Boris Müller

Interface & Interaction Design





Poetry on the Road 2008

Medium: Print
Year: 2008
Client: Poetry on the Road
Team: Friederike Lambers, Boris Müller, Florian Pfeffer

Poetry on the Road is an international literature festival which is held every year in Bremen, Germany. From 2002 — 2013, I was commisioned to design a visual theme for the festival. While the theme itself was changing, the underlying idea for the visuals was always the same: All graphics were generated by a computer program that turned texts into images. So every image is the direct representation of a specific text. The design and the development process were a collaboration with the design agency one/one.

I am still very fond of one of my oldest graphic experiments – the Fast Faust poster. So in 2008, I took up the basic concept behind the poster and used it for VisualPoetry08.

Visually, Faust and Poetry08 look quite different. However, conceptually they are quite close. The application sorts scales all words in a poem based on their frequency in the text and places them on a line. The most frequent words are therefore relatively large and placed on the left hand side of the line.

Concept of the key visual. Words are ordered by frequency. If several poems contain the same words, they are connected by a red curve.

However, while the Fast Faust poster is based on the entire Faust by Goethe, VisualPoetry08 treats every poem seperatly. Each word sequence is stacked on the previous one. So it is possible to compare the word frequencies.

So in a second step, all words that appear in several poems are connected by a red line. The width of the line is related to the length of the word in the regarding sequence. Words that only appear once are marked with an X.

Great praise for Poetry08: Manuel Lima used it for the creation of the cover of his book “Visual Complexity”!