Giphy’s new book proves the gif art form can exist just as animatedly offline

The online gif database and search engine has today published Frame By Frame, the first animated book of its kind.

9 September 2021


If you’re wondering how a gif works offline and in the physical realm, you’ll have to flick through the pages of Frame By Frame, the self-published book by Giphy. It’s a physical book that “brings the magic of animation to the static page”. The driving concept of the publication was “Be Animated” – the same as Giphy’s mantra and mission statement. It sees 35 international artists showcase what the phrase means to them.

It hails as the first animated book of gif art: the physical, limited edition publication – with only 750 copies – uses something called lenticular holograms (holograms that change as you move around them), stickers, and image flips to translate 35 pieces of digital animation to the real world.

You can see some of the digital works featured in the book from the contributors. “The art I created for this book is a potent blend of Indigenous Futurism and Queer Mutant Magick!” says Edgar Fabian Frias. And Matthias Brown says “This is part of a series of hand drawn animations drawn on my hands. This work is an example of tactile artwork that can tactilely feel.”

Each page also includes a QR code which allows readers to view the full animation on a smartphone. By doing so, the publication hopes to make the viewer appreciate the intricate details present in a single frame of animation, as well as the piece in its dynamic entirety.

The book is the result of the latest collaboration from Giphy with digital artists to help them reimagine the potential of gifs and stickers beyond the digital realm. The project began as an opportunity to commission and support independent artists as the pandemic impacted work for creatives and freelancers. Giphy has curated gallery shows in the past with a similar aim, like Loop Dreams, NYC's GIFs of Time and Giphy Film Fest – which was New York’s first micro-film festival.


Copyright © Giphy, 2021

The book features tactile delights as well as visuals such as the velvety matt lamination of the pages. And the stickers along with the vibrant colours of the holograms and typography are a sensory feast that leave you wanting to explore and experience each page over and over again. Many pieces draw on the experiences of the last year or so we’ve all struggled through: “This is about pining for romantic Love during times of isolation,” claims contributor Dax Norman.

Giphy claims that its group of contributors are as “diverse and varied as their preferred materials: flipping through the pages reveals a vibrant and diverse world of claymation, celluloid (hand-drawn) animation, drawing on bodies, computer renders and photographic portraits. All of which are united by a love for the animated gif.”

“If we can open ourselves up enough to share the playgrounds of our imagination,” says artist Head Explodie, “we might find we have more things in common than the outer world would let us believe.”

You can get the book from these locations: Books Are Magic (Brooklyn): Available online and in store; Desert Island (Brooklyn): Available in store, Museum of the Moving Image (Queens): Available in store, Giphy on Big Cartel (Internet): Available online, House of Speakeasy (Brooklyn Book Festival): Available in person, 10/3, Vroman’s (LA): Coming Soon. All sales from Frame by Frame go to the above independent establishments and local charities.

A 3D version of the book can be foundhere, allowing anyone, anywhere to flip through its pages and get a sense of its content. “Nothing, though,”, says Giphy, “will beat the experience of holding the book, and a little bit of animated history, in your hands.”

GalleryCopyright © Giphy, 2021

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Copyright © Giphy, 2021

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About the Author

Dalia Al-Dujaili

Dalia is a freelance writer, producer and editor based in London. She’s currently the digital editor of Azeema, and the editor-in-chief of The Road to Nowhere Magazine. Previously, she was news writer at It’s Nice That, after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh.

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