How UNH Social Makes Gifs and Uses Giphy for Branded InstaStory Stickers

UNH Social Media
3 min readMar 11, 2022


The UofNH Giphy account is a staff/intern-run Giphy account for all University of New Hampshire social media accounts. There are a total of 293 gifs and gif stickers accumulating over 108 million views.

Below, Social Media Intern Jordan Bohan ’22 shares the inspiration and process behind the UNH Gif Stickers.

Step 1: Ideas and Brainstorming

On Instagram, Gif stickers can be accessed through stories on the sticker search. These can be from anyone who has a public verified Giphy account. Typically, they are simple and basic. If they are from another brand, they may have that brand’s colors, font, or even trademarked logos.

Many of the UNH gif stickers use our specific brand guidelines, colors, fonts, logos, and mascots. We do experiment with fonts and shapes, but we do try to keep things simple for the most utility.

Sometimes, inspiration sparks randomly and I am able to create something completely new and fresh. More often than not, I get requests from fellow interns and staff for graphics that they need for their Instagram stories. These are typically for specific events or frequent stickers they use from other Giphy accounts.

First, I start with frequent terms or images we use in our Instagram stories. Many times, there are calls to action such as “tap here” or “swipe up”. We do a lot of trivia on our stories, so I made a few stickers of just a question mark.

Images are the most fun in my opinion. I love to do different things with our mascots or logos as they can be used for almost any story on our branded channels. These are also best for students and alumni to use when posting about the school.

Step 2: Graphic Creation

I am self-taught in Adobe Photoshop which is where I usually start with complex designs. For more simple stickers I will use Procreate on my iPad. The iPad is great for small details because I can use my pencil. I make the end design, shape, image, or text.

This is when I get my first round of feedback. I send the graphic to my fellow interns and bosses to get input. I then make any changes needed and move on to animating the image.

Step 3: Animation

I am also self-taught in Adobe After Effects which is where I animate most of my stickers. I can also do this on Procreate, but that only works for very simple designs and movements.

I import the image or text into After Effects and start playing around with the animation design. I ask myself a lot of questions. Should it come in a letter by letter or piece by piece? Do I want the image to turn or rotate? Do I want the image to move across the screen? Do I want the image to fade in and out or change in size? All those things determine what effects I put on the graphic.

I usually play around and change things a few times and then send them to my team to get their input again. I make my tweaks and export them as a gif file.

Step 4: Upload and Use

Finally, I upload the gif sticker to the Giphy website under the UofNH account. From there I add a title, tags, and appropriateness rating. All of our stickers are rated G. The tags are the most important as that is how you find the stickers on Instagram. I use “UofNH” for our general stickers and “UNHSocial” for the stickers only our branded channels

Written by Jordan Bohan ’22
Jordan is pursuing a double major in Marketing and Ecogastronomy at the University of New Hampshire.
Connect on LinkedIn.



UNH Social Media

We create meaningful and engaging content for The University of New Hampshire and provide blog posts, case studies, social media tips, tricks and more.