Typographical Tree – version 1.0

My brain likes to keep me up at night with visions of color and technical implementations of useless creations. You see, my brain likes to work on problems, that I didn’t even know I had. My brain had an obsession with trying to solve a rather simple problem of how does one take arbitrary text and align it around a circle at an angle, as in the arms of a clock. Furthermore, where would the text source come from? What color would the text be? Would it be random? I know, you don’t have to say it, I may be losing my mind. Either way, I had to give into my brains yearnings and get it out into the real world.

I started a sketch in Processing, mainly focusing on the basics, like text creation, color, layout and random selection. As soon as I had the basics in place, I added a Http Client to surface text data via the internet. I settled on Twitter, since its pretty much a text based service with a maximum length of text characters, which sufficed for my typographical tree leaves. As soon as I had everything in place and running, I added a few more features to the app to make it useable, like caching the Twitter results as Json files and saving the images for reference. The following is a video of the image sequence produced by the Processing Sketch in its current state :

Typographical Tree version 1.0, is based off of Wikipedia’s list of names of the world’s largest cities in population (I added San Francisco). The app runs a city name search via Twitters Search API resulting in relevant Tweets both popular and real time. The nodes are then created and positioned randomly with in a rectangle. The Twitter status/text is branched per word off of the node at an angle. All the text and branch colors are selected randomly from a randomly created color palette. The app includes a timer which runs and loops through the city names array displaying a tree per city, so as you can imagine, it never stops creating random versions of a city tree. The creation is always fresh, abstract and visually stunning.

I have one more iteration in me, before I release the code to the public domain. Overall, I’m quite content with this visual excercise. Stay tuned!

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