Informative Art display systems have been proposed to provide users with information considered relevant at arbitrary points of work or living engagement, originating from many different –mostly geographically dislocated– sources and presented at the periphery of human (visual) perception. Having the displays operate at the periphery of a user’s attention allows other user tasks to sustain primary. Much like the information presented by wallclocks, posters, paintings or windows, peripheral displays move to the center of attention only when appropriate and desirable. Abstract art has been proposed to serve as the visualization paradigm, encoding information into graphical or pictorial artwork by subtly modifying its shape, color and appearance details or its overall impression. This paper approaches a systematic elaboration of visual metaphors able to deliver information via peripheral displays in an aesthetic, artful way. In our approach, the choice of metaphors is driven by the aesthetic appeal of the visual appearance of the display as a whole, out of which certain dynamic emblems or symbols are used to conotate information in a visual style. From experiments we find, that such metaphors are considered by users as a means of personal emotional expression, and that controllable aesthetic attractiveness turns out to be the dominant factor of display appreciation. The choice of aesthetic themes, as well as the control of emblem and symbol dynamics are supported and implemented in our
peripheral display framework
, a general purpose software framework for informative art display systems.