I've always been trying to look for the name of a specific art style that consists of many lines traversing in a grid, like in a taxicab geometry. An example would be this picture, an image from a flash game called "Traitor":

Image from flash game "Traitor"

It is a distinct art style which I've seen it popped up in different places, so I'm sure there's a name to it. I've tried to find it by keywords like "fractal art", but no luck.

  • Looks like a cheesy photoshop filter.
    – DA01
    Commented Apr 20, 2014 at 6:26

2 Answers 2


For me it is variation of pixel art combined with vectorizing which is possible on modern machines.

Someone called this style as "pixel-meets-vector", however I am not sure that this type of art has individual name. You can see that the pictures are made of small squares and this is the permanent feature of pixel art. Again, probably it is original pixel art development.

As we can clearly see, the smallest picture element is a small square cell which has no fill, but just outline. Second, we clearly see, that this square outline is the ONLY graphic element used to create the whole artwork: there are no triangle, uneven rectangles or circles. There are square cells only with varying color overlays.

As stated, we have clearly see that the picture is built by small square cells - picture cells, which is exact meaning of the word pixel (PICture CELL).

Thus, we can state that this picture is highly suggestive to be part of Pixel Art variety.

  • However, I've also seen some instances where it's used to generate random-looking patterns (like Life), and sometimes is even "evolving" in an animated way, i.e an animation of it. So I'd say it's definitely not just pixel art. (And it'd be impossible to do its animation by means of pixel art, I think.)
    – user21516
    Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 16:10
  • I mean that it is modern simulation of pixel art and not pixel art itself...
    – Ilan
    Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 16:22

I'm not sure if this "style" has any specific name — it's really just a simple Photoshop / GIMP / etc. effect. Here, let me recreate the image in the GIMP for you:

  1. I'll start with the Newgrounds logo, scaled to 640 pixels wide to match your example image (click to enlarge):

    Step 1: Newgrounds logo, scaled to 640 x 528 pixels

  2. Next, I add some multiplicative noise by creating a new layer, filling it with grayscale noise and setting its blending mode to "multiply":

    Step 2: Add multiplicative noise

  3. The I merge the layers and pixelize the result. I used 4 × 4 pixels here, whereas your image probably had 3 × 3 pixels, but it doesn't make much difference:

    Step 3: Pixelize

  4. Then, I applied an edge-detection filter (FiltersEdge-DetectEdge..., "Gradient" algorithm, amount 1.0):

    Step 4: Gradient edge detection

  5. Finally, I inverted the colors (ColorsHue-Saturation..., adjust master hue by 180) to match your image:

    Step 5: Invert hue

  • "pixelize the result" creating pixel art... Quod erat demonstrahdum! It does not matter HOW do you create an art, for style definition the END result is important... You described the WAY the pixel art can be created. Great and up!
    – Ilan
    Commented Apr 20, 2014 at 7:33

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