Orange is My Favorite Color — The Story Behind the Story

Orange is My Favorite Color is Vanguard Direct’s first foray into digital iBook® publishing. This delightful short story introduces Hamlin, a little boy who remade the world in a new way – his way. With the assistance of a magic wishing frog, he colored the whole world orange – exactly how he wanted it! – until he came to realize that an entirely orange world has its drawbacks, too.

But the story of Hamlin actually begins long before this iBook® came to be.

Let us tell you our story about Hamlin’s story.

As an industry leader in print communication, Vanguard Direct is known for providing smarter solutions and better results, and with mobile apps and digital publishing rapidly becoming the predominant vehicles for content delivery, we were determined to get ahead of that curve as well.

Three years ago, iBooks® were expected to become the primary growth catalyst propelling Apple’s iTunes Store to $13 billion in revenues during its 2013 fiscal year. Anticipating this paradigm shift, our Director of Creative Services, Kevin Green, challenged our leading Digital Producer, Antonio Lopez, along with the entire Creative team, to author an iPad-friendly digital publication within six weeks. The goal would be twofold: to demonstrate Vanguard Direct’s rapid mastery of eye-catching dynamic graphics and interactive features available only within the digital publishing realm – and to create an entertaining narrative that would amuse children and adults alike.

Initially, the team selected Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) as the best and swiftest route to a professional-quality production draft. Then we pulled in our staff to develop a suitable project that met the agreed-upon criteria. Ultimately, we agreed that a children’s book could exploit all of the interactive features supported by DPS, and we set out to write one.

Will Lovell, Designer, had recently become a father himself. Inspired by the legend of King Midas, he had written his own take on the Golden Touch story to entertain his young daughter. For our version, Will created the young protagonist, Hamlin, who was granted a wish to change everything he touched to the color orange. (Perhaps owing to Vanguard Direct’s own attachment to that color, we were all particularly enamored of the concept.)

Once the characters were developed and the storyline was nailed down, it was time to produce. This interactive app would require the entire team to push their creative talents to the limit. Every available skill and aptitude was pressed into service, in such disciplines as content development, writing, illustration, storyboarding, layout, design, video editing, voice narration, sound editing, HTML coding, project management – all these and more were put to the test.

Orange Interrupted                      

Incredibly enough, while the app was being completed, Adobe and Apple stymied the whole endeavor when they abruptly changed their terms regarding the DPS distribution channel for non-profit projects.

To counteract, the team quickly mastered a new software tool in record time. While iBook Publisher provides a less robust authoring toolbox than DPS, it just took a little clever back-end coding by the team to work around its obstacles. As a result, the iBook version of Orange is My Favorite Color represents a substantial improvement over the original DPS draft! With its assortment of simple animations, pictures that change colors as you swipe, and embedded audio/video, the final experience is far more interactive and engaging than most typical iBook offerings. It stands out as a stellar example of how the limitations of the format can be overcome and surpassed. 

Vanguard Direct: Smarter Solutions, Better Results

In Orange is My Favorite Color, Hamlin changed the world with his story. Now, we want to bring your story to life! Our team’s creative process can present your message in the same compelling, engaging and forward-looking way. Vanguard Direct stands ready to work with you, customizing the digital distribution experience to help you grow your business and achieve your goals.

Orange has now officially launched and may be downloaded for free from the iBooks store from the link shown below.

For a look under the hood and behind the curtain, we hope you’ll also enjoy the following video about the evolution of the character Hamlin and his own colorful story:

And, don’t forget to download and enjoy the free iBook at:

Author: Vanguard Direct Creative Services


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