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!