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Poetry on the Road

Poetry on the Road is an international literature festival which is held every year in Bremen, Germany. Since 2002 I am commisioned to design a visual theme for the festival. While the theme itself is changing, the underlying idea for the visuals is always the same: All graphics are generated by a computer program that turns texts into images. So every image is the direct representation of a specific text. The design and the development process are a collaboration with the design agency jung und pfeffer. (Now one/one)

Poetry 2009

Medium: Print
Year: 2009
Client: Poetry on the Road
Team: Friederike Lambers, Boris Müller, Florian Pfeffer

Despite the high visual resolution, the basic concept of this year's key visual is almost embarrasingly simple - it is just a combination of a Treemap visualization algorithm and a Code128B bar code generator.

All poems of the literature festival are broken up into single words. Then, the frequency of each word is calculated. Each word is represented as a rectangle, which corresponds to the frequency of the word. Finally, the single word is encoded as a barcode, which fills the according rectangle. So it is possible to decrypt the poster using an appropriate bar code scanner.

The software follows clearly defined rules. The complex line structure of the visual consists of closely packed bar codes that correspond to the words of the poems. The motive is thus a direct translation of the text into a visual language.

As usual, I have created an interactive demonstrator that enables you to expore this concept.

Launch Poetry 09 interactive

{You can use a bar code reader on a mobile phone for »decoding« parts of the key visual.}

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