Working on a random project at work today I started to think about guilloché patterns. For those who aren’t familiar, guilloché is “a technique of engine turning, called guilloché in French after the French engineer “Guillot”, who invented a machine “that could scratch fine patterns and designs on metallic surfaces”. You’ve most likely seen the patterns on money before, which is used for decoration (and to hide security features).
I found two good sources for guilloché goodness. The first is this post over on the Ministry of Type, which was the first place I ever saw the word guilloché along with an in-depth explanation of how it’s done. You can also see how he applied this knowledge to this feature in Wired magazine, which turned out so dang well.
The other thing I came across was a guilloche pattern generator, which is actually way too fun. As you can see from the image above you can create some really awesome looking images with little to no effort. You kind of feel like you’re on drugs while you’re trying it though, you’ve been warned.