Friday, August 25, 2017

Jane Austen Centre Interactive Brochure

What's interesting about certain projects is what do you do when you're asked to take them further. I remember in undergrad I hated going back and having to re-conceptualize The Cherry Orchard yet again, this time for film instead of stage. Yet I think that was just my underlying hated of that Chekhov play. In fact I think it might be a hatred of Chekhov overall, stupid Three Sisters. But taking something I loved working on to the next level? Well, that's a fun challenge. Here I had to take my paper brochure and repurpose the content as an interactive pdf. Like a "brochure" you could download and watch from the Jane Austen Centre's website. Yes, I had to embrace the digital age while thinking of Austen! I was also required to add new photographic imagery that would be sourced from Getty Images, one that would be rights managed and one that would be royalty free so that I'd learn how to purchase and use the different kinds of stock imagery. But the one thing I was certain of when taking my brochure to the next level was that I still wanted to maintain that special feeling of reading a letter.

Therefore the opening shot was setting the scene of the Regency corespondent. Ink bottles, wax seals, letters, quills, and don't tell anyone that book on the left is actually Cranford. It's our secret OK? This tableaux I created from what I had lying about my office, and yes I'm so OCD that the wax seal is the letter 'A.' While you're not getting the animation here with my static imagery I can easily walk you through it, because the animation is almost secondary to the design and information, just a little something something for fun. If you compare this photo to the one above you'll notice there's now a letter unopened on the desk! It actually flies in from the upper right and lands on the desk and you click on it to turn it over and open it.

And at the click of a button the letter opens and if you're not one of those people who constantly leave their speakers off you will be surrounded by the theme music by Carl Davis to the 1995 miniseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. This was to get you in the Regency mood. Because seriously, what fan of Austen can hear that music and NOT get excited? In fact even though my DVD set has the option to watch all the episodes strung together as one I still prefer to watch them as they were originally broadcast and then distributed on VHS with the theme music playing every hour! 

Once past the desk space the design becomes more utilitarian. There's a hyperlink on the lower left to the centre's website and in the lower right a 'previous' and a 'next' button. I still maintain the language of correspondence with the cordial invitation, but again, this is a far more straightforward design. The large section in the center is actually the centre's welcome video which I embedded in the design but which can also be viewed on their website for the curious.

The next few pages are just the information from the previous paper brochure in a new format with added imagery. What I had the most fun with though was the little hidden gems. When you role over the icon of Jane she gets a little speech bubble quoting the opening line of Pride and Prejudice, and yes, it was spoken too! The teacup had the sound of tea being poured. On the following pages the reticule icon had coins jingling and the teapot whistled as it came to a boil, and yes, I know it's a decorative kettle, but it was fun. As for the umbrella icon? That open and closed with the sound of rain. Yes, I fully admit to being a design dork. But I embrace it heartily.

Again this design all came down to the map. Here I could do so much more now that it was interactive! In fact I started to call this my interactive masterpiece because I took Jane Austen sightseeing in Bath to a whole new level! Not only can you click on a dot and bring up facts you can click them all on or off as well as turning the highways on and off to highlight just one route. The details, the facts, the facets, everything about Jane's life and her novels as they are in Bath. The only thing that makes me sad is that between going from CS5.5 to CS6 Adobe really did away with all their interactive content, and they're even now phasing out Flash, which is good in the long run, but that means I can't really view this project anymore as the technology has changed. Therefore it's more a project in memory. Which kind of brings me around to the fact that while this was the culmination of this brochure project it's the first iteration that will have longevity. Technology changes, but paper and ink? Well, they stand the test of time as Austen herself would attest.


Newer Post Older Post Home