— sarah makes a blog

printing code

My color assignment & Alessandra and my final project mt’d at 19:00.

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 8.54.19 PM

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My printing code instructor, Rune Madsen, showed some of my & my classmate’s work during Heroku’s WAZA conference last week. Avid tweeter @judytuna posted some grand photos of Rune presenting, and Rune posted his full slideshow hereBEOZOqYCcAEoDDz BEObAevCAAElt4K

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My Printing Code instructor, Rune Madsen, will be featuring 3 of my pieces at the WAZA conference this week. Excited to be featured at an event celebrating craft & code! Documentation to follow.


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Finally brushing the winter frost off my hard drive to post documentation of all the work I did in printing code last semester. Fantastic documentation/inspiration/information posted on my instructor’s website:  Rune Madsen dot com. Git of my project avail here.

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Final Printing Code project in collaboration with Alessandra Villaamil. Each image is generative and was created in Processing. The forms, placement of numbers inside shapes, and language type vary each time. The colors are selected on demand.

The concept of the project was to re-imagine the way NASA makes announcements for new discoveries & advancements. More specifically, we wanted to create a poster regarding the findings in the sediment on Mars, a discovery that turned out to be “blown out of proportion” according to the internet.


There are 22 languages programmed into the system, and 2 are selected at random each time the Processing sketch is run. We programmed this feature because we disliked a lot of the news coverage language that made the landing of the Mars ROVER sound only like an important accomplishment for the U.S., not the rest of the world as well.SEDIMENT - NASA (4)

The colors are taken from samples of NASA images of Mars & the Rover.

Logo development


Developing the images in Processing

The numbers inside shapes represent the date December 21, 2012: the end of the Mayan calendar. We knew the announcement would be made while we were working on the project, so we decided to pick this date as commentary on another historical monument misrepresented in media. Although the Mayan calendar does not contain dates past 12/21/12, its end does not represent the end of the world, but the restart of a new cycle on the calendar. SEDIMENT - NASA (9)

A few versions of the final images we printed.

sedimentmars_bluered1544 copy sedimentmars_bluered1543 copy sedimentmars_bluered1548 copy sedimentmars_blueyellow1446 copy sedimentmars_blueyellowgreen1523 copy

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I’m working with Allie on our printing code final to create a series of posters to accompany NASA’s announcement about a discovery in the soil on Mars. I was inspired by this series of of cards from the National Travel Bureau, and would love to incorporate epic yet subtle text the way they do.

We want the visuals (and perhaps the text) to be generative and abstract, exploring textures & repeating patterns. Allie pulled quite a few beautiful images to inspire us:

We plan use the ToxicLibs library as well as sample colors from images on nasa.gov. We also love the idea of manually manipulating our code-generated imagery manually, like this photocopy experiment (by Allie’s brother!).

We love the combination of abstract imagery, text & handwriting in this poster. It also got us thinking about translating our text into different languages. A lot of American news channels describe NASA’s advancements as “important developments for America” when they are really important developments for humankind, just as exploration & research via ocean sail ships was centuries ago.

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Our assignment this week was to recreate [or make a new poster inspired by] one of these famous Olivetti posters by Giovanni Pintori. I liked the posters that included photography, so I decided to include one of my own photos.

It was difficult to ignore the effects of Hurricane Sandy in NYC & beyond this past 2 weeks. Nature’s power can be an extreme wakeup call that reminds us how we’re on a rock floating in space. Nature can also be so serene it’s almost surreal. I get the latter feeling from a shot I took at a lake outside of Seattle, WA, which just so happens to have the bluest water I’ve ever laid eyes on. I may have spent more time reminiscing about that place and ogling the photo than I did on the code, but I think I found a controlled, random set of shapes that strengthened the composition of the photograph.

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Built & utilized a modular grid to design a poster for Printing Code this week. A bit more proud of the code than the visuals, as I spent more time on the prior. I’m hoping to upgrade this sketch to include multi-directional arrows as well as integrate themes from the Geomerative library. Code available here.

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