To Create a Book Anew

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ANDRZEJ GŁOWACKI & MARIKA WATO To Create a Book Anew - About the Application Literature

Source of Image: author’s archive

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


Andrzej GĹ‚owacki, Marika Wato To Create a Book Anew - About the Application Literature Abstract: The article raises the issue of the e-book in terms of design. The authors point out the evolutionary nature of the process of creating the electronic books and book applications as a continuation of the experience of reading from the material world. The aim of this article is to highlight the role of form, media and technology of acceptance in the literature perception.

Tags: E-literature, Bookdesign, Hybridisation,;

ANDRZEJ GĹ OWACKI Profesor, lecturer, researcher, interior and graphic designer. Author of a prose poetry and designer of mobile applications and artbooks included in Archetypture book series. Since 2009 he has been experimenting with e-literature and interface of the modern literature.

MARIKA WATO Academic assistant and lecturer, graphic designer, researcher in the field of visual communication and media. Publisher, independent film director. As a manager and designer of Archetypture book series project she is experimenting with e-literature.

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in Illis. Times change, and we change with them. Ovid We live in the fast lane, a large part of life we spend on trams, trains, planes, urban traffic jams. It is no wonder that in order to kill of wasted time many of us, "the readers", look for solace in reading. It is not possible to carry always the whole paper library with its sweet sheets hiding the object of our desire content, information, and sometimes even wisdom. It is not surprising the fact of popularity of the smart phones, tablets and readers of the e-books as those that give us access to sources of knowledge in every possible, even the most arduous situations. There is no doubt that the transformation of the media of content does not change anything in the text layer of books, "the electronic literature" is still the same literature as "the analog literature". However, is the electronic book still a "book" in general? This question comes up in my head whenever random situation forces me to "collide" with the literature through electronic device. And although the graphic designers sometimes make the efforts for the users of applications for reading e-books to have the impression of touching the "real" printed books, however, invented by them stylistic treatments such as: the effect of turning cards or usage of shadow for page accentuation, are not able to deceive the human senses. Hunger remains - the hunger for associating with the "real" book having its physical volume and weight, rustling cards, or just its real place on the real shelf.

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


Just as digital recording of music track flattens the depth of music recorded in analog way, the electronic book (e-book) flattens the depth of literature. There are at least two reasons for this state of affairs. The first is the limitations of a technological nature; the other is the limitations of the functional nature of the new digital media of content. Among the technological limitations one can distinguish the issue of the flickering screen. A LED screen displays sixty or more fields per second. The problem arises from the evolutionary adaptation of sight; the continuous screen flicker detected by our eye causes the permanent movement of fovea of the retina. This phenomenon slows down the reading speed, therefore reading from the screen is less pleasant, than reading from the paper. Another issue is the contrast; the good quality printing has the contrast of the ink to the paper 120: 1, when a LED screen has half of this value. The improved contrast parameters are offered by so-called e-ink (the electronic ink); this technology is used in e-book readers. Unfortunately, the electronic paper is still available only in black and white version and its colorful counterparts in terms of image quality cannot be matched to the LED screens. The technology responsible for the popularity of electronic books is still in the development phase and it will take some time before their enhanced versions will be put into circulation. When reading the message through an electronic device we are dealing with the subject not only endowed with very different physical properties, but also a completely different range of functions than the printed book. The functionality of the e-book in fact depends entirely on the design assumptions. We could not overturn the cards, we could not do tabs, we could not fold the

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


corner of the page, we could not underline the word, and we could not copy the sentences, if the application design did not include these interactions. In this sense, the printed book is much more flexible "dialogue partner". Its physical appearance can be modified in any way by the various tabs and pencil in a manner unique only to us, consistent with our nature and habits; it facilitates us to remember the content. The field of possibilities is endless here and it is only slightly dependent on such designer's stylistic treatments as fixed width of the margins, where we can put down the important association, occurring in the course of reading. On the other hand, in functional terms, the electronic book offers something more than the traditional, linear reading, it offers a hyper-textual reading, based on the hypertext references leading the reader to the various places in the electronic document or outside its space, and therefore mechanically expanding the perception of content with additional contexts. In this sense, the electronic book is something different than the printed book; it is its evolutionary continuation, opening the reader to new experiences, new ways of reception of the literature. The evolutionary nature of the relationship between the printed book and e-book is a challenge for the graphic designers, resulting in a complete change of environment, in which they work. And although the main objective of the design, which is to create forms of communication appropriate to their contents, remains unchanged, it is a fact that literary communication design for electronic devices requires a departure from the classical methods of solving the design problems. In summary, we are now in a place of the readership evolution, in which the idea of the book should be created anew; we should re-define the language of the visual communication

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


based on the experience of the interaction designers and developers of the user interfaces. As Beatrice Warde wrote -the historian of typography and graphic design critic - typographer of the book has the task to put the window between the reader sitting in the room and the landscape outside, a world of the author's words. He can insert the stained glass that will be beautiful, but then the window will not fulfill its task; in other words, he can use a great fancy-cut, for example, the Gothic writing, which focuses attention on itself, and do not direct through itself to the content contained therein. He can also apply what I call the typography transparent or invisible. (...) The third type of window is one in which the glazing is divided into relatively small panes - we are aware of the existence of the window (...). 1 The modern digital publishing market is developing in two ways. On the one hand, we are dealing with ever-increasing potential of e-books, supplanting the traditional book, on the other hand, there is a trend of book application. In the first, the role of the graphics layer is reduced to a minimum; it is word typography transparent or invisible, as Warde named it. The second is the experimental current, trying to redefine the book using multimedia tools (visual and audiovisual). The graphics layer has a great importance for the book apps, mainly because it consciously directs the attention of the recipient, becoming a full complement of the book content. Often the designer's actions are aimed towards giving the application literature the signs of materiality, not 1

