Strip Folding Font

by Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine, 2017

Download SVG:

These fonts are inspired by our theorem with Nadia Benbernou and Anna Lubiw that a unit-width strip of paper can fold universally into any grid polyhedron (made up of unit cubes) using grid-aligned orthogonal and diagonal creases. To design the font, we folded each letter of the alphabet from a strip with grid-aligned orthogonal and diagonal folds, in such a way that the letters can be chained together so that entire texts can be folded from a single strip. The theorem and font are described in our paper, “Universal Hinge Patterns for Folding Strips Efficiently into Any Grid Polyhedron”.

The unfolded strip with crease pattern (shown on top, with scrollbar) serves as a puzzle font. Simply fold the crease pattern to discover the secret message! The folded form (shown on bottom) is the readable form of the font. Be sure to try multiple lines of text! Then, for fun, you can turn on Mirror successive lines of text (which is actually a more “natural” form of the font).

You can also play with the lighting of the paper. By default, you see fully opaque paper with medium drop shadows. You can adjust the shadow darkness for a more dramatic effect. Or you can turn off the shadows and turn down the paper opacity, for a more transparent look. Turn on the backlight to simulate a bright light from behind the paper, highlighting the deviation in layers.

These fonts were designed using our custom Strip Folding Designer webapp. Try making your own letters! (Or use the simplified designer which does not distinguish letters from chain connections.) You can play with our font designs here: •

Related fonts include Peter Grabarchuk's Origami Strip Alphabet (presented as a puzzle without solutions), Julie Ferrieux's pleated strip folding font, makingDigital's origami making font, why.h's strip folding font.

Check out other mathematical and puzzle fonts. • Feedback or not working? Email Erik. • Source code on GitHub.