HP have come up with a truly exciting innovation for designers; an Adobe Illustrator plugin which allows you to randomise certain elements of your design – providing an almost infinite number of possibilities. It also means you could create a series of posters, beer bottles, or other item of packaging where every single version was unique. That just wouldn’t have been possible in the days of traditional offset printing; where the idea of creating a different mould for each version would have been ludicrous! But HP are providing wide ranging facilities to ensure designers can package and send their creations to press.
As a beta-tester for the new HP SmartStream D4D software, I thought about the kind of client who might benefit from this form of unique printing. I arrived at the concept of creating a series of completely unique posters for an art exhibition – where every single poster has similarities, but is different.
Different, but the same…
It’s worth noting these are DESIGNED similarities and DESIGNED differences = that’s where the designer comes in. It’s up to you to carefully plan and pre-configure the output. Which elements need to stay the same? Which elements can change completely randomly? Which elements can change but within a certain threshold?
These are all decisions you’ll need to test, trial and carefully make; but the rewards for doing so are quite exciting. Intentional design, with a pinch of intentional chaos! Just how chaotic you allow certain elements to become is up to you… In the project I created below, you’ll see that some elements, like the background – I let go completely crazy… no limits. Other elements like the horizontal block behind the body text, would work with almost any non-white colour – but couldn’t include patterns or light colours, otherwise the text would be illegible. All covered in the plugin, all customisable.
The software is very powerful and the possibilities are endless. It has the potential to really change the way we think about design…
If you’d like to register in order to try the beta yourself, just visit HP D4D Beta to find out more