Style Guide

When creating Thornograms, I follow certain guidelines to ensure quality and consistency. These rules may be disregarded just the same, but for those interested in my personal process, here are the fundamental rules I follow when crafting my pieces.

Genesis precept:

When beginning a design or freestanding sub-element, always start with a circle. This focal point, or "bud," anchors every Thornogram and although it may not always lay at the exact center, it acts as a starting point and often influences the final form of the Thornogram with its first few protrusions.

Sprout dictum:

All spines added to a design must begin and end on two distinct surfaces. With the exception of spines originating from the bud, one curve cannot hold both endpoints of the same protrusion. This creates the organic, branching nature of the Thornogram, and allows for a near-infinite number of sprouts to be made, branching out from each intersection.

Also to be considered are these additional, more flexible guidelines. While the ones above are essential to the style, these are less so, often coming with situational or stylistic exceptions.

  1. Branch contact: As a general rule, independent branches should not touch each other. Tendrils are to retain a distinct, if slight, separation from one another so as to visually break up the design.

  2. Directional consistency: Spines should trail in a natural, flowing pattern, at least somewhat parallel to those around them. Spines that sharply contradict the flow of the design should be minimized.

  3. Spacial redefinition: Segments/tendrils established to be independant should not be merged later to retroactively incorporate the negative space between them into the design.

This design violently breaks the directional consistency rule. The lower portion of this Thornogram features many contradicting spines, contributing to the chaos of the peace.