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Fractals: Useful or Just Pretty?

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Jock Cooper


So, I like fractals, always have. Whats worse is that I like the mathematical part too. Yes, nerd here. I have played with fractal generators for hours, probably all up, days. But I have never created something I would consider a piece of Art. I have used Fractals in design work, really helpful for some lightly textured abstract background.


Seed Magazine

The first instance I saw of brilliantly applied fractal in design was a fellow student who used one in some work for a medical imaging company. It was perfect. I have yet to make up my mind on this one. See what you think.

'Serpentes' Alan Beck



"Chou Romanesco" cauliflower - natural fractals


“The connection between mathematics and art goes back thousands of years. Mathematics has been used in the design of Gothic cathedrals, Rose windows, oriental rugs, mosaics and tilings. Geometric forms were fundamental to the cubists and many abstract expressionists, and award-winning sculptors have used topology as the basis for their pieces. Dutch artist M.C. Escher represented infinity, Möbius bands, tessellations, deformations, reflections, Platonic solids, spirals, symmetry, and the hyperbolic plane in his works.”

Jaguar Sessions event invitation - Thiago Ventura of 'AG407'

I’m not sure if these count as fractals, in fact I’m pretty sure they arent, but they are really fun anyway and sort of fractali-ish

Fractal Business Cards

Now, I’m not suggesting that the design on this card is brilliant, I am showing as an example of the commoness of fractals in modern design. What I have chosen not to show are the myriad of brilliant art/design works which use fractals as a base. They are brilliant and used in all sorts of advertising, but everyone else has blogged them by the bucketload, so I will leave them alone.

This site (yes it is IBM) has a great section on fractals and an article on one of the more famous of the fathers of fractals Benoit Mandlebrot

For a brilliant talk by the man himself and to gain a better understanding of fractals from a base level we thank TED.

And for those who want a mathematics lesson or for those who want to look at pretty fractals with the volume down:

About Penny

Artist, Graphic Designer, Book nerd, Web Designer, Back seat computer nerd

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