On the occasion that you are learning about GIFs, the below is a great example. You might be thinking to yourself, “What is going on with my mouse?! It’s moving!”

And that’s exactly it: GIFs can, well, move (sort of).

GIFs on the Web

It was 1987 when CompuServe introduced the GIF format. It was good timing, as you may recall, because the internet came around in late 80s/early 90s, so GIFs were one of the first image types used.

We’re more familiar with JPEGs (1992) and PNG (1996) file formats nowadays. What is unique to the GIF, however, is it’s ability to contain animation (as seen in the “mouse” animating about in the image above). Kind of reminds me of the Animator vs. Animation.

A Short History of the GIF – video

The “artform” of a GIF is still alive and well with the guys over at “Moving the Still“, the first large-scale, open call festival for original GIF art. Their video, “A Short History of the GIF” accompanied the festival and marked the 25th anniversary of the GIF (1987-2012).

Will I use them in Web Design today?

You will indeed, whether knowingly or as a side effect. A lot of the “loading” images that we see on the web today, for instance, are GIFs.

Regardless, it’s another fun thing to learn about, so here’s to it.