Is there a technique or any example of embedding some shape into an otherwise normal block of prose text, e.g. page in a book? This would probably be a type of Calligram.

It could look like something like this (please don't mind its ugliness):

Eiffel tower in a block of Lorem psum text

where I tried to represent an Eiffel tower inside an unmodified (expect for added spaces) Lorem ipsum text. It is kind of an opposite of this more 'regular' Calligram.

The closest thing I found is:

Poire typo..JPG

but as I showed above, I'd like text to fill the page and instead to contain the shape of pear inside of it.

The second question is whether something like this can be made way more subtle, ideally to the point where the text appears normal, and one can see the image only upon close examination, at distance, or at a specific angle. It such a way it could form a steganography or an Easter egg.

  • It's getting fairly peripheral to writing as such. But it is certainly possible, supposing you find the right editor. I'm going to guess it will be more expensive than mundane publishing processes.
    – Boba Fit
    Jun 10, 2023 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


Definitely some kind of calligram. And though not likely you'd be the first, I don't recall seeing a calligram in the negative such as this before.

Typed lines of text that fill a silhouette, on the other hand, are a pretty common sight. And these are, to my knowledge, also called just calligrams. So I don't think there'll be a more specific term for the version in negative.

One related concept that you might find useful is the river that occurs when several spaces in a text happen to appear one under another. Usually it's considered something that should be avoided, but I don't see why you couldn't work with them deliberately if you so choose. Just make sure that your typographer knows what you're doing and to leave it alone, lest they might destroy your hard work with their good intentions.

And keep in mind that your hints (visual included) will probably seem much more subtle to your reader than they seem to you, and very easy to miss. So, if you want your reader to notice, I'd suspect it'd be good to make it somewhat more obvious than just relying on rivers (say by making the image-forming spaces at least somewhat larger, or by making a mention of the general idea in the text itself).

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