The Book of HOV

“Everything around JAY-Z is source material.” The Book Of HOV is an exhibition that tells the comprehensive story of JAY-Z’s life and work – as a complete takeover of Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch, open to the public as of today.

Working with exhibition and identity designers General Idea, Roc Nation, and Brooklyn Public Library, we developed the web-based mobile guide for use at the library with this extraordinary installation. It includes immersive continuous audio narration by local radio legend Angie Martinez, music, and almost 300 artifacts. All text is available in English and Spanish.

As Desiree Perez, CEO of Roc Nation, told the New York Times, the library is “a place that feels comfortable. It’s not intimidating. A lot of people go to the museum, but a lot of people don’t.”

Pitchfork described the digital layer: “On The Book of HOV’s website, you can find audio clips, text, and photos of the exhibition, which populates a significant portion of the 352,000-square-foot building. Library staff encouraged those visiting the exhibit to bring their own phones and headphones to augment the experience.”

And for fans and researchers who can’t visit Brooklyn, the website is also a complete archive for use at home.

Variety: “Best of all? It’s free to everyone, and for those unable to visit, the entire exhibit is available at, with detailed information and photos of each item.”

Or in the words of one visitor: “I want to start with how f***ing cool the website is.”

This project won a Webby Award in 2024.

Floorplan of the library, showing locations within the exhibition on two floors
Screenshot 2023 07 27 at 11.31.04 am
Screenshot 2023 07 27 at 11.28.07 am
Screenshot 2023 07 27 at 11.29.37 am
Screenshot 2023 07 27 at 11.30.15 am
Screenshot 2023 07 27 at 11.31.19 am
Screenshot 2023 07 27 at 11.34.51 am
Year: 2023  Client: General Idea, ROC Nation, and Brooklyn Public Library  Exhibition design and identity: General Idea  Production: Special Production Agency
All work