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Stitchy Identicons

Identicons are those little icons that are used in forums and blogs to visually identify the persons posting in a discussion thread.

There are services such as Gravatar that allow you to use your own icon across websites, and some sites use a generative process to create identicons for those who don't have one.

Periodic Table of Stitchies

Some time ago I designed generative identicons called stitchies, that combine high information density with the simplistic beauty of hungarian cross-stitch patterns. So here are a couple of stitchies generated from the periodic table of elements:

Periodic Table of Stitchies

Create your own Stitchie

If every chemical element can have its own stitchy, so can you. Just enter a unique id (such as your email address) into this processing sketch. Your email address is automagically turned into a very much unique pattern — your personal stitchy identicon.

Stitchies for the Win

Generative identicons usually have a colorful geek chic, which can almost compete with that of rotating GIFs from the glorious days of the early web.

However their anarchic wild-wild-web style does not go along nicely with websites that follow the cult of the Web 2.0, and that's pretty much every professional website these days.

That's where stitchies come to the rescue:

  • Unlike other icons, stitchies can easily be color-adjusted to match the design of any website.
  • Stitchies work perfectly at even the smallest scale, unlike user photos which often become indiscernible when too small, or distract you from the text when too large.
  • Stitchies are essentially two-color QR-codes optimized for the the human brain by taking principles of symmetry and heraldry into account.

Stitchy Plugin for Dokuwiki

I created a stitchy plugin for dokuwiki — the wiki software that powers this very blog and the k2g2 craftopedia — but I haven't found the time to publish the code, so if anyone is interested, please let me know. It's plain PHP, so it can easily be turned into a Wordpress plugin.


Joseph KnechtJoseph Knecht, 2012/09/24 17:42
When you enter a comment the Dokuwiki-Plugin creates an md5 hash from your email, and turns it into your personal identicon :-)
Martin SchneiderMartin Schneider, 2012/09/24 17:45
Let's see what my identicon looks like ...
AnonymousAnonymous, 2013/09/07 12:17
Testing the system ...
Leun KimLeun Kim, 2013/10/11 05:12
Let's see
Crawford ComeauxCrawford Comeaux, 2014/04/07 05:18
Well this is just awesome...
testina testicletestina testicle, 2015/05/18 11:16
Test the test
sonnysonny, 2018/08/06 08:23
Would love to see the PHP code for stitchy and your other identicons !
Enter your comment:
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blog/bit.craft/stitchy_identicons.1348507168.txt.gz · Last modified: 2012/09/24 17:19 by magisterludi
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