Digital Storytelling for Caltech’s E-Magazine

+ Digital Storytelling for Caltech’s E-Magazine


black background and squares that tells a digital story

With more screens than ever competing for people’s attention, static text-heavy content isn’t enough on its own. That’s why we partnered with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to engineer a unique, digital storytelling experience.

Caltech’s Office of Strategic Communications approached Pastilla to help design and develop a responsive, multimedia timeline for their September issue of The Caltech Effect. The E-Magazine is a publication under Caltech’s ambitious $2B philanthropic initiative Break Through: The Caltech Campaign that aims to spur the most promising and innovative research, as well as prepare students to become leaders in science and society.

Each issue represents a theme, and this month boasted “scientists and engineers who have followed unexpected paths, repurposed technology, and responded nimbly to innovative ideas and urgent needs.” We were eager to jump in, knowing all too well what it’s like to follow unexpected paths and succeed as a multidisciplinary agency.

Rather than simply placing text onto a landing page, we knew early on that we wanted to push the boundaries of digital storytelling to create a memorable, engaging experience. We began to wonder how we could help Caltech’s readers visualize and interact with the theme of collaboration through the web design itself.

We were assigned to focus on one particular story about two graduate students — one in aerospace engineering and the other in medical engineering — who joined scholarly forces to invent a new approach to cancer treatment. We worked closely with Caltech’s editorial design team to strategize key points where we could transcend the students’ story through web design interactions and animations.

The result was a compelling article with expressive animations that came to life as users moved down the page. The article closes with two bodies of texts moving separate ways, reflecting the story of the students also parting paths until the next shared discovery. Like the students, we look forward to coming together with Caltech’s experts once again to tell more inspiring stories of innovation. Experience yourself!

Checkout the full interactive article here!