The Gif graphic format was born in 1987, with the aim of facilitating the sending of graphics through the Internet. At the time it was revolutionary, allowing the uploading and downloading of large images in a reasonable period of time (let’s think about how long it took in times gone by) without losing quality.

Interestingly, the passing of time and rapid technological evolution hasn’t made a dent in this format. On the contrary, the Gif, far from falling into oblivion, is seeing a new golden age: its effectiveness in communicating, simplicity of editing and small size has turned this format into a star in the world of social networks. Something like, “a Gif is worth more than a thousand words…”

Inside the almost infinite framework of gifs that circulate online, there’s a platform that has become an emblem of this resurgence, where you can find almost anything: Giphy. We’re talking about the biggest business of creation and accommodation of gifs in the world, which is one of the queens of the Internet today.

As usually happens in these cases, such a rapid growth exposes a variety of issues that need to be resolved. In Giphy’s case, this was something that had been wobbling for a long time: its brand image. Such a powerful platform urgently needed a rebranding that was fit for its status – and it seems like finally they’ve gotten started and embarked on the challenging task of rebranding with the Brooklyn-based New York design studio, Dark Igloo. 

With stunning insight and sense of humor, they have created an imaginary world that we can call Giphysian. Its visual journey directly references the hilarious retro-futuristic aesthetic prevalent at the end of the 80s (precisely at the moment at which Gifs appeared for the first time). It’s an interesting approach to rebranding which extends from the website’s logo, business cards, to a variety of merchandising including iPhone cases, and a handful of animated gifs (how could there not be?) and even a promotional video that’s worth watching. However, the most outstanding part of this branding and art direction project is that Dark Igloo has used their considerable imagination to achieve something that once seemed impossible: transmitting all the virtual and animated magic of the gif format into something tangible. How? Through something as simple as holograms. We can’t say anything more – Hats off!

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Branding & Art Direction Dark Igloo
Photography Dark Igloo & Kyle Sauer
Postcard Design The Collected Works
Space Kittens Design Kyle Sauer
iPhone Case Design Brooke Bamford