When was the last time an animated GIF left you breathless? (And not just because you were laughing so hard you couldn’t breathe.)
Whether you pronounce the file format with a hard G or a soft J, the medium is undeniable. GIFs often feature a series of still images ripped from popular videos to create an animated loop. The result is easily shareable and usually hilarious, but rarely an example of fine design.
This is where Joe Alterio and Tim Lillis hope to challenge your idea of what the internet should look like. The designers created Primer Stories in 2015 to share thought-provoking articles that integrate text and visuals for an interactive dual narrative. Based in San Francisco and Seattle respectively, Lillis and Alterio both draw inspiration from the Bay Area's fusion of art and tech culture.
Lillis says, “We’re here at a time where there’s so much happening on the web and there’s a lot of excitement about new technologies and new techniques for storytelling, but at the same time there's also a lot of sameness, there’s a lot of homogeneity."
Building an editorial website on the West Coast, far from the publishing centers in New York City, D.C. and Boston, Alterio feels that Primer Stories has enjoyed more freedom to experiment and create a unique digital storytelling platform.
Primer Stories features "Primers" written by experts for curious minds. Did you know at one point there were plans to seal off the San Francisco Bay? There's a Primer on that.