Innovation That Matters

Interactive t-shirts narrate a 'book of the world'

Publishing & Media

Forced into a corner by the challenges posed online, we’re seeing some interesting innovations coming out of the publishing industry. Just last month there was The Drum, for example — the literary magazine that’s published exclusively in audio form. Now N-spired Story is a Spanish effort that aims to publish a “book of the world” on interactive, limited-edition t-shirts. Anyone with a story to tell can register on the N-spired Story site and post it for free, complete with any videos, photos, links and text that might help bring it to life. Each month, based on user voting results, N-spired Story selects one story as the basis for a chapter in its “book of the world”. N-spired then works with an artist to interpret the story for t-shirt form; once that’s done, the limited-edition shirt is created and sold for EUR 18.95 for just 10 days. (Discounted multi-shirt subscriptions are also available.) Not only are N-spired t-shirts suitable for wearing, they can also tell their stories. With a dedicated app available for both iPhone and Android, users can point their phone at the t-shirt’s design, which will be recognized and link to online content. Meanwhile, N-spired aims to use its t-shirt publications to help the world. A percentage of the sales from each shirt, in fact, is used to “perform a social act” based on the story in question. For example, following the company’s first chapter — which honored the 61-year-old farmer who recently won Australia’s Sydney–Melbourne — N-spired set up the Ultra Young Marathon of 875 meters, “encouraging the elderly that it is never too late to accomplish something they never thought they could.” Moreover, after nine such chapters are published in t-shirt form, N-spired plans to create the N-spired Book — a physical, traditional book with information about the authors, the original stories, the artists, the designs, the social acts, and behind-the-scenes insights into the creation process. A video on Vimeo explains N-spired’s concept in more detail. The N-spired Story is currently available only in English and Spanish, but it’s working on expanding to other languages as well. One to partner with toward that end — or emulate with a localized version for your neck of the woods? (Related: Every issue of new mag is a work of artOn product publishing: magazine on a bottle.)



Download PDF