|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
For novelists, design can play an integral role in communicating subtext and point of view, from James Joyce’s Ulysses, which conceives a whole chapter in the style of newspaper headlines, to Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, which paints stylized, ever-changing room decors to parallel its idiosyncratic language. One of children's favorite poetic devices, the acrostic, defines itself by visual layout. Asemic writing represents the other pole, where language becomes abstract in favor of artistic design.
D-LIT). The visualization tools at Many Eyes, for example, provide great ways to add graphic sense to words. An experiment from IBM, Many Eyes supplies easy-to-use instruments, ranging from bubble charts to pie graphs to scatter plots to network diagrams. The word trees, tag clouds, and phrase nets work particularly well for revealing connections within poetic verses and offering writers' words in new contexts.
|Source: Lee Byron|
Two other resources are Snappy Words and Visual Thesaurus. Snappy Words is a free, online dictionary that reveals connections between vocabulary words and suggests relationships of meaning through pictorial connections. For homework, students are regularly assigned to look up vocab words. Snappy Words supplies definitions but also acts as a graphic thesaurus for writers and a derivative menu for foreign languages. Visual Thesaurus sprouts verbal connections in a similar way, by stemming synonyms in an appealing and practical floral pattern. Also useful from the Thinkmap team is Vocab Grabber, which examines a section of text and displays the frequency, relevance, and color-coded subject of key words in the selection.
Among tools for the iPad and iPod, the Visual Poet app unites words and images in photo collages. On Flickr, poetry visualizations come to life with unique pictures and language. And for experimenting with language and fonts, Type Is Art allows you to manipulate the 21 distinctive parts of letter forms to create art and graphics.
Literature Map attempts to recommend writers that a person might enjoy. After typing in a name, Literature Map delivers a spatial proximity of similar (and non-similar) authors. The algorithm attempts to produce word clouds, like SpicyNode, Tagul, and others, but the design is somewhat medieval. Each name links to a brief discussion forum about that writer, but ultimately, Literature Map is a thin resource. The graphic interface does not reveal any genuine information and does not yet use its visual tools to enhance understanding along the D-LIT continuum.
|Source: Literature Map|