brief History of the Animated GIF

PBS art series Off Book created this short video that presents a brief history of the animated GIF:

GIFs are one of the oldest image formats used on the web. Throughout their history, they have served a huge variety of purposes, from functional to entertainment. Now, 25 years after the first GIF was created, they are experiencing an explosion of interest and innovation that is pushing them into the terrain of art. In this episode of Off Book, we chart their history, explore the hotbed of GIF creativity on Tumblr, and talk to two teams of GIF artists who are evolving the form into powerful new visual experiences.

(via PBS Off Book via PopPhoto)

  • lloyd

    whats an animated jif?

  • donuts222

    it’s GIF…just google it

    …and man, i really gotta make me a cinimagraph soon

  • Geoffrey Froment

    dont know if i have to feel old or geek when someone ask ” what is jif ” 

  • 9inchnail

     He was propably just mocking the way some of those people pronounced GIF as jif. Everybody knows GIF, it’s still used quite a lot even though PNG has been around quite some time.

  • newamericanclassic

    I feel like I’m watching Portlandia..

    whenever I think of GIFs, I think of geocities… like here: turns any site into a geocities site, complete with MIDI sound files ;)

  • Hynee

    I giffed.

  • uber_llama

    Cool video. Minor nit: at the 1:15ish mark, the speaker mentions the web of the 70s, 80s and 90s. The web was first used in 1990.

  • Aceclown

    And yet facebook still does’nt support animated gifs…

  • Sam Carrot

    Good old gif


  • Michael Holroyd

    Why does this comment stream not allow gifs.