Hello my geeks! It’s been awhile since I’ve given something away. Let’s change that.
Shortly before the holidays I was contacted by Clifford from ExaTextPosters.com who sent me a copy of their Utterly Complete Works of William Shakespeare for review. It’s really the kind of thing you have to see to appreciate, so for the first time I decided to do a video. Check it out!
Sorry about the shaky cam, I did it on my cell phone. And yes you can see my reflection in the glass. Hi!
Pretty neat, huh? I really wasn’t sure what to expect when Clifford first wrote me, and we talked briefly about other similar products like One Page Books (of which I have several) and Spineless Classics (which I’d not yet heard of). This is different. Those are more about turning literature into a work of art. Anybody can walk up to one and recognize what it is.
This is different. From a distance, the ExaText poster just looks like a regular image. I’ve asked guests to take a look at it and see if they can figure out the secret. They can’t. That’s when I fire up the magnifying loupe that came with the poster, and that’s when they agree that this is indeed very cool and geeky. The value in this product is not when your guests spot it from across the room and come over to admire it like a work of art, the value is in knowing the secret it holds.
There’s two things I wish were different about the product. This is a review, after all. I was at first thinking that it might be something more along the lines of what we old timers used to call ASCII art, where the actual arrangement of the letters and appropriate choice of font, face and style are used to create the image itself (like this example spotted on qarchive). That’s not this. The image is just a regular black and white print, on top of which they’ve put the words. So you’re either looking at the words on white background or dark background, but at no point does the arrangement of the words go into creating the image of Shakespeare. Does that make sense? They could just as easily printed the complete works on top of an image of the Mona Lisa. So what we end up with is a fairly generic picture of Shakespeare hung up on the wall.
I don’t expect they can change that, as it’s a complete different way to layout the text. What I do think they can change, though, is the arrangement of the works. Right now they’re in alphabetical order. Which I suppose is as rational a choice as any other. But imagine if they weren’t. Imagine if they were random. Suddenly the poster becomes a huge treasure hunt. We all have our favorite plays and quotes, right? You get an opportunity like this and you’re immediately going to look for a particular line. Alphabetically, it’s pretty easy. I wanted The Tempest, I just moved down until I spotted Twelfth Night, then worked backwards through Troilus and Cressida until I found it. If the plays were randomly laid out? I’d probably still be looking … and that would be awesome.
Ok, now for the fun part … who wants one?
Win Your Own Utterly Complete Works of William Shakespeare from ExaTextPosters
If this sounds like something you simply must add to your collection, here’s what you have to do.
- Visit the Shakespeare Geek Facebook page.
- Share this post.
- Leave a comment telling us what quote you’ll look up first.
- Contest ends midnight EST on January 31, 2015. Winner will be notified by Facebook message.