The Shape of Poetry is a thesis which explores the relationships of synesthesia, typography and poetry.
Synesthesia is a neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. This phenomenon is common in poetry as a rhetorical device. In graphic design, we uses typography and other visual elements to make cross-sensory metaphors as well. The similarity among these three provides a new field of research possibilities.
The goal of the thesis is to visualize poetry by exploring typographic variations and implementing synesthesia findings. The final result is a campaign to promote William Shakespeare’s sonnets, in both print and digital applications.
Overall the findings of this thesis aim at giving designers another angle when designing for multi-media platforms, and inspire those who have the similar interests in the relationship of sensory perception and design.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Synesthesis and the arts; Synesthesia in literature; Graphic design (Typography); Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Sonnets. Selections--Pictorial works
Graphic Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CIAS)
Bruce Ian Meader
Chen, Boliang, "The Shape of Poetry: A Typographic Exploration of Poetry and Synesthesia" (2015). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus