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Print - Typical Output
  • Typical Output
    Barbadillo, Manuel, born 1929 - died 2003
  • Enlarge image

Typical Output

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Spain (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1968-1972 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Barbadillo, Manuel, born 1929 - died 2003 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Impact print on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Computer Arts Society, supported by System Simulation Ltd, London

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case CAS, shelf 3

This impact print by Manuel Barbadillo would have served as a trial piece, or research, for a later work that would have been produced by hand, such as the two screenprints in the V&A's collection (e.g. see E.99-2008). Barbadillo wrote a computer program that enabled him to rotate the U-shaped forms within a grid, to produce a large number of different variations. The set of figures in the top left corner, labelled 'Cuadro Numero 1' (meaning 'Table Number 1'), demonstrates how Barbadillo altered the numerical values in the computer program to explore the relationship of one U-shaped motif to another. Barbadillo would then compare the different outcomes in a larger sequence to decide which image was the most successful and should be developed further. By using the computer as a tool, Barbadillo was able to process much larger quantities of information than would otherwise have been possible.

This work was produced using a line printer, which was an early form of impact printer. Like a type writer, impact printers use force to literally stamp the ink onto the paper. Print-outs were restricted to black and white, and darker areas or shading could only be achieved by overwriting one character on top of another.

Physical description

Impact print on paper, depicting a rotating U-shaped motif made up of asterisks. In the top left corner is the computer code used to generate the print and the words 'Cuadro Numero 1 [Table Number 1].

Place of Origin

Spain (probably, made)


1968-1972 (made)


Barbadillo, Manuel, born 1929 - died 2003 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Impact print on paper


Height: 36.7 cm, Width: 34.7 cm

Descriptive line

Impact print on paper, 'Typical Output', by Manuel Barbadillo, 1968-1972.


Printing-out paper; Printing ink


Computer-generated; Impact printing


Computer Art


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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