Repper is a free online tool that creates kaleidoscopic tiled images. It allows you to interactively generate a tiled image from a rectangular or triangular section of an input image. You can upload your own image and generate a tileable image fragment. Unlike the tiling provided by say the Windows desktop, every additional tile is mirrored compared to the adjacent tile. This makes the end result usable as a graphic pattern. Recognizable objects like faces or text will, however, partly be repeated upside down and mirrored.

Repper is by studio:ludens, a design site run by two young Dutch industrial designers.  Although you retain the copyright to your own images (you did own the copyright, right?), the tileable fragment becomes public domain (under the Creative Commons license) and a copy of the tile is saved at the Repper web site. This has benefits: it can inspire other users, but you can also link to the copy on Repper’s web site in your own web pages. This saves having to figure out how to upload a copy of the file to another online server.


I selected an abstract image with a natural color palette as a test: it is a weird pattern in a 16th century stone church pillar.

Church pillar in Naarden
Church pillar in Naarden

And here are some patterns created from the above image using Repper:

Pattern #1
Light bulbs? Christmas tree ornaments?
Pattern #2
Under the electron microscope?


Pattern #3

pattern_B6BE3049-EEBE-2C52-436F-43E3CA7BF77E Uncle Albert's vest

Pattern #4

pattern_685D719D-E982-73C5-7974-43EB4F1185A8 <<<:-:>>>


Although you can undoubtedly do the same with Photoshop, Repper is easy to use: you immediately see the results of selecting different parts of your original image or of changing the dimensions of the area being copied. The site also allows you to see what others have created (but not their input images) or to play with example images instead of your own.


Repper may be worth checking out – even if you don’t need it – just for fun. Typical applications are:

  • background images of web sites (the web site generates the line of HTML code to add the pattern)
  • “social profiles”, a more trendy equivalent of the previous one (Twitter, Windows Live Spaces, Hyves)
  • the desktop on your monitor (select the tiling option)
  • background of printed material like posters or pamphlets

If nothing else, Repper can teach you how much humans value symmetry.

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