As if they heard me writing about them, over the weekend The New Yorker sent me a piece of direct e-mail.


You can’t tell from the screenshot above; the image under their logo is actually this perpetually repeating gif:


The animation is gives us a bright, concise preview of what to expect from the app. It’s eye-catching, especially with the dominant colors of black, white, and red.

What’s neat about this design is that most of the action happens in an invisible central square. This allows the design to be easily converted to a vertical layout, like for vertically oriented screens in bus stops, subway stations, and so on.

But I’m left wishing to see more of the quirkiness of The New Yorker‘s style—maybe illustrated graphics instead of the generic geometric shapes, or even more of its signature typeface used. If I were an impatient, time-pressed, easily distracted reader who only saw one tiny snippet of this animation (in email or in the subway station), I wouldn’t immediately recognize it to be of The New Yorker.

The argument, perhaps, is that the sans serif typeface and geometric illustrations look modern, cueing the app as a modern thing. Still, for The New Yorker, the illustration and typeface style carry its charismatic visual identity—and conveying more of this in the ad could strengthen it substantially while also showing that the brand’s classic style can work in a sleek, modern animation.