Creativity

This Online Bookseller Got a Deceased Author to 'Sign' Books Using a Robot Pen

Bol.com's Stunt Recreated the Signature of Paul van Ostaijen, Plus Others

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Nov 10, 2016

Editor's Pick

Online bookseller Bol.com tried to engage customers during the Antwerp Book Fair this year with an innovative stunt -- it made a robot that could sign books with authors' authentic signatures, including that of a deceased poet.

Paul van Ostaijen, the Flemish poet and modernist prose writer died in 1928, but is renowned as the author of the typographic poem "Boem Paukeslag." His book "Music Hall" was reissued especially for this 100-year anniversary, and the robot recreated his signature for eight days of signings along with those of authors Nicci French, Paula Hawkins ("The Girl on the Train"), Andy Griffiths (The Treehouse Books), David Baldacci ("The Last Mile.") David Lagercrantz ("Millennium 4,") and Robert Harris ("Imperium").

Agency DDB Brussels created the robot in collaboration with the Antwerp research and design lab Beyond. It analyzed, parsed and then reconstructed all the signatures and manuscripts of the authors, not only mimicking signatures automatically and accurately, but also being able to leave personal messages. Kevin Verelst, co-founder and art director of Beyond, said in a statement: "The greatest challenge was above all to imitate the writing as faithfully as possible. In the process, it was essential to completely fine-tune four important elements. Namely, the choice of pen, the angle of the writing, the pressure of the pen on the paper and the writing speed."

Rate this Ad

You must be registered to rate this ad.
Please Login or Register Now

About

Credits

Date
Nov 10, 2016
Agency:
DDB Brussels
Client:
Bol.com
Contact:
Niels Moes
Creative Director:
Peter Ampe
Creative Director:
Odin Saillé
Creative:
Danny Vissers
Copy:
Tom Meijer
Copy:
Silke Beurms
Account:
Francis Lippens
Account:
Romy Viershouten
Strategy:
Dominique Poncin
Strategy:
Jorian Vanvossel
Digital Design:
Wieste De Ridder
Motion Design:
Sven Verfaille
Producer:
Stefanie Warreyn
PR:
Kenn Van Lijsebeth
TV Producer:
Brigitte Verduyckt
Director of Photography:
Adrien Moormann
Design:
Beyond.io
Special Thanks:
Matthijs de Ridder
Special Thanks:
Genootschap Paul van Ostaijen

Tags

The Creativity Newsletter

The Creativity newsletter is editorially curated to spotlight the work that’s hitting the mark—or missing it altogether. Sign up to have it sent to your inbox.