About a year ago, I finished coding a randomization plugin for Adobe Illustrator called Randomill. What this plugin allows users to do is to randomize various properties of a group of objects in Illustrator. For example, if you had a group of squares, you could easily randomize their colors to generate a colorful grid. This poster series is a demonstration of what can be accomplished with this plugin.
The first poster in the series was created using nothing but circles. Using Illustrator’s blend tool, hundreds of co-centric circles can easily be created. By then randomizing their fill colors from a group of 5 different linear gradients, I was able to create a shiny, colorful, and metallic effect. All that was left from there was to create a couple of duplicates of this group of circles and position them in three different areas in the frame. On top of everything, a colorful gradient fill set it to the ‘Screen’ blend mode gives it that final, lightened look.
The above poster harnesses staggered hexagonal grids with randomized fill colors, stroke widths, stroke colors, blend modes, and transparencies to achieve its look.
Continuously offset hexagonal grids with successively lowered opacities can produce the above look and feel. Randomizing fill color and opacity within narrow constraints can add some variety to the image and prevent too much monotony.
Horizontally scaling an overlapping grid of rectangles and randomly applying a fill color from a set of 5 gradients to each rectangle can produce the above effect. This YouTube tutorial shows how this can be done. The crucial step is to have a top layer with a 5-step linear gradient set to the ‘exclusion’ or ‘difference’ blend mode to achieve those vertical bands of color throughout the entire poster.
The above design can be created by randomizing the vertical scale of a row of bars. There are about 10 layers of bars, with each lower layer getting progressively darker and taller. The whole group can then be mirrored vertically to produce this narrow, bright band of light in the center.
By randomly changing the fill color, outline weight, scale, position, blend mode, and opacity, something like the above design can be achieved relatively quickly. I’ve actually made a YouTube tutorial on how to make something very similar to this design.
Hundreds of circles of randomized scales scattered throughout the poster at varying hues and shades to convey a sense of layering and depth will take you most of the way there in this case. The central triangular shapes are made using Illustrator’s blend tool.
A grid of squares within a grid of squares makes up the basis of the above design. Each chunk of the grid has sequentially smaller squares that all are centered around one corner. Using a variety of metallic silvery gradients as fill colors randomly applied to the squares can achieve the shading style.
Clearly, randomization can be a power force and tool when it comes to digital art, and especially useful as a tool in creating more generative designs such as this poster series. Absolutely essential to the creation of the process was the Randomill plugin, which you can learn more about on the Randomill website. Feel free to check out this project on Behance as well.