Jonathan Safran Foer's 'Tree of Codes' (2010) "is actually a kind of interactive paper-sculpture: Foer and his collaborators at Die Keure in Belgium took the pages of another book, Bruno Schulz's The Street of Crocodiles, and literally carved a brand new story out of them using a die-cut technique.
According to Foer's publisher Visual Editions, Tree of Codes was turned down by every printer they approached: 'Their stock line [was], 'the book you want to make just cannot be made'.'…
The luscious results, designed by Sara de Bondt, will fly in the face of anyone who says that physical books are passé. Tree of Codes is tactile, interactive, immersive--and it won't ever run out of batteries."
(John Pavlus, Co.Design)
"Sven Birkerts, a modern-day Luddite, is feeling uneasy about all this rapid cultural change. He longs for the slow elegance of print culture. So much so, in fact, that the cover of his new book, [The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age], features a fuzzy caramel-colored snapshot of a naturally-lit library which houses the endangered species of digital modernity: a leather armchair draped with an afghan, droopy lace curtains, and shelves of softened leather hard-backs coveting thick yellowed pages and the tidy, immutable thoughts of yesterday's literary prophets.
Birkerts is terrified that his warm dusty paradise is being ransacked, and the remaining rubble is merely forgotten or misunderstood in a world distracted by garish, pulsing iconography."
(Amanda Griscom, 1996)
Amanda Scott Griscom (1996). "Trends of Anarchy and Hierarchy: Comparing the Cultural Repercussions of Print and Digital Media", Brown University.
"Booktype is a free, open source platform that produces beautiful, engaging books formatted for print, Amazon, iBooks and almost any ereader within minutes. Create books on your own or with others via an easy-to-use web interface. Build a community around your content with social tools and use the reach of mobile, tablet and ebook technology to engage new audiences."
(Adam Hyde, 2012)
"The Future of the Book is a design exploration of digital reading that seeks to identify new opportunities for readers, publishers, and authors to discover, consume, and connect in different formats.
As more people consume pages in pixels, IDEO designers wondered why we continue to discover and consume the written word through the old analog, page-turning model. We asked: what happens when the reading experience catches up with new technologies?
The team looked at how digital and analog books currently are being read, shared and collected, as well as at trends, business models and consumer behavior within related fields. We identified three distinct opportunities - new narratives, social reading with richer context, and providing tools for critical thinking - and developed a design concept around each one.
The first concept, 'Alice,' turns storytelling on its head by making narratives non-linear and participatory. With Alice, the story world starts bleeding into the everyday life of the reader. Real-world challenges, like acting on a phone call from the lead character, or participating in photo based scavenger hunts, unlock new aspects of the story, and turn other readers into collaborators or competitors. Alice is a platform for authors to experiment with narratives, to allow their stories to transcend media, and to engage fans in the storytelling process.
The second concept, 'Coupland,' makes book discovery a social activity by allowing readers to build shared libraries and hear about additional texts through existing networks. Coupland makes it easy for busy professionals to stay on top of industry must-reads. Businesses can assign book budgets to their employees and build collective libraries through a group-licensing model. Personal recommendations, aggregation of reading patterns, and the ability to follow inspiring individuals and groups help ensure that Coupland users always are tapped into the latest essential content within and outside of the organization.
The third concept, 'Nelson,' connects books to commentary, critique, and contextual information, letting readers explore a topic from multiple perspectives. Nelson reinforces the role of books as carriers of knowledge and insight. Readers can explore polarizing material and see whose word currently has the greatest impact on popular opinion and debate. Layers of connected commentary, news, and fact-checking augment the core book content - providing greater context and encouraging debate and scrutiny.
Each concept features a simple, accessible storytelling format and a particular look and feel. We believe that digital technology creates possibilities, so our solutions truly adapt to the new environment, rather than emulate analog qualities onscreen. For example, we resisted any temptation to move books closer to the bite-sized character of other digital media, because longhand writing encourages immersion (deep reading) and reflection."
"If the story of the Three Little Pigs broke today, how would a modern newspaper cover it? That's the concept behind a new TV ad for The Guardian, the newspaper's first major TV spot for 25 years.
The spot launches a campaign to promote the paper's 'open journalism' approach – its name for the way in which it is attempting to involve its readership in not just commenting on stories, but contributing to and even determining its news agenda. 'Open is our operating system, a way of doing things that is based on a belief in the open exchange of information, ideas and opinions and its power to bring about change,' said Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian and MediaGuardian publisher Guardian News & Media. 'The campaign is designed to bring that philosophy to life for new and existing readers.'
The launch ad examines the way in which the tale of the Three Little Pigs might be covered by The Guardian today, with all the different forms of content and different channels that implies. It also seeks to get over the way in which stories develop over time as new facts come to light and the effect of social media on switching the focus of coverage and debate.
An epic two-minute version (shown above) debuted on Channel 4 last night.
Comparisons will inevitably be made with 1986's classic Points of View by BMP (indeed the Guardian itself has said that the new ad is a 'nod' to the old one. They share an endline: The Whole Picture).
But while Points of View got over its message succintly and elegantly, Three Little Pigs is less focussed, less pithy. This can be seen as a reflection of the changing nature of media – newspapers are now less about relating THE story and more about acting as a platform for multiple strands around a topic to be explored by multiple participants, including the readers themselves, in real time. But it makes for a less memorable piece of advertising storytelling.
'The aim is to reach progressive audiences and show them why they should spend time with us,' according to Andrew Miller, chief executive of the Guardian's parent company Guardian Media Group. But you have to wonder whether such progressive types would not be aware of what the Guardian is doing anyway? The ad will probably make existing Guardian readers feel better about themselves, but will its slightly daunting complexity attract many new ones?"
(Patrick Burgoyne, 1 March 2012, Creative Review)