Light Card

Laser cutting generative design and typography

I designed a card to be in the Museum of Pocket art ALL BUSINESS ALL THE TIME show. I used Processing to design the card, and then I laser cut the pattern in acrylic.

To produce the design I first I set the text centered within a rectangle. I drew points around the perimeter of the letters and additional points were placed within the rectangle randomly, with a higher probability of a point placed closer to the letter points. The added points repelled each other briefly, and then all of the points were triangulated. The text emerged from the density of triangles.

code

update (october 28th, 2012):

This is a project from 2010, but was recently blogged on NOTCOT so I thought I’d include a few more details.  You can see several iteration of the piece in the first blog post of this site.  You can see among the variations that I began with the Delaunay triangulation, and placed text over it.  Here is an example:

I was working on this after TAing a class taught by Jesse of Nervous System.  He suggested I think of a way to integrate the letters with the underlying pattern.  Hence I began to look into extracting points from the text, and using those points in the triangulation.  If you take a look at the code, you’ll notice I use the geomerative library to do the font analysis.  Here is a later iteration:

You can see the letters emerging from the intersecting lines, but still quite hard to read- especially the web address.  I soon removed the address.  It kind of highlights the question of whether or not it is still a business card, but I liked the idea of removing references to myself in it and focusing on the connection, the us.

I created a ton of variations of this design using the Processing code I wrote above, changing parameters to affect the number of points and spacing of points, until I found a design I liked. Finally, I created a PDF based on this image (I believe it is the one below), and used that with the laser cutter.

 

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