Falmouth University graphic design undergraduate Sarah Weigold has been named as one of the four winners of the prestigious Penguin and Stephen Fry initiated ‘YourFry’ International Literary awards at the Apple Store in London’s Regent Street last week.
‘YourFry’ was launched by Penguin in partnership with file transfer site WeTransfer in 2014 and challenged people to use technology to develop the stories in Stephen Fry’s autobiographies More Fool Me and The Fry Chronicles (both Michael Joseph) in new ways.
Submissions from across the world were judged by a panel including Fry, inventor Tim Berners Lee, BBC arts editor Will Gompertz, Claire Lee, m.d. of Corporate Venture at Silicon Valley Bank, Elan Lee, chief design officer at #XBOX Entertainment Studios, and Lance Wailer, writer, director & founding member of Digital Storytelling Lab.
The panel selected four winners for their “originality, innovation, ground-breaking storytelling and beautiful execution”.
The Book of Bi-Polarity by Sarah touches on the theme of mental health, and is a book where the colour of the text is adapted to create a reading experience that represents both manic and depressive phases.
Elan Lee (Chief Design Officer at #XBOX Entertainment Studios): ‘Honestly that project was so creative it basically gave me goosebumps. I love the notion of jumping into someone else’s skin and experiencing the world through their eyes and this project delivered that so beautifully. The issue of being bipolar, what it means and how to alter storytelling in order to see the world that way and live inside another person’s skin.’
Stephen Fry (transcribed at event): ’It’s extraordinary, as you said, for that piece to try and get in my head. It’s an odd thought that people would try to get in your head but then that’s what writers are asking you to do… and (you did it) in this project, more than any other, and I think you did it superbly.’
Sarah says of her award winning entry; “The YourFry challenge was a very open brief – Penguin provided us with the text and audio files of Stephen’s latest book and challenged us to respond in a new and creative way. I chose to tackle the brief because of my interests in mental health and because of the amazing judges (the fact that the inventor of the World Wide Web has seen my work still blows my mind!) My response to the brief was a book which creates a reading experience that simulates both the manic and depressive phases of Bipolar disorder (of which Stephen suffers). It is an autobiography that allows the reader a greater understanding of what it’s like to be the author. As such it gives an insight that can only be gained from reading a printed book and turning pages, in this way I hope to give physical books a different purpose to the e-book”.
Bryan Clark (Head of Graphic Design at Falmouth University): “ To see Sarah acknowledged in this way is an incredible accolade for her talent. It strikes an important note for the role designers play in communicating content in fresh and emotive ways. Sarah has without doubt shown the power of a more holistic design response within the printed page; where collaboration between writer, designer and form have opened up new boundaries in story telling. It provides an important tale of how choosing the right medium for your idea is critical – whether digital or analogue. It’s a fantastic achievement and will provide a great springboard for Sarah’s career when she graduates this year”.