As a child, Bridget never tired of musing over her parents' wedding book—a beautiful object that took her back to another time. Its embossed ivory-colored cover, card-stock pages, and elegant black and white pictures transported her every time.
Today, every celebration has a throng of guests—armed with mobile phones shooting their own pictures and videos—who then scatter their stories into a jumble of social media (SnapChat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and so on). The Enchanted Book captures video messages from your guests and contains them in a singular beautiful object.
The idea for an interactive guest book arose from sorting through stacks of CD-ROMs, external hard drives, and floppy disks when Bridget was searching for images of her son's first birthday party. Using a cardboard box, a littleBits Electronics CloudBit™ and a Radio Shack audio recorder she mocked up a prototype in and afternoon and showed it to anyone who would listen.
Bridget became absorbed with the idea and she hired an inspired graphic designer and a talented artist—Olivia Lobo Goulart and Natalie Freed, respectively—to help create a prototype. Natalie, creator of The Tide Book, and Rhiannan Alpers, a book artist of the highest calibre, helped design the book's basic structure. Read more about that story on the Enchanted Book's website.
When the time came to create a functioning "alpha" prototype, Bridget called on Laura Schatzkin of Modo Web Design, who successfully coded the web app. The Enchanted Book was favorably received at a wedding reception in July. Now Bridget intends to scale up the project by creating an iPad and Android app.
Bridget McGraw has worked in digital media production since the early 1990s. She studied English Literature and Fine Art Photography before landing in New York University's Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP), a graduate program whose mission is "to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies."
Her career as an educator, creative producer, editor, and project manager has spanned the non-profit, educational, and business sectors. See more at BridgetMcGraw.com or Tumblr.
Currently she works with Derick Lee, an exciting young visionary in San Leandro, CA. PilotCity is creating student technology incubators that demonstrate, prototype, and provide access to work-based learning opportunities. She also heads up the Oakland Chapter of littleBits Electronics.
Olivia Lobo Goulart
Olivia Lobo Goulart, is a Graphic & UX Designer, Localization, QA & Music Specialist, working in one of the biggest tech companies in the Silicon Valley. Her portfolio speaks volumes.
Laura has been in the IT field for more than 20 years and working on websites for 15+. Her business, Modo Web Design, focuses on sites for non-profits and the arts. She's also a visual artist greatly influenced by the beauty of her surroundings in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Currently, the prototype works as a web application. Your support will enable Bridget to hire a coder to create an app that will be available in both Apple iTunes and Google Play stores.
The long-term goal is to find an angel investor and a co-founder to create this project at scale with modular electronics physically attached to a book structure. The final product will be an elegant blending of pre-industrial bookbinding with the ease and exuberance of 21st-century technology.
Half of the budget will go to an app developer to create a robust system to keep track of the precious greetings from your celebrations and commemorations. One quarter of the budget will enable Bridget to hire a UX Designer; this will ensure that the elegance and simplicity of the idea will be reflected in the digital user interface. The remaining quarter of the budget will be spent on materials for the books themselves and fulfilling the Kickstarter orders.
App Development — $12,000
UX Research & Design — $6,000
Bookbinding Materials — $3,000
Kickstarter Fees — $2,000
Reward Fulfillment — $1,000
An app of this nature should take about three months to code and thoroughly test. The books and the app will be created concurrently between January and March, 2017. Adding a buffer of approximately one month, the books will ship in May, 2017.