Chris Gannon is an interactive designer, illustrator and animator. You can find all his news and updates here.

Half a Billion - That's Like, 500 Million Or Something

This was my first sticker animation (obviously the one on Giphy is transparent) - it’s currently on 99.5 million views - zoinks!

This was my first sticker animation (obviously the one on Giphy is transparent) - it’s currently on 99.5 million views - zoinks!

Recently I was hired to design and create some stickers for Instagram by a swimwear brand - they wanted to add personalised animated content to their posts and videos. Stickers are HUGE in terms of use and visibility and everyone wants to add more to their content, whether it’s personalised or funny or brand-specific (or preferably all of the above).

You may already know this but if you don't, stickers are transparent animations that are overlaid on top of your photos, photos and videos. Think popping hearts, slow claps, Carlton dancing, multi-coloured flashing OMFG text etc - you know the drill.

But they can be so much more than that - creating slicker, more beautiful and better produced animations for brands and companies is totally possible and it’s what I’d prefer to do.

These two are some early tests

These two are some early tests


The GIFs are fed to all sorts or major platforms like iOS, Android and Instagram via the Giphy API and, whilst you can search for your own hashtagged GIFs inside these platforms (great for brands), there's usually a trending page too that displays first without needing to search.  

So I start creating my own for fun, mainly to make sure I could produce something good quality for the client. You must have a verified Giphy account for your work to be considered and so in my spare time I’ve been creating new, transparent animations in After Effects. I’ve also been green-screening some existing SVG animations to make them transparent - similar to the way newscasters and actors are placed inside a different scene by removing the background; it’s great to be able to re-use some of my web animation stuff and get it in front of new audiences, even if they don't necessarily know it's made by me.

Anyway check out these figures - I have trended 8 times since I started doing it (start of November) and racked up over 383 million views in November alone and I've just passed half a billion total views on Giphy.

Can you spot the moment the penny dropped?

Can you spot the moment the penny dropped?

I've pretty much nailed how to time them properly so they loop in Instagram (I hadn’t in the examples above!)) and also how to produce them at maximum quality.

It’s not only a fun rabbit hole to explore but also something more and more clients are asking for.

So if you want to add some cool animated stickers to your photos, videos and posts click that button below.

Spin2Win Wheel gets probability!

Probability has been the most requested feature since launch

Probability has been the most requested feature since launch

A little side project that I've been working on for over a year is Spin2Win Wheel. I originally built it on a tip off from Carl at GreenSock who said that people on the GreenSock forums often asked about a wheel of fortune type component. So as a huge fan of dials and all things spinny I went ahead and built it, originally in Edge Animate, and sold it on the CodeCanyon marketplace.

It was a bit basic and I had aped the classic TV Wheel of Fortune design but, as predicted by Carl, I sold hundreds of units and it was used all over the world in weird and wonderful situations by some pretty big brands.

At the time I was really pushing the boundaries of Edge Animate could do so the complexity of the wheel coupled with its ease of editing in Edge contributed to its success.

Some of you may know that Edge Animate died a rather unceremonious death a while back (so THAT was a waste of 3 years of my life) and so around May 2016 I decided to rewrite Spin2Win using my favourite tool of choice - SVG. 

I had learnt many lessons from customer feedback on the original, basic version so I built in as many of those features as I could for version 2 - JSON powered (via PHP if required), gesture or button control, total customisation of colours, size and segments, responsive and even an anti-cheat mechanism.

One thing I missed off because it was really hard to implement was probability. I had a big fat think about it for nearly a year, in the mean time releasing several updates addressing various other requests.

Jump to the present day and I finally got my head around a way of adding probability that complements existing features and meets the needs of so many existing and prospective customers. 

It's always good to have side projects. I have literally hundreds that I dip into every now and then; they are usually practice grounds for learning new skills and approaches that never see the light of day.

Spin2Win is a bit more important because when I'm improving it I take the experience I gain from other not-so-important side projects and feed that knowledge into new features that people actually pay for so I can't mess it up!

So what's next for Spin2Win? Not sure yet but I will probably focus on ecommerce integration (Shopify etc) but who knows? I'm always listening to my customers and when a trend of similar requests starts to appear it usually informs my next steps with it.