Posted February 21, 2011 at 14:03 in Graphics, Illustrator, Scriptographer, Typography - Say something

I’ve always been impressed by those colorful patterns produced by Kapitza. It’s nothing shy of genius creating a set of geometric fonts and then just type to your hearts content.

The idea of making something, preferably complex, out of a limited set of rules, principles or objects is very appealing to me. It’s like art sprung out of (almost) nothingness. It’s called synergy – when the sum is greater than its parts. I think these patterns adresses just that; very simple and mundane geometric shapes, but put together, they create something more with seemingly infinte possibilities of variation.

Now, I thought about this for a while, wondering if I had the patience to construct my own symbols and shapes and turn them into a working font, I finaly decided I had not. What would be the point, it’s been done already. Although, I had one concern, as all these symbols where made as fonts there isn’t a very intuitive way to rotate a symbol or flip it around its own axis. Sure, it isn’t that hard to flip a character around, but say if there are a 1000 different symbols it becomes time consuming and counterproductive.

My solution to this problem was to create a script which allowed me to type with objects instead of letters. Each object would be assigned to a specific letter with the added ability to rotate and flip each object during typing using the arrowkeys.

This way I could reduce the number of objects to a minimum.

I added some other features as well. I can navigate around the artboard using the arrowkeys or simply clicking anywhere with the mouse. The script calculates the right position to line up the objects perfectly, it also takes any tile spacing into consideration, should there be any.

Fonticon works really well and can be alot of fun to play around with, building a picture from the ground up. I would say that this is a much more intuitive way of building patterns and you don’t have to make all your shapes and symbols into a working font either so the workflow should be faster. The only problem, and a pretty big one at that, is that I currently haven’t figured out an easy way to colorize them since each object is actually several small objects grouped togehter with a transparent “frame”.