Beatrice Warde, The crystal cup [in: Widzieć/Wiedzieć (eng. Seeing /Knowing)]

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


through imitation of the physical characteristics of the real books, but through the creative exploration of form, which provides the user with additional experience in the process of interaction. While a great text evokes the images in the mind, the excellent design provides the reader with the additional levels of perception 2, regardless of whether we experience the literature through the traditional or digital media. Only the means of expression are changed, that allows us to achieve the objective. Even the most basic elements of the project - paper texture, typeface, and headline style - are more than just aesthetic nuances. Always the role of the designer was to help the reader by complementing the narrative 3. Since 2009, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the book design for mobile devices, we conduct the researches in the field of what we call "the interface of the literature". We are looking for such graphic forms that can navigate in the "space of the text". Under the label of Kokazone publishing we created a series of the experimental publications, appearing under the mutual title The Archetypture. The series includes: The Archetypture of word (2009), The Archetypture of time (2013) - a book hybrid, integrating the traditional paper media with the modern form of electronic reading; and The Archetypture of the magical reality (2014), which occurs both in the electronic form as an application for mobile devices, as well as in the paper form as a spatial book-object.

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Steven Heller, Veronique Vienne, 100 ideas that changed the graphic design, TMC pub., Raszyn 2012 Op. cit.

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


Released in 2013, The Archetypture of time is a book disguised as QR codes. To get the content of the book the reader scans the QR code with the application installed on his mobile device. The hyperlinked text appears in its naked, non-designed form. The correct way to read this book is the active participation in reading, ie. creating the mind maps by handwriting the texts directly on the pages of the book, according to the criteria adopted by each reader interpretations. We call this process as "the personalization of the text". Thanks to this, every reader creates his own personalized version of the book. The users are encouraged to upload their own graphics solutions via the facebook portal: http://www.facebook.com/archetyptura In terms of literary The Archetypture of time is the work referring to the metaphors of chaos, based on the hypertext references, fractal and nonfictional systems - generating the discursive narration. It is a postmodern art book shaped by the digital solutions, which do not remove "the old media" absolutely, but modify it so that the traditional reception is insufficient. The twilight of Gutenberg galaxy and analog recording does not mean in this case the final parting of the book – writes in her review Dr. Grazyna PietruszewskaKobiela from the Department of Theory of Literature, Jan Dlugosz Academy, Czestochowa. The difficulty in direct contact with The Archetypture of time with all the formal complexities of its texts disappears in the process of the text personalization. Children are the recipients particularly open to this form of the active reading. There are no age restrictions. Already the youngest child can play with the text personalization. Moreover, active readership develops both cerebral hemispheres helping their synchronization process, thanks to the need to use a variety of skills - from reading and analyzing to the creative

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


transformation of the text into the image.

The text personalization: Multiverse, Tymek 6 years old

The essence of reading is replacement of the graphic images - graphemes by the sound form of the word - phonemes. The silent reading is like scores reading by a musician - looking, he hears the music. But first we learn to speak, and then only to read and write. The process of the text personalization helps us to see the relationship between what is heard and what is visible, between

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


what is thought and what is written, between what is understood and what is communicated. In this way, one learns the precise, deliberate communication using the visual elements. The latest publication of the Archetypture series, titled The Archetypture of the magical reality is the book application, that is available for download on IOS in the App Store for several weeks 4.****

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The application is available for download here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/archetypture-magicalreality/id885489937?l

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


This book changes the purely visual, static way of the literature perception into a creative and dynamic process of exploring and constructing the new meanings. Paraphrasing the words of Roland Barthes, predicting the "death of the author", The Archetypture of the magical reality promises "the death of the reader" and the birth of “the book’s user”.

The Archetypture of the magical reality - screenshots of the application available in the App Store on IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/archetypture-magical-reality/id885489937?l

The Archetypture of the magical reality has a spatial 3D user interface, which

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


took the form of a cubic. The user can operate the contents of the book made up of the words, images and animations in two ways. One can use a single, centrally located die or push nine dice at the same time so as to allow stacking of the needed visual configuration. A characteristic feature of the book is an imposed randomness of reading. The movement to the next batch of content is possible by shaking the mobile device. The analog version of the book is for self-assembly. It is also created the version of the application compatible with the electronic dice+. This dynamic reading is addressed to all lovers of reading, looking for the new, contemporary forms of the literary expression. The special message of the book and its unique form is dedicated to the professional community connected with the literature – the literature experts and literary critics devoting their scientific and journalistic activity to the modern literature. The technological progress drives the transformation of civilization. The access of the wide range of users to more and more new communication technologies changes the way of life of the masses. "The knowledge-based society", "the concept of lifelong learning" as flagship slogans of modern time make us the consumers of information. The form in which the information appears to us determines our view of reality; it can trivialize or deepen the perception. Therefore, the redefining of the idea of the book is not so much the need of the hour or a response to the changes in technology, but it is rather a historical necessity, which has the real power of mass impact and affects the fate of civilization.

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


The Archetypture of the magical reality in analog version - one of the first paper prototypes dated 29.11.2013

Andrzej GĹ‚owacki, Marika Wato To Create a Book Anew - About the Application Literature CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies Journal ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12). The Archetypes of Cyberspace. ISSN 2299-906X. Marika Wato. Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web: www.CyberEmpathy.com

CyberEmpathy - Visual Communication Studies ISSN 2299-906X ISSUE 1 / 2016 (12) The Archetypes of Cyberspace www.CyberEmpathy.com


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