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Falafel in Purgatory

Interactive fixed-layout eBook

New England Book Show Student Design Competition winner

Emerson College Graduate Award winner

Possibly my favourite creative work to date, Falafel in Purgatory is miniature memoir/food writing piece in digital form. The eBook is in fixed-layout format, and includes a visual table of contents, buttons that reveal bonus information, and music and sound effects that can be toggled within the pages. Falafel was a collaborative piece, and Sharmin Rahman is responsible for the vibrant illustrations throughout the book.

To create such a dynamic piece, there were multiple rounds of storyboarding and sketched layouts considered before any solid work began. The aim was to create a piece where every spread was unique, yet had a cohesive design throughout. The interactive elements are used sparingly, and were included as both an experiment to see what is possible when working in an EPUB environment, and to result in a piece that allows the reader to step into the stories that are laid out across its pages.

Falafel was created almost exclusively in InDesign, with each of the scanned watercolour paintings being edited in Photoshop before being dropped into the layout. The biggest challenges of the project were creating buttons that behaved exactly as desired in the final product (which often meant layering up to three buttons on top of one another, each with its own behaviour) and wrapping the text around each of the illustrations.