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A prototype is representative of a set of similar objects. This paper proposes an approach that formulates the problem of prototype generation as finding the mean from a given set of objects, where the prototype solution must satisfy certain constraints. These constraints describe the important perceptual features of the sample shapes that the proposed prototype must retain. The contour prototype generated from a set of planar objects was used as an example of the approach, and the corners were used as the perceptual features to be preserved in the proposed prototype shape. However, finding a prototype solution for more than two contours is computationally intractable. A tree-based approach is therefore proposed in which an efficient greedy random algorithm is used to obtain a good approximation of the proposed prototype and analyze the expected complexity of the algorithm. The proposed prototype-generation process for hand-drawn patterns is described and discussed in this paper.