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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 2010

Medium: Print
Year: 2010
Client: Poetry on the Road
Team: Friederike Lambers, Boris Müller, Florian Pfeffer

The metaphoric theme of this years Poetry on the Road visual is a mad origami master. Every poem is represented as a data sculpture made from virtual paper. So this year, we don't have a single key visual but a sequence of individual graphics that represent a single poem. This is also reflected on the design level - a number of poster variations were produced for the festival.

The concept in a nutshell: a long paper strip that is folded in an extremely complex manner. Every ridge represents a word. Depending on the length and frequency of the word, the form of the ridge changes. The virtual paper is then folded between the ridges. So the defining visual element are actually not the words - but the space between words.

Complex forms - and a long and complex process! Poetry 2010 is probably the most innovative, radical and beautiful VisualPoetry result for quite a while.

Like in the last few years, the visuals for Poetry on the Road were developed with Processing. For the 3D, I experimented a lot with P5Sunflow but the results (specially the hi-res images) were a bit unsatisfactory. However, there are some really interesting developments: P5SunflowAPIAPI is now available and promises to be a great tool for 3D imaging in Processing.

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