30 September 2014

‘The New Yorker’ Unveils Its First Animated GIF Cover

The New Yorker has unveiled its first animated GIF cover, and it is as lovely and classy as you would expect from the venerable publication.

Created by German artist and designer Christopher Niemann, the cover features a blurry rainy day scene of a car stuck in traffic, with an iconic yellow cab in front. A couple of raindrops slowly slide down the windshield.

“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,” Niemann said of his inspiration.

The New Yorker’s art director Françoise Mouly said that while Niemann had previously created animations for its website over the summer, she had refrained from using GIFs for the cover until now.

“We wouldn’t have done it if it was just a technical gimmick. It had to be a good image. The rain one has the graphic quality and the aesthetic quality that meant it was a modern version of a very old fashioned New Yorker cover.”

Ironically for such a simple image, the process of bringing it to life was fraught with challenges. It required dozens of iterations to fit all possible screen sizes, and technical difficulties meant there were instances where it appeared as a blank space online.

Mouly said that the success of the cover opens up new possibilities for similar projects in the future.

“I like expanding the range of possibilities, but what’s wonderful about the covers is they are unpredictable. You don’t know whether it’s going to be a news item or a poetic take on rain in the city, or something about technology.”

Check out the cover below. What do you think—isn’t it a wonderfully evocative scene?

[via Mashable, GIF via The New Yorker]