Signwave Auto-Illustrator

Signwave Auto-Illustrator


Vector graphics software for Mac OS X. Presentation format: Demonstration by Gareth Foote (2010).


Auto-Illustrator is a software tool developed by the British programmer and artist Adrian Ward and his company Signwave, for both art circulation and the market.


As the name, interface design and general functions indicate, it is related to the popular and commercially successful Adobe Illustrator. In fact, Auto-Illustrator was conceptualized as a competitive alternative to Adobe Illustrator, but it was also developed as a conceptual artwork to subvert the creative logic of such vector-based graphic programs. In opposition to the familiar and reliable functions in Adobe Illustrator, the functions in Auto-Illustrator are not only strange, bordering on the nonsensical, but also partly uncontrollable. The software tool more or less autonomously generates various effects of surprise and randomness in the design process. So the challenges and possibilities that Auto-Illustrator presents are to develop methods, sensibilities and vocabularies to negotiate the critical question that the use of any software tool poses, of handing over control during the creative act. Auto-Illustrator did not become mainstream, but its humorous and speculative take on graphic design in the age of software tools is still relevant to imagine what effect its use could have on the creative industries.


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