This work is based on the traditional broadside printing format using a typical sheet size while combining haiku with typography of early American style of printed announcements. The haikus are classics – however, here they are texted.

One can compare the reduction of words in texting with taking a photograph in a jpg file format. “Jpegging” compresses the photo so it stores smaller and can be sent faster over the web, but it is also a loss-compression process, which means that some data is thrown out. When it is restored for viewing, software on a computer has to fill in that lost information. At low jpg setting, artifacts and pixelated effects can be visible. In these texted haikus, the reader “resurrects” the words and their meaning when reading them. Linguistic artifacts show up just like in a jpeg file.

The economy of contraction and expansion of words connects well with the typography of traditional American broadside printing. Fonts were chosen largely by what typefaces were at hand and would promise the largest words in a line, regardless if they fit stylistically with the types in the lines above or below. The common American view that “bigger is better” leads to larger words which in turn command more attention. Tabloids still do this today. Texting enhances the haikus’ already sparse use of words and measured restriction of syllables.

Dissonant visual elements are embedded in these broadside interpretations to add some acidity to the perceived “romantic” notion that haikus have acquired over time.

This body of work is an amalgamation of Far Eastern poetic sensibilities, Western printing traditions, New World design principles and Old World “bite of the print” social commentary. (The term carries the double meaning of having an acid “bite” the image on a plate or block in order to print from it.) The unusual combination of these different cultural traditions gives it unexpected contemporary relevance.

The broadsheets measure 22 x 17 inches (55,9 x 43,2 cm) and are hand printed in letterpress in up to twelve colors. The edition size is 25.