The mutual intensity function plays a major role in characterizing quasi-monochromatic, partially coherent optical signals. We propose to use the mutual intensity as a carrier of information to avoid speckle noise in coherent illumination systems and to permit the use of complex functions that are prohibited spatially incoherent sources. To do this we require methods for encoding the information as a coherence function. An optical system for synthesizing a beam with a given mutual intensity function is proposed. The optical system permits the synthesis of any desired mutual intensity function. The illumination is supplied by a quasi-monochromatic, spatially incoherent source. Experimental results demonstrate the performance of this system for several cases.