Using Static Images With Motion Illusion

by Britta

Some platforms don’t allow videos or animated pics, but there are other ways to get the illusion of motion even though you’re using a static image. While not replacing a proper animation, they are simple to use and have a subtle, unexpected effect.

There are many fantastic pics out there with motion illusion. One thing I normally don’t like about them is their psychedelic design. Here are two examples with a more contemporary look and feel:

Motion Illusion6

Motion Illusion7

They work best in a narrow format such as a newsletter, where the motion illusion becomes apparent, once the user starts scrolling up and down the screen.

I first made use of this effect when I designed the newsletters, accompanying the campaigns for the new UTS Institute of Research and Open Day:

Motion Illusion_Examples of my work2

Motion Illusion_Examples of my work

While these motion illusions become apparent when the reader starts scrolling, there are similar images that work without and could be incorporated in a printed poster- or postcard design.

Any campaigns you can think of that might want to make use of this concept?

Thanks for stopping by. Please stay in touch by following my blog here.

back to top

Minimal Ads

by Britta

Taschen Bauhaus Tischlampe

I recently came across this ad from 1925, featured in Taschens’ book about the bauhaus period. It was deliberately factual, describing the technical highlights only. It appears almost naive in comparison to the complex colorful ads we’re used to today. Rom magazine though, is now trying a new (old) approach. As described in this article, their ads regain credibility through limiting their clients’ freedom in design.


I agree that sometimes less is more. Too much blabla distracts from the core message and good design needs a clear focal point. Our lesson: Nothing stands out if everything is highlighted as important. Also, when designing an ad, have in mind where it’s published. On a static website it might need some bling and a spread in an otherwise black and white newspaper might gain attention with a colourful design and bold typography. When advertising in a high-gloss magazine though, a design-reduced ad with white background will often be your best choice.

Thanks for stopping by. Please stay in touch by following my blog here.

back to top

Creative Use of Columns on Instagram

by Britta

I’ve been a long-time fan of the NY City Ballet’s creative use of the three-column grid on Instagram. One image continues onto another – sometimes right next to it, other times on top – requiring several other posts in between and therefore some well-ahead planning. If you like to create a similar feed, you could try this app.
News Blog NYCB
News Blog NYCB 2

I’ve often used a similar concept for newsletter designs. This method triggers the reader to scroll down and reveal the full content and newsletter information.

Here are two examples of newsletters I’ve created for fashion-webshop Luxengo. Instead of one image for each category-link, I’ve used only one main image, split up into several smaller ones. Nice little side effect: We only had to buy one stock image instead of six.

There are many platforms where this concept might work well. Have you tried it on any other social media channels?

Thanks for stopping by. Please stay in touch by following my blog here.

back to top