Galapagos: Evolutionary Type Design

Galagagos is a generative typeface making tool that uses a generative algorithm to transform existing typefaces into new versions of themselves.  I collaborated with Danne Woo from the Tuesday session of Nature of Code.  This project was created in Processing and borrows heavily from Dan Shiffman’s “Faces” example of genetic evolution.

We used the Geomerative Library to find the vector points along the contours of each individual letter.  From there, we created a number of different “genes” that represented various characteristics of a font that could be altered.  By no means a complete portrait of all the possibilities, we created genes that altered color, alpha levels, width, height, and randomized the x,y locations of the vector points along the letter contours.  The most interesting part for me, was seeing how turning genes on and off in the code can create such diverse changes.

We added a export function that exports the drawing as a pdf.  Since it is a vector file, these drawings can be edited in Illustrator or a font making software to create real, usable (if not legible) typefaces.

We’re hoping to get a working version on the web over the next few months to allow anyone to create their own typefaces.


Image Evolution

For my Nature of Code final I am working with Ann Chen on a way to use a evolutionary and generative program to compare one image to another and using a evolution algorithm we plan to see how many generations it takes for one image to evolve into the other. This system can be used for any image weather it is to compare two dog breeds, human portraits, etc. The system will basically be comparing the color of each pixel and mating and mutating from an original color to the target pixel color. Along with knowing how many generations it would take to evolve from one to the other we also believe that the evolutionary process will be beautiful to watch.

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