Generative design in use

Book publisher, Penguin, on the relaunch of Richard Dawkin’s classic books Climbing Mount ImprobableThe Blind Watchmaker, and Unweaving The Rainbow, came to an interesting question. In their own words:

How do you create fresh covers for books that are already hugely popular?

Their answer was the same that was found by a lot of the cool teams we get to work with: generative design.

At nVoid, we get to create real-time generative media for many permanent installations, events, tours, art pieces, etc, and it’s really cool to see the same principles being adopted and applied to something else. In this case, for the relaunch of Dawkin’s books, Penguin’s team have used algorithms to create a unique cover for every individual printed book. And they look quite snazzy:

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 10.50.52 PM

What’s even cooler than that?

All the algorithms used are variants of ones Dawkin’s wrote himself many years ago to help people visualize different evolutionary biology concepts. It’s kind of the perfect marriage of science and art, where the science was used to build visualizations, then the visualizations were used in an artistic way to demonstrate the process of evolution in the book.

Cherry on top?

Penguin have also released a web version of the tools used to create the covers for Climbing Mount Improbable, and The Blind Watchmaker. You can login, try your hand at evolution, then download a really nice high resolution graph of your evolutionary designs.

Play with it here:


I possess a deep knowledge in many professional fields from creative arts, technology development, to business strategy, having created solutions for Google, Kanye West, Armani, and more. I'm currently Technical Director of zero11zero, and lead the nVoid division. Yo!

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