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How to create an animated GIF

5th February 2016

You may have noticed that your social media newsfeeds are containing more and more moving images, whether that be short vine videos or short gifs. The rise of visual within social media is becoming more fundamental as organisations want to stand out from the masses. So how can you compete?

Gif stands for Graphics Interchange Format and they were first introduced in 1987. They have recently become more popular to give snippets of information or more commonly used as a medium for humorous effect. Either way, they stand out and make you stop and watch. Especially now as Facebook and Twitter have the option to input native video, which start as you are scrolling through your feed.

We have started creating our own Gif’s here in the office, and we thought we would share with you how we do them. We personally use and will talk you through how we create a Gif using this platform, but you can use your own preferred programme if you like.

The first thing you need to do is decide what your Gif is going to be about. We have created our own Twitter & Facebook Gifs with facts about the two channels and now we have focused our attention on mobile. After some research we found a number of facts we wanted to include in our Gif, so it is important to research and prep this beforehand.

Once you have got your facts you can get onto your chosen photo editing site and start designing your template.

Once logged into Canva you can decide what layout you want for your Gif. If you aren’t familiar with Canva we will talk you through it here.

Canva allows you to choose from a large array of set formats, or you can use your own custom dimensions.

Once you have decided on your format (we chose Facebook Post) Canva will open a new page for you where you can start your designing.

First thing to do is to decide whether you want a coloured background, or a photo.  To have a coloured background, choose a shape – you can click on a square and then change the shape to fit the template.


You can choose one of the basic colours or click on the + to choose your own custom colour. If you want to use an image, you can choose from the library that Canva have, or you can upload your own.

I want to input the Cosmic logo into the corner of the gif, and I have this already in my library of uploads.


All you need to do is double click on the image you want and then resize it in the coloured box you have set out for your design.


 Once you have got it laid in the right place you can start on your content for the slide. You need a title slide to start with.

Clicking on the text button on the left hand side of the screen allows you to choose from lots of custom set text designs or you can add your own. You can then change the size, font, colour, format and text spacing once you have decided what wording you want (as below.)

Once you have created your first page, you can copy that page to make sure the formatting and colour is the same. All you need to do is click on the icon circled above.

Then you can change the text and add images as you need, by choosing from the internal library or uploading from the web.

Keep copying the slides and adding your text and images until you are happy with the amount that you have.

I decided to change the colour of the background half way through the project and this was easy enough to do – just click on the shape and choose another colour.


Once you have finished, you can name your project and then download (top right hand corner of the screen.) You can download as jpg, png or pdf.

You now have a downloaded copy of all the slides that you have created, and now it is time to open up your gif maker. There are lots of free tools that you can use, but I am using here.


This is how it will open and all you need to do is click ‘upload’.


Click on ‘slideshow’.

And then ‘browse’ to find your image files.


Select image files and then upload.


Giphy will tell you if the gif is too long, so you can alter the speed until you have the correct length. It may be that it goes too quick for the amount of slides that you have, and so you may have to take a few slides out. Make sure the gif isn’t too fast for people to read. Have a play and come up with a suitable length and suitable speed.


Once you have uploaded all your slides you can then ‘create slideshow’.

At any point that you are struggling, there is a handy help tool below which you can click to find out what to do.

 Once uploaded you can review your gif to make sure you are happy with it,

and you can then share to your social media channels by clicking on the appropriate button.


You can upload to Facebook and Twitter, and add any text that you need.


And there it is in yours, and your followers newsfeeds ready to be retweeted!


Good luck! Let us know how you get on, we’d love to see what you create!