December 13, 2017
Variable Data Printing
MuirMcNeil design 8000 unique covers for Eye 94
For the cover of Eye Magazine, no. 94, MuirMcNeil (BA GMD tutors Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir) designed a system to generate 8000 uniquely different typographic compositions using algorithmic methodologies. The covers were printed digitally on an HP Indigo 10000 press at Pureprint using HP ‘Mosaic’, a program that enables variable data printing from vector-based ‘seed’ image files. To make the master seed files, MuirMcNeil produced a series of ten square-format compositions in which the letters of the word ‘eye’ are repeated across a grid of 36×24 units in fixed increments and in three layers, each typeset in a different font of their coordinated TwoPoint and TwoPlus typefaces. These followed consistent progressions of all 76 weights and styles in each of the three layers, which are shifted laterally in distances precisely proportionate to the letter size and spacing. To ensure visual coherence in variability across the entire output, MuirMcNeil defined a systematic set of rules for Mosaic to scale, position and crop sections of each seed file to produce 8000 unique numbered front and back covers.
Eye 94 won the ‘Cover of the Year’ at the 2017 Stack Awards: