After a long silence I announce that my book has been published by Stampa Alternativa & Graffiti. The book is titled Sinsemia. Scritture nello spazio, that means “Synsemia. Writings in space”. Unfortunately, it is not a science fiction novel.
The book talks about the strategies for writing a non-linear text from the design/composition perspective.
It is not a manual on how to design an effective synsemic text; it presents an analysis of some synsemic artifacts and try to investigate the strategies behind them.
In particular: 1) the bottom up and top down strategies: composing a synsemic text from a coordinates system (top down) or from a set of rules (bottom up); 2) visual analogy as a particular case of top down synsemia; 3) procedural and structural clues: synsemic artifacts are made by clues, these clues can be related to the procedural or the structural knowledge of a problem; 4) visual variables, visual hierarchy and aggregation of variables: the theory of Jacques Bertin (in Semiology of graphics) can be useful to write/compose any kind of synsemic text (even those without numerical data).
In the second part of the book I analyzed some artifact in order to show the complexity and the variety of synsemic use of writing. The examples I collected are meant to show how can be widened the access to knowledge through synsemic artifacts.
Far from being a general theory or a taxonomy of synsemia, this is a first step of an exploration. As I’m a designer by formation, I preferred to focus my work on what can be used in the composition process, though it’s evident that the most effective and dense exemples of synsemic text are written/composed/designed by the author(s) him(them)self(ves) or by somebody who knows deeply the subject. In my opinion writing is structural part of the elaboration of the “contents”, for this reason I prefer to speak about “writing” instead of “information design”.