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Element Cinemagraph Showcase Series: Q&A with Graphic Designer Jenna Garvin

Cinemagraphs + Social Media

This month’s edition of our cinemagraph showcase series is all about leveraging cinemagraphs for social media. If you didn’t catch it earlier, a cinemagraph is essentially a photo in which a small section of it is animated. A piece of the image moves in a continuous loop while the rest of it stays completely still, like a photograph.

Because our eyes are drawn to movement, the contrast of a still photo with motion sparks curiosity and interest amongst viewers. In fact, the Wall Street Journal published that, due to this, cinemagraphs can be 60 to 80 percent more effective than static photos.

effective graphics WSJ

Our news feeds and phones are so jam-packed with photos that the slightest animation adds an element of surprise. It makes people slow their scroll when they realize, “Woah, that just moved.” … And, just like that, you captured the attention of a viewer in a time when that’s harder than ever to accomplish.

We’ve seen how effective cinemagraphs can be, so we put our talented designers up to the challenge to create their own. While the other designers have been working on their masterpieces, we caught up with Element’s Graphic Designer Jenna Garvin to hear the story behind her creation.

Check out the live version on Element’s Facebook page.

Q: What was the creative inspiration behind your design?

Jenna Garvin: Second to design, photography is a pretty big passion of mine. I have been very interested in food photography for quite a while, one because it is a very challenging, detail-oriented style of photography, and two, I love food [duh]. Push the two together and you have the best hobby ever!

Designer + photographer + baker? That sounds like a triple threat.

Q: What’s the best cookie and why?

Jenna Garvin: Growing up my mom would make cookies for just about every holiday, not just Christmas. My siblings and I would get to help with everything, no matter how much of a mess we made. That is where my love of baking began. No matter how hard I try, no cookie I make tastes as great as my mom’s. I swear she has super powers in the kitchen. Or fairy dust, or unicorn tears or… yeah, it’s because she is a mom!

Q: We’ve gotta know … what’s the secret ingredient?

Jenna Garvin: I have two that are always surprising to people. The first [the more obvious of the two] is salt. Good quality flaked Kosher salt is key to cutting the sweetness in any bake. It is probably the cheapest ingredient in your cupboard, but quality matters. The second is a family secret. But not that much of a secret so I guess I will share it with you. We have this recipe for a cookie that tastes exactly like a mini cinnamon roll. The best part about them is that they are so soft, creamy, melt in your mouth, and have just the right amount of sweetness. The ingredient that makes this happen? Cottage cheese. [Pause for disbelief].

We are a bit perplexed by your secret ingredient … we’ll need to try a few to see how they are!

Q: Thinking of famous cookie packaging, what’s your favorite?

Jenna Garvin: One of my favorite food packaging designs has to be Oreo, mainly for the history behind the iconic brand. They have always been a bold brand that knew their target. They created nostalgia, so even adults now can’t resist their bright blue package [or it may have something to do with the cookie being extremely addictive]. Nostalgia is one of the most sought-after emotions for any long-standing brand, and they really nailed it.

Q: What’s one “ingredient” that you incorporate into all your client design projects here at Element?

Jenna Garvin: I try to live by the idea that if you aren’t trying new things you aren’t doing it right. I strive to learn one new technique, try a new style, or understand one new concept associated with every project I work on. Though you can’t look at every project I have worked on and see the same distinct visual style, you can always count on that I learned something I did not know before touching that project.

We love your go-getter outlook. Thanks, Jenna! PS – We’ll be eagerly waiting for a fresh batch of cookies in the cafe!

Take a Bite Out of New Social Media Engagement Opportunities

You don’t have to be a brand like Sprite or Puma to see big benefits from cinemagraphs. If you want to try it out, let’s do some A/B testing on traditional posts versus cinemagraph posts for your brand on social media – or even for digital ads – to see how your audience responds to something more disruptive. Give us a call or shoot us a message to talk strategy and discuss ways to boost your online brand engagement.

Stay tuned for next month’s Cinemagraph Showcase, where we’ll be featuring another one of our talented designers, plus discussing cinemagraphs for digital advertising.


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