How to Easily Create Glitch Art

How to Easily Create Glitch Art


Are you a sucker for high saturation, wild color combinations, neon, heavily rendered inorganic imagery? Then our Digital Glitch design challenge is for you! But that’s not all – for the first time ever, this competition is open to placement prints- which means your design doesn’t have to be a repetitive pattern! Ok, now that you are up to speed with the basics, get ready to find an image you love and destroy it!

In this month’s tutorial, we’re going to convert common images into abstract, colorful patterns without using any design software. We’re simply going to corrupt the files by altering their code and giving them a twist. Now don’t be scared – you don’t need to be a tech expert! All you need is a computer, an image to glitch and a plain-text program such as TextEdit (Mac) or WordPad (Windows). So why don’t you all have a go at it?

The glitch process is different for Mac or Windows platforms so we’re going to guide you through both.

I. Creating Glitching Images with MAC

STEP 1: Select an Image

Select any image to glitch, any format will work but the results could be different so we recommend you try it out with different file formats: TIFF, JPG, RAW, BMP…

STEP 2: Duplicate the image

Now listen up! It’s very important to duplicate the images you want to glitch because you can destroy them forever. We don’t want to feel responsible for that!

STEP 3: Open “Text Edit”

Open the “Text Edit” application and open the image you want to glitch in it. You should see a whole bunch of weird text lines.

STEP 4: Destroy the code!

Now this is the fun part! We hate these kinds of boring codes so it should be a pleasure to destroy them! But be careful with the first 1/4 part of the code, don’t touch it or the image will be damaged forever. So go for the last 3/4 of the code, add new random text, copy a line or two of code and paste it somewhere else in the text file. Or you can also use the “Find And Replace” tool to replace a lot of glyphs in a fast way. Make what you want, but above all – destroy the code!

STEP 5: Save it

Now you have to save the code, but don’t click “save as”, click “save” (CMND+ S) or the glitch will not run.

STEP 6: Glitch art!

Now open the glitched image and see what you’ve created! Remember that you can edit it with “Text Edit” as many times as you want, until you like the result.

II. Create Glitching Images with Windows

STEP 1: Select an Image

Select any image to glitch. If you are a Windows user this process will only work with “.bmp”, “.tiff, or ”.raw” files. You can convert the images to these formats with Photoshop or any other image editor.

STEP 2: Duplicate the Image

Now listen up! It’s very important to duplicate the images you want to glitch because you can destroy them forever.

STEP 3: Open “Text Edit”

Open the “Wordpad” application and open the image to glitch with it. You should see a whole bunch of weird text lines.

STEP 4: Save it

If you use Windows you don’t need to destroy the code only save it, but don’t click “save as”, click “save” (CONTROL + S) or the glitch will not run.

STEP 5: Glitch art!

Now open the glitched image and see what you’ve created! Here are some examples we made following this process:

FRS Digital Glitch Tutorial Glitched Images

Pretty cool, huh? And here you can see how we placed the glitched images to the leggings template:

FRS Digital Glitch Tutorial Leggings

How great do they look? We can’t wait to get our legs in a pair of leggings like these! So check out the ‘Digital Glitch‘ design brief, download the submission package and get glitching! Don’t forget to head on over to vote for your favorite ‘World of Worship’ designs, too!