Reviews

Giphy’s Frame by Frame book is a love letter to the artsy GIF

Giphy gives GIFs a send-up with a colorful 80-page, holographic showcase.

GIFs can be art too, and just like any other medium worth putting on a pedestal, the Graphics Interchange Format’s ascension into an art form has reached its logical apex: your coffee table.

GIF by Dax Norman

Introducing: Frame by Frame

This collection of GIFs is brought to you by Giphy — yes that Giphy — and curates 35 different artists from around the world into a good, old-fashioned, high-quality 80-page hardcover.

GIF by Headexplodie

The first question you might ask yourself when visualizing a real, tangible collection of GIFs is, “um, how does that work?” and the answer is one of the oldest tricks in the bookmark: holograms.

A good deal of GIFs included in Giphy’s Frame by Frame are “holographic” (or lenticular, if that term floats your boat) which helps translate a format that’s obviously predicated on motion into something you can actually enjoy leafing through with your fingers.

GIF by Binx

Even the flat images in Frame by Frame get their due, however. Next to each GIF in the book is the name of the artist who birthed it and a handy QR code that, if scanned with your phone, brings you directly to the digital version.

Also... THERE ARE STICKERS

Pro tip: flip your book open to your favorite GIF and leave it out

GIF by Trap Bob

While this may be the first physical art book dedicated to GIFs, it’s not Giphy’s first foray into attempting to elevate the format — it’s done IRL galleries and Giphy Film Fest, a micro-film festival where “movies” can be no longer than 18 seconds.

🎥: Pink Fever by Rebekka Dunlap

That being said, Frame by Frame is the only venture from Giphy that actually lets you own physical copies of GIFs for your own perusal or display. With all the fervor over NFTs lately, it’s refreshing to hold an otherwise digital piece of art in your hand.

GIF by Parker Jackson

$75

Frame by Frame will cost quite a deal more than a regular GIF, but...

Order online through Big Cartel here

Giphy says all of the money goes to one of a few select independent bookstores or associated charities, so if you’re into animation and supporting artists, it’s not too hard to justify.

Frame by Frame is about as close as you’ll come to capturing the magic motion of a GIF on a real page, in real life, with real eyeballs. As someone who spent more than their fair share of time on Tumblr growing up, it’s pretty heartwarming to see GIF artists actually get their due.

My recommendation is to take Giphy up on its offer and give yourself the gift of GIFs.