still from saver screensson




saver screensson’ by siggi eggertsson and developer hjalti jakobsson is a screensaver for mac OS X that works by randomly choosing stencil images in a random color and continuously stacks them together, generating new artwork. eggertsson drew 340 different stencil images for the project that are remixed in 19 different color palettes.


siggi told designboom more about the project…



designboom: how did the project come about?


siggi eggertsson: me and hjalti had been wanting to work together on something fun for a long time. one day I was playing around with geometric stencil images and stacked them on top of each other so it created this strange and colourful pattern. next I tried animating it by continuously sliding the images on top of each other and it created this soothing effect. I showed it to hjalti and we decided to make something from it. that something ended up being a screensaver.





DB: how long did it take and what tools did you use?


SE: it probably took us around 2 years to finish it with some long breaks. I drew all 340 images in illustrator and exported them as SVG files so they are very small files and scale perfectly for every screen resolution. then hjalti did some programming magic in objective-c and saver screensson was born.






DB: which themes and techniques from your previous work are evident in this new work?


SE: my work is always structured around geometric shapes so saver is a continuation of that. most of the images and patterns I drew were new but there are also a few that reference some of my older work.






DB: what was the main inspiration for the project and eventual outcome?


SE: there was no real inspiration. we just wanted to work on something new and exciting. it was fun most of the time and I’m very happy with the outcome. it’s the first time I’ve done something with programming and it really opened my eyes for future projects in this direction. more fun things coming soon!





DB: what were some of the biggest challenges in achieving the end result?


SE: not having a real deadline and being a bit of a perfectionist. at first the screensaver only had different 50 images, which I thought was pretty good, but then I decided that 100 images would be even better, then went up to 200 and finally stopped at 340. I could have continued but having the screensaver 95% complete on my computer and not being able to share it with others was driving me a bit crazy so I had to say stop.





DB: which aspect for the project has given you the most satisfaction?


SE: normally I’m very much in control of how my work looks but with this project everything is randomised, and that is a lot more fun than I could have imagined. having the computer composite images that I could have made, but didn’t. we tried to calculate how many possible image compositions saver screensson could make and ended up with the number 19 nonillion, which kind of justifies the 2 years that went into the project.





DB: what made you opt to use a ‘pay what you want’ system?


SE: it was mainly curiosity, recently I’ve been buying games and other things online that use this model and wanted to see how / if it would work. I also didn’t know if there would be any interest in a screensaver anymore or if anyone would pay for such a thing so I decided to keep it open and let people decide what it was worth. so far the results have been good and I’m kind of blown away how generous many buyers have been.






download the ‘saver screensson’