Italo Calvino: text & data | data visualization book

  • If on a winter's night a traveler: text&data

    This project is an interpretation of Italo Calvino’s novel "If on a winter’s night a traveler". It is composed of two books. The first book contains the text of the novel, the second – diverse visualizations of data, derived from the text.

    The covers are designed in a way that each book constitutes a negative of the other – the front cover of the „text” book is the same as the back cover of the „data” book, and vice versa. This way, regardless the order in which we put them in the box, both sides will be identical.


  • The first book contains the text of the novel. Selected keywords are highlighted and accompanied by some numbers on the margins. The latter are links to the parts of the complementary book – the pages displaying the development of specific keywords and motifs. 
  • The „data” book is composed of three chapters. The first one, "The Words", presents all the single words which appear in the whole book (6382 lemmas). Each of them is accompanied by a line chart, showing the total number of the word’s occurrences.
  • The second chapter presents themes and keywords, reoccurring throughout the whole book. I decided to distinguish seven vibrant motifs, which in my opinion, stand out and widely affect both the story and the book’s structure. 

    Every first spread shows one main motif: its components – the sub-motifs – and the keywords defining the latter. To count the frequency of every sub-motif in the book, I searched through the text by individual words. On the far right you can see the lemma of these words.
    The visualizations on every second spread present the development of the sub-motifs through the book. Each bubble represents a given sub-motif's frequency.
  • At the end of this chapter you can see a stream chart, comparing the frequencies of all the seven main motifs. Each motif has been assigned with an individual color, the same as on the previous pages.

    You can see the description of the visualization on the folded page on the right. When opened, it shows the key in "How to read" section.

  • Apart from what the words and motifs form, the communication may happen within the book’s construction, dynamics, relationships between characters, style or plot elements. The third chapter, "The Book", contains visualizations of such phenomena.

    1/ Visualization of the first sentence of each chapter
  • 2/ All the characters and relationships between them
  • 3/ All the dialogues depending on the speaker's gender
  • 4/ Each chapter without words
  • 5/ The construction of each chapter: all the sentences with their lengths, vocabulary density, average words per sentence, dialogues to non-dialogues ratio and chapter's top five keywords

  • Concept, design and typesetting: Hanna Piotrowska
    Fonts used: Tisa Pro, URW DIN
    Printed by: Enaf
    Interior pages and covers: HP Indigo full color print on Woodstock Betulla 120g
    Box: white print on Burano Black 400g

    This is a master thesis project, designed at the Book and Digital Publishing Design Studio lead by prof. Maciej Buszewicz at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.