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Wild Abandon with Perfect Precision

While agency life will often demand a fast-paced working style, sometimes it's important to set aside a few more minutes to prevent typos and ensure a stronger finished product.

Morgan Hughley

When Likes Disappear

While eliminating the Like feature on social media may be a step in the right direction for everyday individual use, companies will now need to reevaluate their social media marketing plans.

Morgan Hughley

Boston Conferences Every Marketer Needs to Attend

When immersed in client work and glued to a desk for long periods of time, it’s possible to become stuck in a pattern of delivering projects that may meet client expectations, but lack the true innovation needed to push the work to the next level. Sometimes it’s not only beneficial to step away from the office for a moment but absolutely necessary in order to refresh the mind and deliver better ideas. Conferences and tradeshows are great opportunities to leave your desk for a few days while still remaining engaged with the marketing world.

Morgan Hughley

The Multitasking Myth (Part One)

I can’t multitask. Well… neither can you.

Dan Zarzycki

Access Your Data Archive

It’s no surprise that the real conglomerate of our personal data is Google. But did you know you can download the data archive? Learn how to access your data.

Morgan Hughley

Influence the Right Way

Companies are relying more and more on influencers to spearhead conversations with their audiences in order to spark interest in their brands. However, in order for an influencer marketing campaign to be successful, it has to be planned out correctly.

Morgan Hughley

How to Go Off the Grid for Two Weeks. For Real.

In modern agency life, it seems impossible to take a vacation without taking work with you, but it can be done. Here’s how I did it.

Meghan Gardner

Flexbox

As a back-end developer, it can be hard to style a web page. CSS is not very intuitive and around every corner there’s a “gotcha.” Flexbox is a fairly new CSS technology that once mastered, can be much easier to use.

Dan Sudenfield

How to (Successfully) Lead Your First Tech Meetup

There are a number of reasons you might want to start a technology meetup. In order to narrow the focus a bit, we’re going to approach this from the standpoint that you work for (or run) a company that is interested in the idea of hosting a meetup.

Brendan Butts

How Do You Fix a $75,000 Mistake?

As a new marketing manager for a practice group within a consulting firm, I had a lot to learn. And a few of those things, I had to learn the hard way, like making an error that cost the company many tens of thousands of dollars.

Meghan Gardner

Animation Trends

When you think of the word “loop,” different definitions might come to mind. You might think of a simple circle, or a rope that’s made into a circle. Maybe it’s a pattern you make while driving, or something else entirely. One of the definitions of the word “loop” is: “a structure, series, or process the end of which is connected to the beginning.” This particular instance of a loop shows up a lot in the fields of art, music, computing, and electrical circuitry. In the figurative sense, it’s still a circle, just a repeating one.

You might be familiar with looping in music when an artist uses a loop pedal to make repetitive patterns and phrases. They record themselves, hit play, and the clip is repeated over and over. An example from the band Tune-Yards can be seen here. You might be more familiar, however, with a visual form looping, in the form of an animated GIF (as seen on the popular platform known as, the internet). It’s seen all over the web, from the early days of tacky clip-art, to memes on Tumblr, to reaction GIFs on Facebook and Slack, and even as a built-in texting feature on the iPhone. Without getting too much into the history of the GIF, and why it’s so popular, let’s just concede that they’re everywhere and people love them. In The Rise of the Animated GIF, Elise Moreau writes: “...it’s the cross between image and video that makes the GIF so incredibly appealing. Regular photos in JPG or PNG format already do fine on social media, because we’re quickly moved by visual content, but the GIF format adds something much more special – a mini video, with no sound, that can be watched from start to finish in as little as one or two seconds in a simple, auto-looping fashion.” The popularity of GIFs and their inherent looping nature have spilled over into how artists make content, and how we as viewers refer to pieces of content.

This spillover effect is very popular right now in art and design, especially in the fields of animation, motion graphics, and web design. The news site The Outline, for example, is a beautifully/progressively designed website that incorporates looping animations throughout its entirety, sometimes in the form of animated ads, or even looping editorial animations. To a lot of people, anything they see online that’s presented in the form of a short, repeating video, is called a GIF (even when it’s not necessarily in GIF format). We have co-opted the word for use in the broader sense. The main animation on The Liberal Landgrab, for example, acts like a GIF, but is produced in the code. And on instagram for example, videos naturally repeat on endless loop, just like GIFs; however, Instagram doesn’t accept GIFs, they accept short videos as .MP4s or .MOVs, so you’re not technically seeing a GIF, but a looping video that acts like a GIF. But this isn’t really the point.

The point is that we, as a culture (right now), are really into digesting bite-sized pieces of content – the shorter the better. And if they repeat, even better. A lot of times on Instagram, you see short video clips as memes. They’re technically playing over and over like a loop, but they’re not seamless loops (because you can see where they restart). This classification of seamless loop takes a little more skill to produce, and the result is very satisfying. The viewer doesn’t know where the end meets the beginning, and the experience seems to last forever (if you want it to). There’s even a subreddit devoted to it.

Some artists really take it to another level, incorporating levels of surrealism and clever transitions that are mesmerizing. They use this technique for personal work, as well as branded content, producing seamless loops to beautiful effect. Here are a few artists in this vein worth checking out:

  1. James Curran: www.slimjimstudios.com/ Fun, Clever, 2D animation with amazing seamless transitions
  2. Sam Cannon: www.instagram.com/samcannon/ From surreal cinemagraphs to Lipton Iced Tea ads
  3. Hayden Zezula: www.instagram.com/zolloc Spooky, surreal, 3D animation
  4. Patakk: patakk.tumblr.com/ Psychedelic, geometrics loops
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