A new digital experience blurs line between reading books and digital art

A new digital experience blurs line between reading books and digital art

Itu Chaudhuri Design has launched the Re:Reader, a digital experience celebrating Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. As part of the launch Lisa Rath, principal and digital head, ICD was in conversation with artist and writer Shuddhabrata Sengupta who spoke about literature, art and the digital experience.


Lisa Rath (left), principal and digital head, ICD was in conversation with artist and writer Shuddhabrata Sengupta (right)

The  Re:Reader  is a digital experience that blurs the lines between reading books and digital art. ICD says, “We think it’s a new and relevant way to reach younger and older audiences.”

“I’d call it Utmost Perennial. It’s a new, fun way of introducing a book to people who haven’t read it. And another way of enjoying it is for people who have. And it’ll be out there—everywhere—without an expiry date. Really lovely,” says Arundhati Roy about Re:Reader.


Arundhati Roy at Icd

At a basic level, it’s for millennial readers who spend a disproportionate time on their mobile phones;  Re:Reader  may trigger a visit to the nearest book store or online marketplace to buy the book. Yet it’s not like selling, but a light touch that people can experience joyfully, even if they go no further.  But more than that, it invites the reader to engage in an ergodic form of reading and experiencing a novel. A re-reading, so to speak.

This experience may act as a catalyst to read the book, and for those who have read it to add an experiential layer to it.

Re:Reader  has snippets of text from the XII chapters of the book. Animations show the text in a new light; music brings the period to life, and with portions read by Arundhati Roy, it makes for a dreamy, heady ride. It allows the reader to go back, forward, skip and play around with the toy as they wish. Each click delivers a different reward, a little as it would be if you could talk to the author one to one. Each reader will take a different path, and therefore differently experience the book, its mood and its narration.


The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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