visual riffs on hexagons and geometry

dyslexia in hexagons


final work / interactive book concept / Borges’ Labyrinths

To wrap up the work presented on this blog, my final presented video mockup of the concept:

Borges’ Labyrinths on Vimeo. (c) Fiona Learned 2011.

The other main component of this project was the promotional and concept work, much of it contained in this blog.

Presenting this work to my project supervisor and assessment panel wrapped up my degree in Visual Communication at UTS (with First Class Honours!).

PS. Thanks for the link! (That’s what happens when you upload a video to Vimeo then forget all about it…)

PPS. I’m keen to keep blogging about some of the ideas I come across on this topic; and maybe also a bit on projects and their genesis. Stay tuned!

project definition – refined

Part of presenting our work after assessment is exhibiting at the grad show (details to come!) for which we need a short blurb or bit of information about our work.

This is what I’m working on so far – your thoughts are appreciated!

The Infinite Unimaginable

The Library of Babel is a short story by Argentinian author, Jorge Luis Borges, which explores ideas of language and the infinite, through the metaphor of the universe as library. My work proposes this story as an interactive book for the iPad.

 This project utilises the interactive potential of the medium to illuminate the themes of the story, which is rich in symbolism and unknown to many readers. The iPad app ‘Borges’ Labyrinths’ links ideas and imagery in the story in a way that is presently uncharted in interactive books. It allows you to enter the labyrinth that Borges has created, a rich reading experience for lovers of literature.

 A combination of type, photographic and motion elements draw the reader into the story in an immersive exploration that goes deeper than the printed book is capable of.

postcard promotions

So in addition to online promotion, the idea is to create collateral that would be distributed in the physical world as well, and would drive people to the app store or online to find out more and purchase/read the interactive book I’m creating.

Using imagery from the trailer/promo video and other images, and I’m still trying to nail down the identity. Pretty happy with how the logo/mark is working at the moment, but wondering about how they might work as transparency overlays.

The quotes are all from either The Library of Babel or other Borges stories. I experimented with quotes that explain or speak about his work, but it got too confusing and the direct quotes are more intriguing, I think. 

WIP – almost getting there

This is the video of a bit more than half of the final presentation! Hopefully that is. Worked on the sound the last two days with the helpful Messrs Davies and Kirsop.

Please watch and give feedback and comments. What do you think?
(If you have an iPad please also watch it and let me know what you think!!)

(There are known issues with pauses and timing – I need to tighten this up in the next week.)

(There are also other known issues with my hands. Mein ganglion is rather anti social at the moment. )

progress: top level navigation to exploring themes – transition

an impending (13 days) deadline and production time is way overdue. frustrated with trying to pull together a milieu of material into a cohesive unit.

the current introduction/transition from a main suggestion of themes to interact with in the story which lead on to other interactions and parts of the story and a labyrinth of information. Thoughts?

This shows what happens when the reader clicks on the ‘universe’ hexagon.

Potential ‘map’ interactives

Thinking of ways to incorporate a previous idea I had of mapping out the content in ways which bypass the traditional linear access of the narrative. I proposed it in the brief possibly like this:

Trying to produce it in a style more consistent with the other illustrative items and the vibe of the text, a couple of thoughts using hexagonal wireframes. Not quite sure how to evoke a ‘truss’ or the intricacy of 3d shapes, but here’s what I have so far.

This would be a map for the concept of ‘infinite’.

This would be a concept map for ‘the universe’ or ‘the library’.

They need interaction/animation programmed in or developed, but my thought is on touch, the words show the relevant quote or external source, or light up the most closely related subjects or links.

I think this one is better for showing interconnectedness to the rest of the text or ideas.

The thinking behind it is to help the reader establish connections and experience the story in a deeper, more connected way.

At the moment, I don’t think its working very well in feeling connected to other sources of information like definitions or other works by the same author. The typography is ok, using Garamond and Brandon Grotesque (quite cute, like it a lot more than Franklin for this, which I was using before and looks a bit… 80’s).

There’s also not really a sense of layering coming out, which I think needs more work. And I’m keen to try and animate one before next Wednesday so I can see if this is working, or if it needs a slightly different visual direction.


hexagonal ident – in motion

Foraying back into animating in AfterEffects is easier than I imagined, compared to the unexpected pain of installing and wrangling the sparkly new (and slightly buggy) Digital Publishing Suite in InDesign CS5.5…

Working on some drafts of how the ident might look on the initial screen for the book/app, before you transition to the menu or main text.

This is the unembellished version – still tweaking layers and timing to get it expanding smoothly. Thoughts?

This is a thought of how it might overlay on one of the images I’m using in the main body of the book/app.

More to do. Need to do some more work with gradual and partially animated transitions for the main screens, and I plan to do another 2 today and more than 3 tomorrow.

Library of Babel ID – in COLOUR?

A friend suggested I include colour in the main logo. While I think these are a little over the top, I’m posting them anyway because of frustration that the file I had them in just crashed and lost the work *sigh*.

SNORE. Boring.

More interesting shapes.

Too ordered, I think. Going with the spectrum/prism idea.
Looks a bit like that cellophane stained glass craft you used to make as a child. 

This is more intense and quite like Kaffe Fasset’s spectacular colours. The open road. What will you find?




interactive books: good or bad?

The Guardian this week published an article about whether interactive book apps were positive or negative things for young children.

It’s an interesting read, essentially asking the question: what is important about the reading experience?

[Ferelith] Hordon says… “They are great fun and they have their place. But on the whole, they distract from the reading experience. For very small children there is something very special – and something that needs to be treasured – in listening to the parent’s voice reading.

“If you start putting pop-ups and twiddles and voices into the picture book experience, where is the difference between that and a film or a game? In this world in which there is so much noise and movement is there no value in promoting stillness and thought?”

It’s definitely a controversial thing to challenge what people see as the next advance in this type of technnology, and it opens up a whole discussion about what reading is.

Is it reading because the words are on screen? Is it reading because its about a story? Does it matter which format the words are in, or is reading fundamentally about scriptism – that our society has decided that the written word is the most perfect form of language, the most ideal – perhaps the most idealised?