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A Man of Many Parts



"A man of many parts" is a booklet in which each part of an SVG clipart becomes the constituting element of a pattern.


I broke down an SVG clip art found on In this way I obtained shapes that don't necessarily refer to a figurative image. Then I used python to generate a pattern for each one of these elements.


I spent much time exploring the Open Clip Art archive because I found interesting the simplicity with which these designs can be broken into parts. After a while I realized that I was less interested in the final designs than in their constituting elements. I created patterns as a way to repurpose these abstract shapes.


The code I used is pretty simple: basically I play around with a nested loop.

print """<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 20010904//EN"
<svg xmlns=""
     xmlns:xlink="" xml:space="preserve"
	 width="200px" height="50px"
	 viewBox="0 0 200 50"
	 zoomAndPan="disable" >"""

# vertical amount of elements
veramo = 20

# ydist increases the vertical distance
ydist = 10

for z in range(veramo):
    transf = "transform=\"translate({0},{1})\">".format(0,z*ydist)
    print "<g " + transf

    # horizontal amount of elements
    horamo = 20

    # ydist2 increases the vertical distance
    ydist2 = 10

    # xdist increases the horizontal distance
    xdist2 = 10

    for x in range(horamo):
        transf = "transform=\"translate({0},{1})\"".format(x*xdist,x*ydist2) 
        print "<rect " + transf + """ x="0" y="0" width="10" height="10" fill="black" />

    print "</g>"

print "</svg>"


I had a hard time setting the pages in order to print and fold a booklet. Often I had the temptation to solve the issue in Mac OS, but in the end I stumbled upon this useful tutorial by OSP.