Visual Editions, London – Composition No.1
Nonlinear book design for print and iPad app
When French novelist Mark Saporta first published his “book in a box,” Composition No. 1 in the 1960s, the concept of non-linear narrative was so radical as to be relegated to the obscurities of avant-garde literature. In the digital age, it’s the storytelling technique de rigueur. Universal Everything re-imagined the ahead of its time literary masterpiece for both print and tablet reading experiences using generative design and typography.
The swirling letters splayed across the packaging resemble leaves blowing in the wind or sea foam carried on the waves. They convey the randomness, the sense of ebb and flow and constant change necessitated by the reading experience Saporta imagined for Composition No.1, which can be read in any order and encourages readers to shuffle its loose pages to produce endless variations of the story.
The iPad app appropriately updates the book for today’s interactive interface. In a way, the app is almost more effective at randomizing the narrative experience, with an automated “shuffling” of pages, and offers a deeper level of engagement by forcing users to keep their finger on a certain page in order to be able to read it.
Part of the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Creative Director : Matt Pyke
Code : Simon Thompson
Design : Sam Renwick
Available for licensing, screenings and exhibitions