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Make your website memorable with subtle, moving images

Without having to know anything about technology, you can make your website stand out with some imagery that is modern and animated – no clip art graphics allowed.

Standing out in a crowd

Do you remember opening any website in 1997 and seeing obnoxious animated gifs on the sidebar with dancing clip art stick figures, or poorly animated spinning graphics in elementary colors? They’re the reason so many cringe at the idea of any animated gifs, which are images that play in a continuous loop without having to hit a play button.

They’ve come a long way and are now being used in advertising in a more beautiful, subtle way in the form of high quality photographic images combined to create subtle, moving images that catch the eye when you visit a site (called a “cinemagraph”), but they are no longer designed to overwhelm and look like an annoying car auction with police lights flashing, rather slight movements as illustrations or as a gorgeous attention grabber.

We’ve shared with you two free and simple methods to create your own animated gifs without having to use Photoshop or a professional photographer, and we’ve highlighted Cinemagr.am, an iPhone app that creates stunning cinemagraphs right on your smartphone that can be used on your website or blog.

We wrote this spring, “Imagine using a cinemagr.am photo on your blog or website with a very subtle picture of water moving in a pool or trees in the breeze for a real estate listing, or perhaps a customer playing with her hair in your bookstore. Without being obnoxious like animated GIFs, cinemagraphs can capture attention in an extremely beautiful way. While sites like Pinterest and Facebook do not support animation in any image, your website does and it is a simple (and more importantly), new way to stand out. Subtle beauty is so in this year!”

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Below are some images created with the cinemagr.am app to give you an idea of how subtle, moving images are already being used:

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Inspiration gallery

The fashion world has taken to animated images to illustrate makeup methods, or to highlight movement in new designs on the catwalk, but there are fantastic business uses as well. Below are some blogs that use animated images and cinemagraphs to showcase the beauty of their craft or to simply capture the eye (and it works):

SpoonForkBacon.com is one of our favorite sites that actively implements animated images, which makes almost everything a trillion times more appealing (true story):

  1. Apple thyme cake
  2. Butternut squash pie
  3. Gin tonics
  4. Book giveaway
  5. Black pepper scones

From Me To You is known as a pioneer in the cinemagraph world, having started the trend of extremely high quality moving images, setting the standard for the fashion industry:

  1. Young love
  2. He loves me, he loves me not
  3. Riding in cars with boys
  4. Perfect time of year
  5. Kiss me in Paris

TodayAndTomorrow.net has used animated gifs on their blog for over a year, making their content stand out:

  1. Perpentual energy wasting machine
  2. iPhone oil paintings
  3. Asobi
  4. Abstract images
  5. Moving vase

Barbarian Group has used animated images to illustrate their team in a unique way and has peppered animation in other blog posts as well:

  1. The Barbarian Bunch
  2. Department of Transportation

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. AgentGenius

    December 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    OOH! Let us know if/when you actually use it for your blog! We’d love to see some simple cinemagraphs in real estate – a moving tree, a flapping flag, etc. 🙂

  2. AgentGenius

    December 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    did you do it through the app? (I know it’s a dumb question, but we have to start somewhere) 🙂

  3. Michelle Silverman

    December 8, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I figure it out! The picture must be taken with the app! It’s very cool!

  4. Pingback: Cinemagraphs will be a new Facebook ad format option: yay or nay? - AGBeat

  5. Pingback: Giffiti adds animated gifs to your pics so you can rule social media - The American Genius

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