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Tweetflakes: Turning tweets into digital snowflakes

ico design Digital / Print
Late in 2010 our thoughts turned to Christmas messages, and specifically messages sent out over Twitter. Even if the message is the same, the name and timestamp means that every one is unique, like snowflakes. We set out to try and capture this most throwaway of communication forms and create something beautiful and lasting, developing a website that automatically turned all of the tweets with the hashtag 'xmas' into typographic snowflakes, displaying them as falling digital snow.

Individual tweets were extracted as Christmas cards to send to friends and clients, and the next logical step was to create a more permanent physical document of these global digital communications. All of the 6651 Twitter messages sent on Christmas Day 2010 were recorded and a book of these and the Tweetflake illustrations was laid out using Processing (a programming language). Curators at the V&A who saw the original cards requested a copy of the book to go into the permanent collection.