Spawned by a near-death experience, “Beginnings” is a 7″x10″ book that is part graphic novel, part autobiography, part social commentary, and part personal reflection. It exists as a printed book and an iBook for iPad. It is divided into 134 chapters that each use different typographic and visual motifs. The idea behind the book is that each chapter is a new beginning to what could be a longer story. But, upon reading the book, the reader learns that each chapter is actually a piece to a giant literary puzzle.

In designing the book, I set multiple rules for myself. I wanted exactly 136 chapters, with each chapter being exactly one spread long. I also experimented heavily with typography (picking a new typeface for each chapter), color scheme (limiting myself to grayscale and red), and visual symbols/motifs. Each running theme in the book can be identified by the themes and image styles that surround the text.

After producing “Beginnings,” it was redesigned entirely for iPad, adding searchable, scalable text, and bonus content. This also allowed for “Beginnings” to be shown to an expanded audience for free, rather than having to produce the the physical book.

The iPad book adds a light bulb icon to the top right corner of certain pages. This icon indicates that there is some kind of motif on that page (a visual theme, character, setting, etc) that could be found elsewhere in the book, and would be better understood if taken in context.

Another iPad exclusive feature is the interactive menu, which appear when the screen is tapped once (a feature of iBooks). These menus add the abilities to bookmark, search for specific content, zoom, change pages, and more.

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