By Nina J P Evans

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The New Yorker unveils its first animated GIF cover

It had to happen; The New Yorker unveils its first animated GIF cover that is illustrated by Christoph Niemann and aptly titled Rainy Day. He mentions in The Guardian online, “When I arrived in New York for the first time, it was pouring. Maybe that’s why, to my mind, there’s no place on earth where being stuck in traffic on a rainy day is more beautiful.” I agree with him to an extent, that there is a certain romance to rain, (songs have been made up about it, most notably Singin’ In The Rain, sung and danced by Gene Kelly).

On a visual level the haziness makes it harder to define objects, shapes and textures, colours soften in focus, but exaggerate in intensity. Umbrellas are often a plethora of colours brighten up any sky, as do colours reflecting on the street. However, being stuck in a traffic jam, is not so much fun, but it is a nice touch to re-think of the very first impression of the city with the first animated cover design.

I love the simplicity of the graphics, the yellow and orange of the taxi add a warmth to the gentle grey background. The blurriness of the colours certainly feels like looking through a glass window of some kind. The alluring image mesmerises the viewer as gentle randomised soft spots of raindrops fall, tear shaped, but happy ones.

The effect of the overall design composition is twofold it is conceptually meaningful and visually beautiful simultaneously. Obviously, the print edition is a static image the animated GIF art is aimed at online audiences. Fans of digital art now wait with baited breathe for the next edition. Although not every issue I read will be animated. The production of a good quality cover design in whatever medium is the essential.

The Guardian article link

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