Generate beautiful tiling SVG patterns from a string. The string is converted into a SHA and a color and pattern are determined based on the values in the hash. The color is determined by shifting the hue and saturation from a default (or passed in) base color. One of 16 patterns is used (or you can specify one) and the sizing of the pattern elements is also determined by the hash values.

You can use the generated pattern as the background-image for a container. Using the base64 representation of the pattern still results in SVG rendering, so it looks great on retina displays.

See the GitHub Guides site and the Explore section of GitHub are examples of this library in action. Brandon Mills has put together an awesome live preview page that's built on his Javascript port.


Note: as of version 1.4.0, Ruby version 2 or greater is required.

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'geo_pattern'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install geo_pattern


Make a new pattern:

pattern = GeoPattern.generate('Mastering Markdown')

To specify a base background color (with a hue and saturation that adjusts depending on the string):

pattern = GeoPattern.generate('Mastering Markdown', base_color: '#fc0')

To use a specific background color (w/o any hue or saturation adjustments):

pattern = GeoPattern.generate('Mastering Markdown', color: '#fc0')

To use a specific pattern generator:

pattern = GeoPattern.generate('Mastering Markdown', patterns: :sine_waves)

To use a subset of the available patterns:

pattern = GeoPattern.generate('Mastering Markdown', patterns: [:sine_waves, :xes])

Get the SVG string:

puts pattern.to_svg
# => <svg xmlns="" ...

Get the Base64 encoded string:

puts pattern.to_base64
# => PHN2ZyB4bWxucz0iaHR0cDovL3d3dy53My5vcmcvMjAwMC...

You can then use this string to set the background:

<div style="background-image: <%= pattern.to_data_uri %>"></div>

Available patterns

Note: As of version 1.3.0, string references (e.g. overlapping_circles) are deprecated in favor of symbol references (e.g. :overlapping_circles).

















Inspection of pattern

If you want to get some more information about a pattern, please use the following methods.

pattern = GeoPattern.generate('Mastering Markdown', patterns: [:sine_waves, :xes])

# The color of the background in html notation

# The color of the background in svg notation

# The input colors

# The generator

To get more information about the structure of the pattern, please use the following methods:

pattern = GeoPattern.generate('Mastering Markdown', patterns: [:sine_waves, :xes])

# The name of the structure

# The generator of the structure

Rake Support

string = 'Mastering markdown'

require 'geo_pattern/geo_pattern_task'
  name: 'generate',
  description: 'Generate patterns to make them available as fixtures',
  data: {
    'fixtures/generated_patterns/diamonds_with_color.svg'      => { input: string, patterns: [:diamonds], color: '#00ff00' },
    'fixtures/generated_patterns/diamonds_with_base_color.svg' => { input: string, patterns: [:diamonds], base_color: '#00ff00' }


Generate Fixtures

rake fixtures:generate

Run tests

rake test


  1. Fork it ( )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request


Prefix rspec-commandline with RSPEC_PROFILE=1 to output the ten slowest examples of the test suite.

RSPEC_PROFILE=1 bundle exec rspec

Ports & related projects

JavaScript port by Brandon Mills:

Python port by Bryan Veloso:

Elixir port by Anne Johnson:

PHP port by Anand Capur:

Go port by Pravendra Singh:

CoffeeScript port by Aleks (muchweb):

Cocoa port by Matt Faluotico:

Middleman extension by @maxmeyer: