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Poetry on the Road
Boris Muller
Project Description:
Poetry on the Road is an international literature festival which is held every year in Bremen, Germany. Since 2002 Boris Muller has commisioned the design of 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".

For 2006, the concept was based on a very old concept of encoding text. As Muller explains: "We assigned a numerical value to every letter of the alphabet. Adding the values of all letters, one gets a number that represents the overall word. (For example, the number 99 would represent the word "poetry")".Using this system, an entire poem could be arranged on a circular path. The diameter of the circle is based on the length of the poem. So the short poems are in the centre of the poster, while the longer ones form the outer circles.

Red rings on the circular path represent a number. As many different words can share the same number ("poetry" shares the 99 with words like "thought" and "letters"), most rings represents different words. The thickness of the ring depends on the amount of words that share the same number.Finally, gray lines connect the words of the poem in their original sequence. So solid lines represent repetitive patterns in the poem.

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