Background A web property conceived to celebrate Arundhati Roy’s Booker listed ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’. ‘Re:Reader’ is a digital experience that blurs the lines between reading books and digital art. This kind of web presence for a novel is the first of its kind ever done for an author. It goes beyond a launch trailer, a book reading or a promotional event.
Objective Introduce a new way of experiencing books which moves beyond the physical form and weaves a world of its own. A long burning fuel, which can touch readers long after the book has been launched, and much beyond their geographical spread.
A digital experience suited for a mobile based audience, targeting millennial readers who spend a disproportionate amount of their time on devices and are continuously trading in-person experiences for digital ones.
Aides publishers and authors alike by presenting new ways of inspiring conversations around the book and acts as a potential sales catalyst.
Strategy A toy which brings to life the simple joys of exploration. It never reveals entirely but tempts, intrigues and continuously edges the audience to discover more or even to look anew at something already found. The viewer is expected to, enjoy it over separate visits, creating meanings as one journeys. It may become a companion, a reflection, or the reader’s own little sanctuary.
Design An unconventional journey through sensory engagements that immerses the reader into Roy's world. Arundhati Roy says of the Re:Reader: “I'd call it Utmost Perennial. It’s a new, fun way of introducing a book to people who haven’t read it. And another way of enjoying it for people who have. And it’ll be out there—everywhere— without an expiry date. Really lovely.”
The Re:Reader presents snippets of text from the XII chapters. The treatment leans on typography (the closest friend of a novel), animating its mood, to cry or rejoice with its characters; music brings the period to life, with portions read by Arundhati Roy.
Mapped in a linear fashion to ease navigation, it allows the reader to go back, forward, skip and play around with the toy as they wish. Each click delivers a different reward. And each user will have a different engagement pattern and therefore different expectations and experience of the book, its mood and its narration. That’s the essential idea of this web presence. A way to fall in love, be willingly led, click by click, in to the Utmost world.
Impact The Re:Reader was launched at our Studio, among a small gathering including Arundhati Roy. It received media attention and was covered by various news channels and publications like NDTV, Mint, PrintWeek India, MidDay, The Hindu, Indian Express, IPP, and InUth.
Credits Creative Direction: Lisa Rath, Designer and Animator: Palash Jain, Development Lead: Vikrant Gupta