York University / Sheridan College

Generative typographic system and application based on hexadecimal colour information from a webcam


  • Data Visualisation
  • Generative Typography


  • Processing
  • Adobe Illustrator

Time Frame

  • 5 Weeks


HexLingua is a project that re-imagines the digital representation of colour as a generative typographic system. By taking the binary information of hex colour codes from a webcam, the application creates these abstract forms, allowing the user to easily see subtle variations in colour that might not otherwise be perceptible to the human eye

How it works

HexLingua takes hexadecimal colour information from a user defined sample area of pixels on their screen (being fed through the computer’s webcam) to create an averaged colour value. Each of the 6 characters in the hex colour value represent 4 binary bits, with different values representing which bits, or toggles, are “on”, with 16 possibilities (0 to 8 and A to F). These bits are arranged into 3 columns, aligning to the red (first two values), green (second two values), and blue (last two values) channels of the averaged hex colour. When the bits associated with a given character are “on”, they look for any adjecent “on” bits and draw a connection to them, thus creating the typographic forms you see to the left and below.