Anatomy of an unsig

Core concepts

Because unsigned_algorithms is a study of color, the importance of the geometrical forms could be considered secondary. The forms can be seen as a means to an end; a structure must exist in which color can occur. Focusing on the forms is occasionally seen as missing the point of the project, but it’s impossible to escape the fact that the structure is in itself remarkable.

Terminology is an ever-evolving thing within the unsig community, likely because there are so many was to conceptualize unsigs. The terms below are those used throughout this site.

ParameterEach unsig is made up of four basic parameters: Color, Distribution, Rotation, Multiplier
PropertyA set of the four basic parameters. Each unsig has 0-6 properties.
FormA visual shape created by certain combinations of properties.
GeometryA visual representation created by certain combinations of forms.
CollectionMostly synonymous with Geometry, but Collections are the most easily identifiable geometries and collectors often seek them out.
Parameters and Properties

Parameters and properties are the core pieces of an unsig, and were generated randomly during the minting process. When viewing an unsig, they are always included in the metadata. Usually they are grouped by parameter rather than parameter combination, as you can see in the detailed view on the main unsigs.com site and the pool.pm viewer.

Details of unsig #29527 shown on unsigs.com
Details of unsig #29527 shown on pool.pm

When organized by property, the parameter combinations shown on unsigs.com and pool.pm for unsig #29527 look like this:

PropertyColorDistributionRotationMultiplier
1RedCDF01
2RedCDF 2701
3BlueCDF 1801
4GreenCDF 02
5BlueCDF 902
6GreenCDF 2704
Forms

The combination of properties is what gives an unsig its forms and colors.

There are eight basic forms (Posts and Beams are differentiated, but they are the same form appearing in different rotations):

1a. Post

Requires only one property
Color = any color
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = 0 or 180
Multiplier = 2

2a. Triple Post

Requires only one property
Color = any color
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = 0 or 180
Multiplier = 4

1b. Single Beam

Requires only one property
Color = any color
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = 90 or 270
Multiplier = 2

2b. Triple Beam

Requires only one property
Color = any color
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = 90 or 270
Multiplier = 4

3. Diffuser

Requires two properties
Color = same in both properties
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = properties are rotated 90 degrees from one another
Multipliers:
– Property 1 = 1
– Property 2 = 1
Can be ascending or descending

4. Hourglass

Requires two properties
Color = same in both properties
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = properties are rotated 90 degrees from one another
Multipliers:
– Property 1 = 1
– Property 2 = 2
Can be ascending, descending, upward, or downward

5. River

Requires two properties
Color = same in both properties
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = properties are rotated 90 degrees from one another
Multipliers:
– Property 1 = 1
– Property 2 = 4
Can be ascending, descending, upward, or downward

6. Single Bulbs

Requires two properties
Color = same in both properties
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = properties are rotated 90 degrees from one another
Multipliers:
– Property 1 = 2
– Property 2 = 2
Can be ascending or descending

7. Veins

Requires two properties
Color = same in both properties
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = properties are rotated 90 degrees from one another
Multipliers:
– Property 1 = 2
– Property 2 = 4
Can be ascending, descending, upward, or downward

8. Triple Bulbs

Requires two properties
Color = same in both properties
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = properties are rotated 90 degrees from one another
Multipliers:
– Property 1 = 4
– Property 2 = 4
Can be ascending or descending

Another type of unsig form is the absence of form, which have collectively been dubbed “no-liners” by the community. No-liners are made up of the following types of single property combinations:

CDF / 0.5

Requires only one property
Color = any color
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = any rotation
Multiplier = 0.5

Normal / 0.5

Requires only one property
Color = any color
Distribution = Normal
Rotation = any rotation
Multiplier = 0.5

CDF / 1

Requires only one property
Color = any color
Distribution = CDF
Rotation = any rotation
Multiplier = 1

Geometries

The terms “forms” is often used in the same way that “geometry” is used here, but since there is a precedence for “geometry” within the community it will be easier to adopt that term than to use “form” in slightly different ways.

A geometry is, simply, the way that two or more forms are combined. Given that each unsig has up to six properties, and it requires two properties to create any of the curved forms, an unsig can have a maximum combination of three forms in its geometry. (There are some complexities that prevent 6-property unsigs from having multiple 1-property forms like beams and posts.)

Sometimes forms in an unsig are congruent, making it difficult to tell that there is more than one there; an example would be an unsig that has an descending green hourglass and an descending blue hourglass. The geometry of an unsig like that would be simply a single hourglass. If you had an descending hourglass and an ascending hourglass, however, you would end up with a geometry where both forms are visible.

unsig #08822

Green descending hourglass
Blue descending hourglass

unsig #08823

Green descending hourglass
Blue ascending hourglass

This same thing can occur with different but compatible forms, such as the bulbs forms and diagonals.

unsig #08179

Blue descending diagonal
Red descending bulbs

unsig #08257

Blue ascending diagonal
Red descending bulbs

Collections

Some geometries are considered so special that they warrant their own name, and these are gathered together as collections. There are active conversations within the community on an ongoing basis about which geometries should be their own collections, what they should be named, and how many there are. For the sake of consistency, this site follows naming conventions used by the CNFT_art team.

Initially collections were created by looking through all 31,119 unsigs visually to identify those that belonged. As more about how unsigs are constructed has been discovered though, automated identification has become possible. A bot called 007 that runs in the main unsigned_algorithms Discord server can quickly provide details on individual unsigs, as can the unsig_analyzer tool.

Among the list of unsig collections, there are those dedicated to unsigs visually appearing as the basic forms. There are a great many unsigs that contain diagonals, for example, but only a subset of those looks like a single diagonal. (See the Forms section above for why this is the case.) Aside from those basic form collections, and while keeping in mind that the number of collections and their names are still evolving, these are the ones most typically agreed on by the community:

Basketballs

Butterflies

Diamonds (single)

Can be horizontal or vertical

Diamonds (triple)

Can be horizontal or vertical

Spears (single)

Spears (triple)

Stars

Tic Tac Toes

Triple Crosses

Windmills

Windows

X’s

Zig zag

Can be horizontal or vertical