*notcot in design , 23:52

Stefanie Posavec “On the Map”- 04.02.08

mainjusbook.jpgNOTCOT Note: Here is another post continuing on Justine’s (aka RUGenius’) adventures in Sheffield, it took a bit of researching, but she’s come back to me with some MIND BLOWING infographics from Stephanie Posavec, you definitely need to click on the images after the jump to see them in full resolution where you can see what every curve and color represents. I kid you not, you will not see Kerouac’s On The Road the same again…

During my recent trip up to Sheffield, I was fortunate enough to be staying next door to the Millennium Galleries, who hosted a portion of the citywide Art Sheffield event. Among the exhibits, was one called “On the Map” (more info here as well), which uses craft and design to understand the symbolic and representative nature of maps. Works included a dress made of maps, numerous old maps of London, a gorgeous Kerr | Noble representation of the River Thames through graphic design and the words of the John Banck’s Description of London. Seen here:

However, the works that caught my eyes was that of Stefanie Posavec. Stefanie’s maps capture something above and beyond that of the others. Rather than mapping physical geography, her maps capture regularities and patterns within a literary space. The pieces featured in On the Map focused on Kerouac’s On the Road. The maps visually represent the rhythm and structure of Kerouac’s literary space, creating works that are not only gorgeous from the point of view of graphic design, but also exhibit scientific rigor and precision in their formulation: meticulous scouring the surface of the text, highlighting and noting sentence length, prosody and themes, Posavec’s approach to the text is not unlike that of a surveyor. And similarly, the act is near reverential in its approach and the results are stunning graphical displays of the nature of the subject. The literary organism, rhythm textures and sentence drawings are truly gorgeous pieces. It’s not often that I am so thoroughly impressed by the depth of an artist’s work, but somehow, for me, these pieces do it all. I know, who would’ve thought I’d have stumbled upon such incredible work in the gallery across from our hotel in Sheffield! It just goes to show the world is full of surprises.

High-res images below not to be missed!







Here are pics in book context:









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29 Notes

Your analysis is wonderful and your presentation incredible. Is this in print because it should be. Louise

----- Louise J Bowles 12.03.12 12:18

Hi! I love this post, and wanted to see if Ms. Posavec had other work. The link in your posting is for sale, and her site appears to have moved here: http://www.itsbeenreal.co.uk/index.php?/about-this-site/

----- Jessica Jackson 07.01.09 13:50

Kudos to Stefanie. This is such an amazing way to infuse new meaning into a great work. I will share this with many friends, and if a book becomes available, it will be on a must-own list.

----- Jake Yarbrough (jakeybro) 05.01.09 16:18

I learned most of what I know about life’s rhythms and flow as a lit major who emersed herself in the R&F of many great works of fiction. This morning I was contemplating the concept of rhythm and flow, typed that into google, and, voila, came upon this amazing site! I love sentence diagramming as it illustrates the flow and the meaning of sentences, adore Visual Thesaurus, and make Mind Maps of anything I want to make sense of. This work truly speaks to me, and I applaud the artist for her dedication to a work of such detail, fine craft, and artistic sensibility that it quite literally took my breath away this morning.

----- Kat Tansey 03.09.08 08:03

I’ve seen it all, but I love your work! Thank You.

----- jugi 21.08.08 18:39

Stefanie is a hugely talented designer - I really hope she produces some cards and prints of these designs.

----- Alison 17.04.08 12:23

These are great! I’ve put together some politically-themed copycat works, which can be seen here: http://arbitrarian.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/bushs-legacy-speaks-for-itself/

----- dspaks 13.04.08 12:09

What are the last 3 images? They look like the sentence drawings… but for whole books? Chapter drawings perhaps?

----- Kristina 11.04.08 12:04

i wonder what kinda software she used

----- shabooty 10.04.08 07:25

Stefanie (via email) has only two copies of her book, but given all this interest she is thinking of producing something. Let’s hope!

----- Tim 09.04.08 21:27

Lovely stuff. Edward Tufte needs to see these immediately.

----- Gary Burke 09.04.08 17:55

Neat-o. On the Road is my most re-read book. I remember the first time reading it, fueling up on way too much coffee way too late at night, and going for the “benzadrine” connection. Ms. Posavec here seems to have gone deep as well, but with a far more original and lasting contribution to literary interpretation and understanding. Kudos.

----- David 08.04.08 00:36

Wow!! What a combination. It’s the art of literature graphically represented by computational linguistics. (If I had to put a label on it.) And it’s great. It looks fantastic, and provides yet another way of visualising the structure of literature. Amazing parallels with chaos theory and the structure of the brain. Check out the visual thesaurus online and you’ll see a great similarity with that first image.

----- Nick 07.04.08 22:01

It takes an incredible designer to turn such boring analysis into something so perfectly beautiful and harmonious, yet unexpected. Thanks for sharing.

----- Chris Duran 07.04.08 19:30

You can purchase prints from the exhibition for exhorbitant prices here… http://www.sheffieldgalleries.org.uk/coresite/onthemap_html/forsale.asp

Are the book images some kind of mockup? Were they part of the show? It doesn’t seem to be for sale, at least not anywhere Google knows about!

----- Jason 07.04.08 09:13

has anyone analyzed her book yet?

----- richard Monette 07.04.08 05:35

To everyone looking to buy to book ~ you can reach Stephanie at her website:

Phil - this post is actually a result of visiting the Millenium Galleries exhibit - as stated in the beginning of the post.

----- jean/NOTCOT 07.04.08 01:53

While I don’t think there’s a book of her fantastic work for sale, there is an exhibition of her work at the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield until 15th June.

----- Phil 07.04.08 01:50

Years ago, Kurt Vonnegut wrote a piece for a literacy campaign. It was a two page spread I think I saw in Rolling Stone. He described how he outlined a novel and graphed it across a wall. I’ve been trying to find it ever since.

This is indeed beautiful and interesting work.

----- gmoke 05.04.08 17:40

Yes!! Please let us know where we can purchase this amazing piece of work!

----- wen 05.04.08 11:17

Where can i purchase this book, do tell!!

----- Jenn 04.04.08 14:27

Stefanie’s work is absolutely amazing!

----- Ashley G 04.04.08 07:26

beautiful, inspiring work!

----- litcauldron 04.04.08 07:17

Yes… where can we buy this book?

----- Tim 03.04.08 23:48

Haha, I know that cowgirl. I am stoked to see her work on here, that’s so awesome!

----- Crystal 03.04.08 18:54

AMAZING…does she have a book…I WANT IT…seriously sooo beautiful…such an interesting take on how we translate literature

----- Scott Ortner 03.04.08 11:52

I am obsessed with design, and even more obsessed with literature than I am with design. This is astounding.

Where can I get that book?

----- Meghan 03.04.08 10:58

wow. amazing.

----- sarah 03.04.08 07:56

Fascinating graphics, thanks!

----- fun-da-mental 03.04.08 03:24

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