A report on ASCII art

ASCII art version of the Wikipedia logo
ASCII art version of the Wikipedia logo
ASCII art version of the Wikipedia logo
"Oldskool" or "Amiga" style
"Newskool" style
"Block" or "High ASCII" style, cf. ANSI art
The alphabet in Newskool (Note: artificially shrunk vertically)
Dag Hammarskjöld, printout from teleprinter 1961-62
Illustration of the constellation "Sirius" from a 9th-century astronomical manuscript
A portion of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 6 January 1875, showing advertisements made from typewriter art.
There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126.
A tank and truck made using ASCII art
Block ASCII display via Notepad versus ACiDView for Windows
Oldschool/Amiga ASCII look on Commodore Amiga Computer versus look on the IBM PC (notice the tight spacing)
Newskool ASCII screenshot
Monā (モナー) Posted on 2channel (2ちゃんねる) in 2000
Gikoneko (ギコ猫) Posted on 2channel (2ちゃんねる) in 2000
A self-propelled howitzer and truck made using ASCII art

Graphic design technique that uses computers for presentation and consists of pictures pieced together from the 95 printable characters defined by the ASCII Standard from 1963 and ASCII compliant character sets with proprietary extended characters (beyond the 128 characters of standard 7-bit ASCII).

- ASCII art
ASCII art version of the Wikipedia logo

20 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Example of long-form ANSI artwork

ANSI art

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Computer art form that was widely used at one time on bulletin board systems.

Computer art form that was widely used at one time on bulletin board systems.

Example of long-form ANSI artwork

It is similar to ASCII art, but constructed from a larger set of 256 letters, numbers, and symbols — all codes found in IBM code page 437, often referred to as extended ASCII and used in MS-DOS and Unix environments.

MPlayer on Linux using the gMplayer front-end

MPlayer

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Free and open-source media player software application.

Free and open-source media player software application.

MPlayer on Linux using the gMplayer front-end
MPlayer on Linux using the gMplayer front-end
MPlayer being run via command line in Microsoft Windows.
Gnome-MPlayer v1.0.9 on GNOME

MPlayer can also use a variety of output driver protocols to display video, including VDPAU, the X video extension, OpenGL, DirectX, Direct3D, Quartz Compositor, VESA, Framebuffer, SDL and rarer ones such as ASCII art (using AAlib and libcaca) and Blinkenlights.

Comparison between variable-width fonts and monospaced fonts

Monospaced font

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Font whose letters and characters each occupy the same amount of horizontal space.

Font whose letters and characters each occupy the same amount of horizontal space.

Comparison between variable-width fonts and monospaced fonts
Proportional (upper) and tabular (lower) figures in Palatino
Duplexed numerals in Concourse. The bold and non-bold digits have the same width.

The failure of a proportional font to reproduce the desired boxes above motivates monospaced fonts' use in the creation and viewing of ASCII and ANSI art.

A Specimen, a broadsheet with examples of typefaces and fonts available. Printed by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia.

Typeface

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Design of lettering that can include variations in size, weight , slope (e.g. italic), width (e.g. condensed), and so on.

Design of lettering that can include variations in size, weight , slope (e.g. italic), width (e.g. condensed), and so on.

A Specimen, a broadsheet with examples of typefaces and fonts available. Printed by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia.
PT Serif (above) and PT Sans (below) from the PT font superfamily, showing the similarities in letter structure.
Comparison between printed (top) and digital (bottom) versions of Perpetua.
350px
The word Sphinx, set in Adobe Garamond Pro to illustrate the concepts of baseline, x-height, body size, descent and ascent.
Hoefler Text uses non-lining or lower-case figures.
Proportional (left-side) and tabular (right-side) numeric digits, drawn as lining figures.
Illustration of different font types and the names of specific specimens
The three traditional styles of serif typefaces used for body text: old-style, transitional and Didone, represented by Garamond, Baskerville and Didot.
The sans-serif Helvetica typeface
Courier, a monospaced slab serif typeface. All the letters occupy spaces the same width.
London Underground's Johnston typeface, printed on a large sign
Comparison between the typeface Perpetua and its display variant, Perpetua Titling (above). The display type has slimmer stroke width and taller letters.
Coronet, a script typeface
Simulated Hebrew
Reverse-contrast type compared to a fat face design. Both are very bold, but the fat face's thick lines are the verticals and the reverse-contrast's are the horizontals.
Three typefaces designed for headings, offering a clear contrast to body text
A Latin text used in a sample of Caslon
Specimens of printed floral borders from an 1897 type foundry specimen book.
Examples of dingbats, which could be used in documents such as tourist guides or TV listings.
The metal type Californian by Frederic Goudy with two alternative digital revivals. It can be seen that the second has a more even tone with less contrast in stroke width.

ASCII art usually requires a monospaced font for proper viewing, with the exception of Shift JIS art which takes advantage of the proportional characters in the MS PGothic font.

Courier (typeface)

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Monospaced slab serif typeface.

Monospaced slab serif typeface.

IBM Courier character map
Comparison of the typefaces Courier 10 Pitch and Courier Code. From left to right the characters are: zero, capital O, one, lowercase L.
Courier New
Specimen of Courier Final Draft

Courier is commonly used in ASCII art because it is a monospaced font and is available almost universally.

AAlib

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AAlib is a software library which allows applications to automatically convert still and moving images into ASCII art.

Sample ANSI by TheSoft loaded in TheDraw

TheDraw

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Sample ANSI by TheSoft loaded in TheDraw
Sample ANSI by TheSoft loaded in TheDraw

TheDraw is a text editor for MS-DOS to create ANSI and animations as well as ASCII art.

ACiD Productions

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Digital art group.

Digital art group.

Their work originally concentrated in ANSI and ASCII art, but the group later branched out into other artistic media such as tracker music, demo coding, and multimedia software development (e.g., image viewers).

Libcaca

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An example Wikipedia logo generated using libcaca 0.99.beta18

libcaca is a software library that converts images into colored ASCII art.

A 4,096 color Amiga picture

Computer art scene

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Community interested and active in the creation of computer-based artwork.

Community interested and active in the creation of computer-based artwork.

A 4,096 color Amiga picture
256 and 16 color progressive images from 1980s VGA card. Dithering is used to overcome color limitations.

The earliest precursors to ASCII art can be found in RTTY art, that is, pictures created by amateur radio enthusiasts with teleprinters using the Baudot code.