Tag Archives: ascii

Military ASCII art from 1967 using a custom system that combined US ASCII and vector graphics, fit for 2400 baud distribution. More info also here.


Frederick Hammersley, A Good Line is Hard to Beat, 1969, L. A. Louver, Venice, CA / Frederick Hammersley Foundation

ASCII art by Frederick Hammersley, 1969. Made on an IBM-computer (which used EBCDIC and not ASCII encoding), and:

The alphanumeric characters we could ‘draw’ with were: the alphabet, ten numerals and eleven symbols, such as periods, dashes, slashes, etc….

h/t: Robert Doerfler

Computer printed ASCII-portraits by Jaume Estapa, 1968-69. Some of the earliest examples of this, after Mona Lisa (1964). More info here, more 1960′s ASCII here.

Book cover design by Walter Breker, 1960. Unusual style compared to other text graphics at the time, somewhere inbetween typewriter art and typography perhaps.

via design-is-fine:

Walter Breker, cover artwork for the book Reisebericht. Aluminium in der Architektur der USA, 1960. Düsseldorf, Aluminium-Verlag. Via Shuij Fukuda / pinterest 

Two museums in Seattle link up two Teletype 37s (1969) for four hours so people could chat and, you know, send ASCII Homers.

Full video + More teletype art.


Mona By The Numbers

Probably the earliest example of computer-generated text art, put together in 1964 by H. Philip Peterson:
In 1964, H. Philip Peterson of Control Data Corporation (CDC) used a CDC 3200 computer and a “flying-spot” scanner to create a digital representation of the Mona Lisa. The image contained 100,000 pixels that were plotted using numerals, sometimes overprinted, to approximate the required density and took 14 hours to complete.

Similar digital images of popular art, cartoon characters, and even nudes adorned the walls of corporate offices, labs, and computer centers throughout the 1960s.

You can find out more about the ‘Digital Mona Lisa’ here, and there is an online viewer for closer inspection here

The earliest known ASCII art so far? That wasn’t pr0n? Unknown author. From compart:

Done on Carnegie-Mellon University’s Bendix G-21 computer with a standard uppercase character set. Programs written in ALGOL.

Created mid 1960s

Artwork Type: print


print, b/w, computer-generated

Playboy (Oct, 1967)