The joys of childhood are too easily forgotten. Paper Planes is a generative art collection celebrating the joy and magic of origami: from the simplest materials spring delightful forms brimming with ingenuity.
In homage to the handicraft of paper folding, we developed a collection of four pens each with a unique hand-drawn feel: Ink, Pencil, Gel and Dip. They ensure each of our ten origami birds are sketched with subtle imperfections.
Many of the birds are folded from patterned paper based on three traditional Japanese patterns: Seigaiha, Kōjitsunagi and Shippō. Other birds are crafted from block coloured paper which provides pop and contrast whilst sometimes birds match their background, accentuating the hand-drawn strokes that sketched them.
A range of layouts bring each mint to life. Birds can flock and fly across the page. They can be confined to a regimented grid or they can escape and embrace the chaos of the currents. Contrasting frames and borders highlight different colours within each of the 15 handcrafted palettes.
If you're feeling mischievous you can press 'C' in live view to ruffle some feathers…
In live view, press 'S' to save a high resolution download or add '&size=#' to the end of the URL to render at a custom height.
There are ten species of birds in the aviary: Doves, Lapwings, Parakeets, Redshanks, Hummingbirds, Chonks, Chaffinches, Grouse, Warblers and Cranes. Each mint features a random selection with a variety of different sizes possible. Occasionally, birds fly alone or together in pairs.
We felt it was important to retain the handcrafted feel of origami so set about developing four custom pen types, each with their own unique character and imperfections: Ink, Pencil, Gel and Dip.
Origami is often made from beautiful patterned paper so we created three generative patterns based on traditional Japanese patterns. Seigaiha means 'blue sea and waves' and is a motif that first appeared in the 6th century, it consists of overlapping concentric circles which imitate waves. Kōjitsunagi is made up of infinitely interlocking kō characters. Shippo or 'seven treasures' also consists of overlapping circles but this time they are spaced in such a way as to form petals with a star at the centre. The remaining mints will be crafted from coloured paper or will see the birds match their background, bringing the hand-drawn strokes that sketched them to the fore.
Position and packing gives each mint a different sense of motion. There are four master layouts for the birds: Grid, Formation, Congregation and Orbit. Within each of those layouts there is significant variety. Birds can be trapped by the frame or free to soar. They can exist alone or in flocks of over a hundred.
Framing can transform the feel of a piece. Each palette has four possible border colours: Light, Dark, Complementary or Matching. A frame outline is often sketched using the same pen type that was used on the birds in the mint. There are five different generative textures for the background canvas: Chequerboard, Carpet, Curtain, Tile and Truchet.
We couldn't resist a nod to Luminaries – our previous collection on fxhash. There's a chance that the background of your mint will feature the sun, a half moon or a crescent moon drawn with the same pen as your birds.
Palettes are named according to the plumage of various birds: Merlin, Violet Green Swallow, Galah, Blue Capped Rock Thrush, Splendid Fairywren, Blackbird, Common Rosefinch, Great Barbet, Scarlet Macaw, Kingfisher, Golden Pheasant, Lilac Breasted Roller, Ring Necked Parakeet, Wire Tailed Swallow and Black Rumped Flameback.