The Art of Domino


Domino, a small rectangular block used as a gaming object. Dominoes are often made of wood but can also be plastic, bone, or even a human foot. Each has an identifying mark on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. They are generally set up in long lines, with one domino positioned slightly ahead of the others. When the first domino is tipped, it triggers a chain reaction that causes the rest to fall. This process continues until all the pieces have fallen, forming an intricate layout or artistic design. Dominoes are usually set up on a flat surface like a table or floor, though some can be built into three-dimensional structures.

Lily Hevesh, a 20-year-old professional domino artist from Southern California, started playing with her grandparents’ 28-pack of dominoes when she was 9. She’d line them up in straight or curved lines and then flick the first one, causing the whole string to topple over. Since then, her collection has grown and she now posts videos of her creations on YouTube. Hevesh’s work is so impressive that it has been featured in movies and TV shows, as well as being a backdrop for the album launch of pop singer Katy Perry.

In addition to creating beautiful art, Hevesh works on team projects that involve hundreds of thousands of dominoes. Her largest designs take several nail-biting minutes to fall and are often awe-inducing. She’s worked on structures ranging from circular arrangements to a massive circular track that holds the Guinness World Record for the most dominoes in a single structure. She credits her success to the laws of physics, especially gravity. She says, “Gravity is the main thing that makes my projects possible. It’s the physical force that pulls a domino off its starting point toward Earth, sending it crashing into the next domino and setting off a cascade.”

Hevesh has worked on some of her most complex setups while surrounded by cameras. The resulting videos are popular online and have garnered her millions of views. She’s also participated in domino shows, where builders create intricate setups that can last for hours and often involve hundreds or thousands of dominoes. She’s even used her skill to create a domino track for a music video by the band The Black Keys.

Domino’s pizza-delivery cars are a lot more than just a way to get the food to the customers. They’re part of the company’s effort to modernize its image and develop a brand identity beyond just pizza. The Domino’s DXP, a modified Chevrolet Spark with room for 80 pizzas, is just the latest example of this work, which includes an edgy new logo and a campaign based on a domino-smashing competition between the restaurant’s delivery drivers and local law enforcement officers. The campaign is called “Domino vs. Cops” and it’s getting plenty of attention. The DXP features Domino’s branding as a bold and modern pizza shop with an attitude, but it also has a practical purpose: Domino’s wants to be the first delivery service to offer autonomous vehicles that can drive through traffic with ease.