These are two of the poster designs I presented in the final class. I wrote a program that generates the posters, based on my original logos, as well as a new sequence and version of a song, composed and recorded by my bandmate Nick and I. I tried a lot of different visual styles when working on this project. Here is a video showing that process:
For the randomization assignment I chose to replicate the Blinky Palermo paintings “Coney Island II”. I don’t think he used “randomization” in these paintings, but I was interested in trying to recreate the color relationships in code. This was actually relatively easy. I found that for each painting the main color and the color of the top and bottom bands were always about 30 degrees different in hue on the HSB wheel, and the main color from one painting to the next was between 30 and 60. These movements actually created good color combinations in almost every algorithmically generate design.
Here are a few more digital examples.
This was actually my second attempt to generatively create a Blinky Palermo work. I did another program based on his “Eight Red Rectangles”, which I had in fact recreated in Processing at the beginning of ITP in ICM. Most of this code was actually doing the hit detection between the squares once they were generated so they wouldn’t overlap. This took a while to figure out, but once I got it correct, I could make pretty good riffs on the original composition.
I forgot to document the print itself, but I wasn’t that excited about it anyway. Here are some digital examples.
For the logo assignment I made a logo for my band, Giant Steps. I used a grid to represent a sequencer, referencing electronic music, which we use and play with. I came up with some icons that represent different aspects of the band, a football, a spiral, a clock, simple shapes. And I wrote the code to distribute the letters so that every letter appears at least once, and sometimes more than once.
For the book cover assignment I continued working with the cat font. I still wasn’t able to get it exactly where I wanted it to be, and I think I spent to much time working on the font and lost time to work on the cover design. The most challenging part of the design for me was the modified version of the grid I created for the text sections. I wanted to emulate the frontispiece of the original Beware the Cat novel, which has two blocks of type in which the type set gets progressively smaller. I thought it would be easy to change the grid code to do this but it was a real challenge. In order to get the right effect, I had to rewrite Rune’s grid code using a factorial algorithm so that each row would adjust its size according to the height of the grid and the total number of rows. Once it worked though it was pretty simple.
Beware the Cat was an influential novel in the development of my thesis this semester. Read more about that here.
When I was working on this print I found this great essay tracing the origins of the woodcuts used in the novel printing.
For the typography assignment I played with generating fonts by many different methods, using the Geomerative library with images, font sets that I created, and adding randomization or intentional changes. I created some different font sets based on a project I did last year where I created an iconographic font. I tried combining the standard Free Sans font with my own fonts, which were not actual english letters, but drawings of cats. This print was based on combining the Free Sans font with one drawing of a cat. This print ends up representing that process more than being a finished idea. I never quite got the font to the place where I wanted it, where it would be both legible and visually resemble a cat. The task proved to be much more difficult than I imagined, but this visualization of the process (which isn’t generative but actually manually plotted out—I wrote my program so that I could save different combinations that I liked in a specific sequence) tells an interesting story about the process of design and also has an interesting composition on its own.
For the color assignment I was interested in using a monochrome color scheme and playing with what effects I could get with very small differences in saturation, hue and brightness. One of the things I quickly learned is that the saturation and brightness appear very differently on screen than printed on paper. To get the effect I was going for I had to change the range of possible saturation and brightness values from the original sketch. I had to sort of guess based on the different between the first test prints I made and what I saw on screen how to get the right ranges.
The photos I took are very dark, so its hard to get a sense of the interaction of the colors. I’ll have to reshoot them when I get a chance.
For this assignment I used the basic shapes Rune showed in class, the shape uses the sin function to draw each point. I made one shape get “wetter” by making the lines more and more curved, while the other gets sharper as the angle between straight lines are more dramatic. I wasn’t particularly inspired at first by the words, but as I played with the shapes I became interested in the ideas of wet and sharp and how they could be represented either by motion or static images.