Explorative font design using fundamental parametric methods

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This work deals with simple algorithmic methods that provide an easy approach to the parametric operations of Grasshopper. Using a very simple font as a base, process flows were created and individual tools were examined for their aesthetic potential. All the manipulations began with the extraction of point coordinates from the base font. They were subsequently used for producing new geometry with the following methods: Examples correspond to the arrangement of the work, see Appendix 1. Examples not discussed use the same methods with different parameters and / or combinations of several methods.

Example 1 The base curve is divided into sections of predetermined length. Starting at each segment’s beginning, a line is extruded along the local tangent. Each line’s endpoint is, in turn, used for the positioning of a cross and a circle.

Example 2 Overlapping circles are placed at the division coordinates of the base font and combined via Boolean operations. The obtained curves are reduced and straightened by an adjustable amount of points.

Example 3 Charge carriers are placed at the division coordinates of the subdivided base font. Then isopotential field lines are calculated for four different strengths of charge

Example 7 The base font is superimposed with a radial grid of variable size. For each point of the base font, the closest point on the grid is determined, and a curve is built using the new coordinates.

Example 13 The subdivided base font’s point coordinates are transferred to a square grid. The obtained coordinates are examined for their proximity to each other, and points are connected to two neighboring points as long they are within an adjustable minimum and maximum range.

Example 16 The subdivided base font’s point coordinates are fed into the calculation of a Voronoi diagram. Voronoi diagrams calculate the region around each point (called seed) of a set of points that is closer to the seed than the rest of the point set. The regions are called Voronoi cells.

Example 21 In his example, Voronoi diagrams are superposed several times. The generated geometry is stored in lists. Since curves between two points are straight lines (and thus get stored as “line-like curve”) and curves toward the empty surrounding are rounded (“arc-like curve” and “circular curve”), the curves around the outer corner of the diagram can be extracted using a lexical function (“find all records without the text string ‘line’ ”).