These lovely patterns are actually type specimens. The typeface is Hypnopaedia by Zuzana Licko, who co-founded the venerable typographic clearhouse Emigre in 1984. Hypnopaedia was released by Licko in 1997 and can be found at Emigre along with the PDF specimen sheet from which the above images came.
Each Hypnopædia illustration was created by concentric rotation of a single letterform from the Emigre Fonts library. When repeated, each Hypnopædia illustration creates a unique pattern of interlocking letter shapes.
An infinite variety of patterns can be composed by combining and alternating the basic 140 Hypnopædia illustrations.
The specimen that is this PDF was released as a promotional booklet, which was surprisingly included in Thames and Hudsons The Book of Books edited by Mathieu Lommen. Seems like an odd choice to include a stapled pamphlet in a survey of the most innovative books of the last 500 years. But we’re glad to have come across it. The specimen was also printed in the Emigre Fonts Type Specimens Volume I which as of press time is nowhere to be found.
Licko’s portfolio includes another pattern face Puzzler.