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Interactive Annual 13:

How Edison Are You?

Launch Live Site

“Infinity. A theme that meshes seamlessly with the scope of their project.” —Liz Castro

“The subject is a bit intimidating, but this site does a magnificent job of conveying Thomas Edison’s astounding contributions while enhancing the journey with stunning motion sequencing and clever information design.” —Robin Naughton


Overview: One hundred of Thomas Edison’s best known inventions inspire the navigation of this ever-changing site. Users can access the original papers for each patent, explore modern day devices inspired by them and even view some of the first motion pictures ever taken by the famed inventor.

  • 10 videos, 30 minutes total run time
  • Hundreds of informational PDFs
  • 6-person team, 3-month development time

Creator’s Comments: “So, how do you create an innovative site for one of the most influential inventors in the world? That’s what we were tasked with by the Edison Innovation Foundation—to create an experience that would reintroduce the image of Thomas Edison.

“The discovery phase of the project was one of the most immersive we’ve ever experienced. We went to New Jersey and actually visited all of Edison’s workshops, laboratories and even his estate. After realizing how many contributions to society Edison had made, we knew we wanted to capture the magnitude of his contributions on the site.

“The design phase was a little inverted on this project; instead of designing the page layouts for each section, we took the 100 invention names and used design patterns in Flash to output some of the data visualization that’s seen in the layouts. The golden spiral (although, technically it isn’t a perfect golden spiral) was created in Flash, instead of placing each element, by hand, in Photoshop.

“We also created customized introductions catered to the world’s most innovative and affluent people that have actually mentioned Edison as an inspiration. For Steven Spielberg, we created an intro that shows the evolution of music, beginning with Edison’s phonograph to the evolution of CDs and culminating with the iPod. Our goal was to not only convey Edison’s brilliance, but to show how his inventions laid the foundation for so many more.” —Dan LaCivita

Credits:
Victor Brunetti, art director
Gicheol Lee, Flash programmer
Jason Horwitz/Francis Turmel, technology directors
Dan LaCivita, executive producer
Josef Kjaergaard, production artist
Firstborn, project design and development
Edison Innovation Foundation, client