In the fall of 2019, I was positively obsessed with secret codes and ciphers. You can read more about that in another project here: Obscured Data.
A few years later, in the summer of 2021—when Ivan and I had just moved into a new home in Denver and were trying to think of art to put on our very empty walls—the obsession revived.
A humongous wall tapestry was the dream. But wouldn’t it be cooler if it had some meaning to it? And wouldn’t it be even cooler if that wasn’t super obvious?—if it just looked like some abstract design but actually held an encoded message?
I needed something to quickly prototype possibilities, and a little webapp emerged.
Play with the real thing here: Trinary.
You can learn more by clicking the little “about” text at the bottom left of the site, but the gist is: this turns numbers into letters (based on simple A=1 → Z=26 substitution), then uses 3 colors (white included) to represent those numbers in their trinary form. (“Ternary” is perhaps the more accepted term, but I like the sound of “trinary” better.)
Fun features that I’ll probably never get to:
Some fun words and their shapes:
As of this writing, there is still no wall tapestry, but I have made these cement coasters: