Animated gifs in email signatures – the dos and dont’s

Animated gifs in email signatures- the dos and dont's

In a world full of texting and emojis, it seems that there is an animated gif to suit all occasions. Online libraries are full of them and include ultra-cute, animated kittens as well as dancing birthday cakes. Today we look at another kind of animated gif – a simple animation, in keeping with your brand, that sends a professional message on the base of your emails.

Nothing grabs our attention as much as a moving objects next to a static background. For this reason, animated gifs in email signatures have become a clever way to attract an email reader’s attention. A professionally designed animated gif is a great way to convey a message – our frequent use of email in our business dealings sees email signatures fast becoming “the new letterhead”. That having been said, the line between “attention-grabbing” and “annoying” is finer than you might think.

'Less is more"

The phrase “less is more” means that having just the essential things is better than having way too many superfluous things. It allows you to focus on what matters.

Many designers use this expression as a philosophy or inspiration to design things that are simple, yet beautiful.

Minimal visual clutter is essential in a successful animated gif email signature. If you want the message to have impact and capture attention without overwhelming the reader’s senses, go with subtle contrast and an animation speed that compliments the brand and message.

Don’t “hurt” the readers eyes!

The Animation

The animation itself is a series of image frames, shown in a particular sequence to imitate “movement”.

Animations should be limited to two key message frames – any more than this will saturate a readers logic.

Movement between the frames should be at a “normal reading pace”. Given that a reader is likely to reach the animation once they have read their email, care should be taken to ensure that there is no obvious “start” or “stop” point in the animation.

You want to avoid reader frustration and encourage ” happy participation” in your message.

The Brand

The choice of font, colour and graphics in your animated gif should be in accordance with your brand guidelines.

Cohesive branding reflects your business identity, as well as the respect you have for your audience.

The Loop

Infinite loop or one-time animation? This is an important decision.

If your emails are usually long, your animation may never be seen as a “one time animation”.

Infinite loops are more likely to be seen, but if you make them too bold and frequent, they will distract and negate the impact your intended message.

About the Author

Kathy Bellingham

Kathy Bellingham is a Design & Marketing Specialist with CareCREATIVE. To contact Kathy, about gettting your animated email signature designed please call 1300 09 09 55 or email info@carecreative.com.au

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