The Rules of Summer app, developed concurrently with the publication of the picture book of the same title, is launched today and will be available for Australian readers, with other territories to follow as the book is subsequently published overseas. What kind of app is this, and how is it different from the book? Both are adaptations of a series of large, unscripted paintings that form a visual narrative about two boys, but each form represents quite different reading experience. While I think there will never be a substitute for the charm and appeal of a physical picture book (especially a large format one like Rules of Summer), the app offers an extra depth of detail as users are able to zoom in and out of a canvas, courtesy of high-resolution photography and clever image compression and design by the Melbourne-based studio behind the app, Wheelbarrow. I also worked closely with an experimental sound artist and composer from New York, Sxip Shirey, whose surrealist soundtrack perfectly suits the intimate browsing of these mysterious pictures. The executive producer on the project, Sophie Byrne, was also the producer behind The Lost Thing; Tim Kentley of XYZ Studios (of which Wheelbarrow is a part) is the artistic director.
The app also includes a sketch mode where you can see some of my concept and developmental drawings, which may be of particular interest to anyone with an interest in illustration (I'm a big fan of these kinds of features myself).
For more info, reviews and appstore link, go here.