Puzzling Typography A Sequel: Mazes with Tessellating Letters

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Available from Amazon.

From the Introduction:

Puzzling Typography: Mazes with Letter Tessellations began as a challenge: were there enough ways to tessellate letters to complete a decent maze book? By its completion not only had I found so many patterns that decisions were needed about which to exclude, but also I was confident that a sequel was possible.

Some of the shapes used in this sequel were used in the original Puzzling Typography. Here they are arranged in different ways. Sometimes the differences are subtle (for example, compare pages 56 and 57). Overall the new patterns are as visually appealing as those used earlier. The letter L is the most fertile of letters when it comes to tessellation patterns; to the nine pages of the original, this sequel adds a dozen more. Although these two books may contain the largest available collection of alphabet tessellations, there are undoubtedly many attractive shapes and patterns that I did not discover.

Two typeface families composed completely of letter shapes that tessellate are byproducts of these two books. Although it is quite distracting to read words written in a jazzy script of this sort, it is even more distracting when the letters do not have counters (interiors). I know of no real use for these typefaces except in a book like this, so here they are.

The mazes in this book were generated using several computer programs that I wrote more than a decade ago. The programs generate a maze as a matrix of numbers that they then convert to an array of characters. Converted to characters, the mazes can be printed using special typefaces.

All of the ways that these computer programs use to generate mazes begin with a grid of squares, triangles, or hexagons. Sometimes tessellation patterns do not fit neatly into these grids. There are a couple of ways to adapt these patterns to work with my computer-generated mazes. When the repeating unit contains more than four shapes, some of the shapes can be grouped together and treated as a cell. Other patterns can be rotated and/or skewed to fit the grid. A weakness of skewing is that horizontal and vertical elements are affected differently, and for some patterns the individual elements are no longer identical. If you examine the patterns carefully, you may find some instances of this kind of distortion.

I hope you enjoy working the mazes in this sequel as much as I enjoyed creating them. I apologize for any errors that remain.

Robert Schenk
October 2012

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