Rune is a communicative tool created by Olivia Johnson that translates each letter of the English alphabet into a graphic form, producing a unique composition for every word or phrase. The tool allows users to interact with the system and translate their own words into this new language.

Rune may also be used to create non-objective works of art that are not formed by language, but instead drive the language by the forms that are created. The title of each composition is created by the keys pressed by the user. Some titles may seem deliberate, while others nonsensical. The goal of Rune is to allow users to experiment with form and language, and to see how one can change the meaning of the other.

Rune was initially created as a stand-alone Processing sketch to be displayed in a multidisciplinary design exhibition. The audience was free to experiment with the program and create their own compositions. Each saved composition was then printed and displayed, resulting in a collection of user-generated art and dialogue.

Rune was idealized after reading a chapter titled “La Mer” in Nicholson Baker’s The Way The World Works. The chapter was about the author’s experience listening to the Debussy orchestral composition, and being fascinated by the way the composer was able to capture the essense of the ocean in song. Rune was created with the goal of capturing language in image.