“This is the definition of delight. Full of Easter eggs and cheeky nods to the digital world, this paper website is so unexpected and a great idea.” —juror Libby Bawcombe
“In an era when skeuomorphism has a bad name, this site takes it to its logical and appropriate extension: physical paper and stop-motion animation as interface elements. The tropes of 1980s desktop publishing interfaces add a certain nostalgia to the site that underlies the sophistication of its technological and artistic quality.” —juror Nathan Moody
Overview: It may seem impossible to digitally replicate print’s tactile quality, but that’s exactly what Leo Burnett Toronto accomplished with this “paper” website for Somerset, one of Canada’s top printers. More than 20 printing techniques were used on a single, duplexed press sheet. Every interaction was shot in stop-motion. Online interactions add to the site, including a map with stickers that can be magnified, a GIF made with Scanimation and embossed buttons. The result brings a truly tactile print experience to online audiences.
•The site features more than 2,000 images, compiled into GIFs and PNGs to optimize loading times.
•Potential customers can order an actual print version of the site.
•The project took three years to complete.
Comments by Dejan Djuric:
What are the project’s core features? “Everything is real, and everything is related. We took inspiration from digital interactions, everything from the navigation bar to the zoom feature on the street maps. This was the guiding context to our decision making for the printed website. That way, when the site was viewed online, it would appear authentic, yet still familiar.”
Did you meet with any out-of-the-ordinary obstacles during development? “The entire essence of the website felt out of the ordinary. We essentially built our insight around one core problem: How do you represent a printing company, which relies on a tactile, printed experience, in a digital medium that always exists behind a screen? This led us down the path of capturing stop-motion and bringing the printed piece into the digital realm. Photographer Luis Albuquerque was extremely patient during the shooting phase, capturing more than 2,000 separate images that would later be compiled into what the website is today.”
Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? “We aimed to target the snobbiest perfectionists around: designers. They’re trained to look for imperfections, and it is their natural inclination to find faults in concept or design. Pleasing them, or even getting them to notice Somerset without skepticism, was a big challenge that was ultimately baked into the entirety of the brand’s core insight.”