Python for Visual Designers
Designers use tools to help us get our work done, but we rarely consider how much these tools can box us into certain processes and solutions in our work. Creating our own tools can lead us down new and unexpected avenues in our designs: some of the best visual ideas can come about by setting up some boundaries — a color palette, a typeface or two — and then running wild within the system. And working out a system in code is a great way to explore these ideas: computers love repetition and can quickly make hundreds of variations on a theme, and mistakes in the code can result in something that often looks better than what was originally intended.
No programming experience is necessary for this course, but students should be comfortable doing some arithmetic and basic geometry. Workshop participants will learn the basics of the Python programming language while working in the free DrawBot application for MacOS. A quick sketch made with code in DrawBot can be saved as a .pdf as a starting point to be finished later in Illustrator, or, with a little bit more work in the code editor, an entire book, magazine or animation can be built without even launching Illustrator or InDesign.
Using the fundamentals of the Python programming language, students will sketch to create vector art with code and use the basic principles of design to turn their sketches into PDF documents, animated .gifs and videos.
- A Mac running OS 10.9 (Mavericks) or later
- A fast enough internet connection for video calls
- This class will be held online, so using the Zoom desktop app is recommended
Registration for this class will open on January 3, 2024. Please join our mailing list to get updates and announcements about classes and lectures.
Class size will be limited to 16 students to ensure there's plenty of individual feedback.
About Maurice Meilleur
Maurice Meilleur is a recovering political theorist turned graphic designer and design researcher and writer. He completed a PhD in political theory from Indiana University Bloomington in 2004, and earned his MFA in graphic design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015. He’s an assistant professor of graphic design at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he teaches and studies typography and generative design. He has contributed numerous type and book reviews to Typographica and Fonts in Use. He’s writing a book on Jurriaan Schrofer’s constructed scripts, and he’s presented his research at Robothon, ATypI, TypeCon, the Cooper Union, and the Letterform Archive. Maurice explores digital drawing and animation using Python and Drawbot as part of a larger investigation into typographic representation and algorithmically-defined formal systems.