Ready Player One

On the subject of the novel 'Ready Player One', created entirely using typesetting.

The brief

This project was created as part of the module Applied Art for the Web, attended for my MA in Web Design at the University of Greenwich. The brief asked to choose a suitable piece of literature – and to present the text in a suitable typeface, creating a colour scheme which both should aids legibility as well as underpins the context of your chosen piece. I was not allowed to use any images. So, the one visible in the websites are CSS shapes.

Design Process

The chosen piece of literature for this project was “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline, the Chapter 0000, 0006 and 0016.

I chose this book because interest for retro-gaming and 80s pop-culture (the book feeds from geeky sci-fi elements such as movies, music and video games belonging to 80’s and 90’s to create a anti universe compared to that state of the world).

The main challange was to convey the general spirit of the text in a appealing way. Consequently, I decided to introduce gruadually the reader to the text. I did this by creating an hope-page that recreates the same atmoshere that we find in 80s videogames. The homepage has also similarities to the original book’s cover.

ready player one cover
Ready player one cover

The reason I chose those particular excerpts is not casual. The excerpt from Chapter 0000 is particulary interesting because contains the most important passage of the Anorak’s invitation.

The Anorak’s invitation is a video message that formally announces Halliday’s Easter Egg Hunt. For the first time in the book we have a clear reference to the hidden keys (Copper, Jade and Crystal) which once acquired allow to enter Castel Anorak, the home of Halliday’s avatar, Anorak.

Chapter 0000

Chapter 000 contains the most important passage of the Anorak’s invitation. For the first time in the book we have a clear reference to the hidden keys (Copper, Jade and Crystal) which once acquired allow to enter Castel Anorak, the home of Halliday’s avatar, Anorak.

I decided to represent these verses using a typeface called Adventurer by Brian J Smith. I belive that this typeface is suitable because remind me of the typeface used in old manuscripts and in the pirate map of an old videogame which I played called “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis” or to the ring’s inscription in “The Lord of the Ring”. Furthermore, as you notice, the text is flaming. This is a clear connection to the book: “it appears briefly in flaming subtitles across the bottom of screen”.

typeface Adventurer by Brian J Smith

Chapter 0006

Instead, the excerpt from Chapter 0006 was chosen because contains many references to many 80s and 90s movies. Here, I decided to use the exact typefaces used for the movies Indiana Jones, Ghostbustersetc. This I believe has a great impact and contribute to suspension of disbelief of the reader.

Chapter 0016

On the webpage chapter 0016, the main challanage was to style the s the “high score table”. As I am a videogamer, I found particulary appealing to represent this table digitally. The idea was to give a retro feeling. Consequently, I opted for a typeface called ‘Press Start 2P’. This is a bitmap font based on the font design from the 1980s Namco Arcade Games. As far the color, I chose for the background #000 (black) and for the typaface color #00ec00 which is a bright lime. The reason I opted for this combination is because I wanted to recreate an ‘old fashioned’ green computer display.

high score table - chapter 0016 - ready player one

Calluna as main typeface

As far the the main font-face, common to the three excerpts from the book, I used Calluna Regular. I was presented with the challenge to represent the long-form text of a book, so I needed a simple and with just enough personality typeface. Calluna Regular was perfect.

The Navigation bar

Special attention had to be paid to the navigation bar. Because the book contains many references to the movie ‘Back to the Future’, I found a way to the same by using a typeface called Pixel LCD7. The font conveys the same feeling of the keypad found in DeLorean. In addition, the colors are exactly the same of the keypad #ee2434 – #37e60f – #fff62f.

navigation bar - typeface pixel lcd7
navigation bar – typeface pixel lcd7

Home Page

The main page contains many references to the book. First of all, the title of the book: ‘Ready Player One’. Here, I decided to use Sabo, a free 8-bit style by Philppe Moesch. The title is surrounded by two levels of borders (internal and external). I decided to use this design because I believe it reminds me of the Marquees of those old classic arcade machines (where the title of the game is displayed). As far the colors, I chose #fbe666 and #fc0683 because I was inpired by a picture found of the Internet.

The hopepage contains also a futher reference to the book (chapter 0019) ‘No one in the word ever gets what they want and that is beatiful‘, this is the pass phrase recited by Parzival, the main character, when entering the OASIS.

Finally, the hopepage contains shapes of space invanders and the hidden keys, which I used mainly for decorative purpose. They keys have the colours of Copper, Jade and Christal.

ready player one - mobile - homepage