#art / Plus Equals #3.

Another quarter brings the latest issue of Rob Weychert’s fantastic zine. The subject is on creating seamless patterns.

In my design career, I’ve created my share of tile patterns, especially in the early days when the background of pretty much every website was a neo-Warholian eternity of stars or balloons or skulls or whatever. In patterns, as in any other aesthetic endeavor, beauty is not easily formulated or defined. Music theory and the golden ratio notwithstanding, the right brain guards its secrets well. But I’ve found that patterns that stimulate my left brain tend to obey a recognizable principle: the harder the individual tiles are to detect, the better. This often equates to complexity: greater complexity equals greater seamlessness equals greater wonder induced.

Achieving that kind of complexity in tile pattern design has typically evaded me, to say nothing of making it actually look good. But recently I started thinking about how complex, seamless tile patterns could be derived from relatively simple systems, and it wasn’t long before combinatorics entered the fray.

Intriguing from cover-to-cover, especially the gallery of combinations made possible by Rob’s process. The whole issue is beautiful, especially if you’re fortunate to receive the printed edition. What I really want now is a series of desktop images and maybe even the tile set to play with on my own.