Printing Code: Typography

This assignment was difficult for me. Here’s the brief:

This week you’re going to design a word. Pick a word and make a typeface around it. The important thing is that you draw the letters using some kind of rule-based logic. Look at the examples I showed in class, and try to come up with your own typeface system – even if it’s very simple. Your goal is to convince me that you can make a typeface that is better constructed in code than in Illustrator.

So I started thinking about what I wanted to design and decided that I needed more constraints. I chose to make my font using negative space – designing around the letters instead of designing them. I took the visual of an audio equalizer as a loose inspiration.

I chose the word “FUTURE” to design since I wanted my type to look modern, clean and, well, futuristic.

I started creating my system of letters. Each letter consists of 3 columns and each column consists of between 2 and 4 bars to create the negative outline. I then drop these into a vector with a column of space after each one.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.04.50 PM

At this point, it looked like something I could have very easily done in Illustrator. It just looked like a kinda-crappy pixel font. But since I had set up the letter system to be dynamic, I was able to play with the weight of the letter, the height, spacing and angle of each column. I liked that I was able to adjust the properties easily.


Overall, I think it came out ok. I had a hard time with this assignment and I’m not sure the final output is really indicative of the work put in. But I like the grey on grey in different shades.

Code on Github.

Printing Code – Color Identity

Our assignment was to use a color scheme (analogous, monochromatic, complementary, etc) to create an image that represents us. The other requirement was that there’s an element of randomness so every time the code runs, the output is different.

I decided on a blue-hued monochromatic color scheme with a complementary yellow color to represent myself. I’m really pleased with the result, especially how it came out using the matte paper.

Code here:

Parts list for succulent pots

So I was tasked with creating a parts list for my yet to be completed succulent pots. Doing this really helped me think about the final, shipping project and what I will need to package it up and sell it. I don’t know the exact quantities of the materials yet, but as I find out, it will better help me price each piece. Here’s the list:

-Clay (.25 pound estimate)
-Glaze (.5 ounce estimate)

-1 label card (3×5 in)
-Craft paper (1 sq. foot estimate)
-Bubble wrap (1 sq. foot estimate)
-Twine (1 foot estimate)
-1 cardboard box (6x6x6 in)

Off The Shelf / One Store

Our assignment was to go to a store (any store) and buy supplies to make something (anything) using at least 5 parts with SKUs. There were a couple other rules like not cutting or breaking any piece and only taking things apart by disassembly.

I went to Ikea and came home with this:


I was mostly looking for parts that were inexpensive so I could buy a lot of them. Almost any object can become beautiful and geometric if you make it into a large enough group.

So I made a mid-century modern inspired clock.


I bought and took apart a very boring clock to use the mechanism. The larger piece behind is created from 16 plastic shelf brackets that were 50 cents each.

I attached them together by threading them onto a couple zip ties. I stuck an anchor onto the back of the clock mechanism and used another zip tie. This piece is then pulled through the middle of the brackets and used to hang on a nail.

I love how this came out. I really like the geometry that is created by the shelves resting on each other. If I were to keep it on the wall, I think I’d paint it a nice yellow. The total cost was about 10 dollars.

LETHE – Video and Sound Final

So here’s a post that I guess I never got around to putting up – my team’s video and sound final from the first half of fall semester! That seems like such a long time ago….

We decided that we wanted to do a film noir-styled short film. When we starting throwing around plot ideas and Adam wrote most of the story, we realized that we had way too much content for a < 5 minute film. So we decided to film it as a trailer to our movie that doesn’t exist – yet. Anyway, here it is:


LETHE The Trailer Web from Adam Quinn on Vimeo.

8 Ties: Interactive Exhibit Research


For Spatial Media we were asked to find a temporary interactive exhibit that was created for an event and critique it. I had a tough time finding examples of temporary exhibits, but eventually I came across “8 ties” for Hermès. It was created for an event in Milan and has now traveled to a few other locations. I haven’t seen this installation in person, but I found some videos online.



The theme of the collection is very digital, referencing many aspects of computer culture and data. The ties’ patterns use iconography like the power button and the recycle symbol, as well as binary among others. The site is much nicer than that video above:

The visuals, drawn from the patterns of the tie collection, are stunning. They are the highlight of the main attraction – the large video wall which I can only assume was a projection. What’s unclear is whether or not the visuals respond to the user. When you watch the video, you can’t really tell if the graphics are moving on their own or as a reaction to the user waving around kinect-style. The audience, who appear to be professionals in the fashion industry, don’t appear to understand either.

I definitely recommend the website. It’s visually very attractive and has some awesome glitchy audio and video. But from the videos online, it looks like the translation to a large screen exhibit may have fallen a bit flat. I think user interaction could have been made much stronger, for example, showing some sparks or something where the user’s hand is detected, or a more clear correlation between movement of the user and movement of the graphics.

DigiFab Research: SkecthUp


What is SketchUp?

SketchUp is a 3d modeling program that became popular while it was owned by Google. It is often used for architecture and interior design, though it can also be used for smaller product design as well.


SketchUp was first created by Last Software and released in 2000. I first heard about it (and I think a lot of people as well) after Google bought the company in 2006. They released a few more versions of it before selling to Trimble last year (2012).


2 versions are available: Free for home and personal use, and Pro for, well, Pros. The Pro version is $495.00, though Students can buy a pro license is $50.00 but it cannot be used for commercial work under their terms of service.


SketchUp is fairly straightforward to use as far as 3d modeling programs go. The controls are pretty sparse in the free version, though I’m not sure how that compares with the Pro edition. Drawing and extruding are pretty intuitive. There also seem to be many tutorials online.

3d Warehouse

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 7.00.51 PM One of the most interesting aspects of SketchUp is the integration with Google’s 3d Warehouse, which is a community-driven online collection of models that can be downloaded and used in your projects. The warehouse is accessed within SketchUp by going to Window > Components. You can search for objects there and if you’d like, you can contribute objects as well for others to use.


SketchUp is extensible through ruby scripts. These add functionality like additional drawing tools, export options (such as exporting to GCode for 3d printing), etc. The landing page is here though you will probably have better luck just googling for what you need directly.


All in all, SketchUp seems like a good tool to have around. It’s free, its pretty simple to use, and seems to be used quite a bit in certain industries. The only other 3d modeling program I have a good deal of experience in is Blender. In comparison, SketchUp seems simpler, but maybe not quite as powerful.


Spacebrew Constellations

For our second assignment, we needed to port an existing project over to using spacebrew. Last semester in ICM, I made a hand-tracking app that you could use to draw constellations. It was a bit hacked together using oscP5 to send the kinect data to the rendering sketch. So I hooked them together using spacebrew instead. It worked well, and was fairly quick to set up and get working… except for my errors in publishing the data. It was good practice in debugging, however, when there isn’t complete documentation and google doesn’t help. Found the bug, squashed it, and the result was beautiful.

spacebrew constellations from brett peterson on Vimeo.