Boris Müller

Interface & Interaction Design





Poetry on the Road 2003

Medium: Print
Year: 2003
Client: Poetry on the Road
Team: Petra Michel, 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.


The basic idea behind the designs for Poetry 03 was to use a computer program that enables a text to layout itself. Following this idea, each text carrys its form in itself, so the form of the visuals is directly linked to the inner structure of the text. The aim was to visualise the nature and texture of poems. In order to achive this end, I developed a computer program that performs this transformation according to pre-defined rules.

The program is based on the following concept: a text is considered to be a line that starts with the first letter and ends with the last. The shape of this line is determined by the sequence of the letters. Every letter is a symbol for a modification of the next element of the line. Therefore, a single letter can change the overall apperance of the line.

Such a transformation is an automated process. As every letter is connected to a specific set of commends, the line is not random. The same text will always generate the same image. When every single letter is a command, the text itself becomes a program.