How well do you know the humble animated gifs?

The Graphics Interchange Format (the GIF’s fancy, formal name) has been around for decades—it was introduced by CompuServe way back in 1987 and went on to become one of the first image formats commonly used on the web.

When it comes to animated gifs Micaël Reynaud has opened our eyes to the creative potential of the format. These GIFs are like surreal digital flipbooks, though Reynaud describes them as “hypnotic very short films.” The freelance designer also works in stop-motion animation, though he’s partial to GIFs for their added fluidity. His chosen motifs range from morphing portraits to pizza bubbling in the oven: “I think no matter the subject, everything can be interesting,” he tells Co.Design. “And most of the time, it’s a pretext for playing and experiment.”

Just some facts about what’s up with animated gifs these days:

  • 23 million GIFs are posted to Tumblr every day.
  • Facebook Messenger sees more than five million pass through daily.
  • Slack counts more than two million GIF integrations each month.

Talk about it!