Part of my Japanese Design Principles/LIT Series self-challenge

DATSUZOKU: Free from the bondage of laws and restrictions.

This is a 36″ x 48″ poster design for “Sunflower Sutra”, one of my favorite Allen Ginsberg poems.

Content dictates design. “Sunflower Sutra” is about embracing the natural and organic, and rejecting the industrial and artificial, so I gridded out the text to form a cascade of words, modeled after a rushing waterfall.

“Sunflower Sutra” is meant to be read aloud, and a Sutra (a Hindu prayer) is based entirely on the rhythm and breaths taken between each word. It’s about the flow, breath and speech of the prayer. My design is an interpretation of the sound, flow and movement of a Sutra.

Additionally, it was Ginsberg’s first real break from traditional Western poetic “rules” (scan, meter, rhyme). To reflect this, I ignored typography “rules” and used 10 different typefaces.

However, I have included the poem written out straight, in the bottom right corner. The image is of Ginsberg around the time he wrote “Sunflower Sutra”.