Now Reading
GlyphDrawing.Membership -blog

GlyphDrawing.Membership -blog

2023-10-22 00:45:37


In my thesis, I research Amiga ASCII textual content artwork. Amiga ASCII is a type of textual content artwork the place the composition of letter characters set within the Amiga pc’s font kinds a two-dimensional illustration or picture. The Amiga scene is a subculture of pc fanatics that was fashionable within the Nineteen Nineties. At its core are the logos and different visible supplies created for BBS methods and the aggressive rivalry amongst artists who create textual content artwork over their image-making prowess.

I delve into the creation of Amiga ASCII artwork and use it as a way to develop my visible expression. I outline textual content artwork as one fashion of visible artwork, which incorporates ASCII artwork and its sub-genres, and I briefly describe the historical past of textual content artwork and ASCII artwork and the subculture related to it. In my thesis, I focus particularly on Amiga ASCII textual content artwork and create a set of photos from my experiments with this image-making technique.

Key phrases: textual content artwork, pc, subculture, illustration, ASCII, Amiga.

Word from 2023:

That is my BA thesis I wrote in 2015. The original is in Finnish, however I lastly managed to translate it to English.

This thesis is simply a bachelors thesis, so it is from being complete. However so far as I do know, it is nonetheless the one research of Amiga ASCII artwork. I’ve included some feedback right here and there from my 2023 perspective the place I assumed it wanted them.

When you have any feedback, corrections or different thoughs, let me know ( and I will embody them on the finish of this web page!

When you simply wish to see the top outcome, skip to Making the colly

Take pleasure in 🙂

Desk of Contents


Research section
… 2.1. Source materials and research data
… 2.2. About text art
… … 2.2.1. Definition of text art
… … 2.2.2. History of text art
… 2.3. The age of ASCII art
… … 2.3.1. History of home computers
… … 2.3.2. What is ASCII art?
… … 2.3.3. What is Amiga ASCII art?
… … 2.3.4. The golden age of Amiga ASCII
… … 2.3.5. ASCII art to decorate BBS boards
… … 2.3.6. What is a colly?

Production part
… 3.1. My starting point for creating ASCII art
… … 3.1.1. Finding the right method
… 3.2. Production process
… … 3.2.1. Description of creating Amiga ASCII images
… … 3.2.2. Making the colly
… … 3.2.3. Physical final product

Concluding remarks

… 5.1. Printed sources
… 5.2. Unprinted sources
… … 5.2.1 Internet sources
… … 5.2.2. Documentaries
… … 5.2.3. Interviews
… 5.3. Image sources

Colon, hyphen, and parenthesis are typographic punctuation marks utilized in written language that function separators for numerous textual content buildings. By combining these three symbols in sequence, you get :-). Once you tilt this mix ninety levels clockwise in your thoughts, it may be interpreted as a smiling face, an emoticon, with eyes, nostril, and mouth. Initially, these symbols had been created for the buildings of written language, however in every day human communication, these symbols and their mixtures have been given a brand new added which means and objective. Photographs created with letter characters improve the expressiveness of text-based shows, akin to emails or textual content messages.

In text-based communication, the illustration of photos has not all the time been attainable for technical causes. To deal with this want, textual content artwork emerged, a method of making photos the place an image or phrase is shaped from drawn or printed symbols in a composition. An emoticon is a type of easy picture shaped with letter characters. Nevertheless, by combining numerous letter characters unfold over a number of strains, it is attainable to create way more nuanced photos that may depict nearly any topic. This image-making approach has been part of the historical past of writing as much as the current day. I’ll talk about this matter in additional element in part 2.2.2.

Textual content artwork made on a pc is normally referred to as ASCII artwork. The title derives from the character customary developed within the Nineteen Sixties. ASCII artwork flourished within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, earlier than the web, when text-based BBS methods working on phone networks served as the first locations for thought and knowledge change, very similar to the web. The making of ASCII artwork waned because the web displaced BBS methods with the arrival of quick broadband connections across the 12 months 2000. Nevertheless, ASCII artwork has surged in recent times as a consequence of nostalgia, social media, and the archiving of ASCII artwork.

In my thesis, I delve into this image-making approach and use it as a way to develop my visible expression. Within the analysis sections, I outline textual content artwork as one style of visible artwork, encompassing ASCII artwork and its sub-genres, and briefly describe the historical past of textual content artwork and ASCII artwork and the related subculture. I focus particularly on the Amiga-style ASCII textual content artwork in my thesis and create a set of my experiments utilizing this image-making technique. I elaborate on the aforementioned ideas in part 2.3.


Traditionally, the typewriter as a medium of inventive expression has largely been ignored, maybe as a result of those that created typewriter artwork had been primarily skilled typists who demonstrated their expertise primarily to friends in the identical discipline. Many early typewriter artists had been seemingly unaware of the historic background and significance of their artwork, resulting in an absence of its widespread recognition and acceptance by critics. Those that had been within the typewriter as a medium for textual content artwork had been primarily intrigued by it from the attitude of concrete poetry, relatively than viewing it from a visible artwork perspective. This has resulted in an absence of full understanding of the complete discipline of textual content artwork. Solely now, as a result of archiving capabilities of the Web and the publicity of textual content artwork, is a extra complete image rising.

This similar development appears to be occurring with ASCII textual content artwork, resulting in a perceived lack of high quality supply materials on textual content artwork or ASCII artwork. Two anthologies have been written on typewriter artwork: Alan Riddell’s Typewriter Artwork (1975) and Barrie Tullett’s Typewriter Artwork: A Fashionable Anthology (2014). Just one vital retrospective has been held on typewriter artwork (London and Edinburgh 1973, 1974). Not a single intensive publication or research has been written on ASCII artwork, and just one small exhibition was held in Cologne in 2013 as a part of an digital artwork pageant. The topic has been briefly touched upon in a number of research coping with pc fanatic subcultures, such because the 2011 research Like Metropolis Lights, Receding: ANSi Paintings and the Digital Underground, 1985-2000 by Canadian Michael Hargadon. Most research deal with pc fanatic subcultures and associated phenomena primarily from a technical, sociological, or historic perspective.

For my analysis, I interviewed two people who’re nonetheless actively concerned within the Amiga ASCII scene. I interviewed Amiga ASCII pioneer, German Michael “Pores and skin” Hischer, through electronic mail. Moreover, I interviewed Finnish Amiga ASCII artist Antti “h7” Kiuru. The interviews primarily centered on questions concerning the course of of making ASCII artwork, their fashion, sources of inspiration, and private historical past. I additionally posed a number of common questions within the Fb group “Ansi, Ascii artists worldwide!” which incorporates a big portion of people concerned within the subculture.

As written sources, I utilized a number of research coping with pc fanatic subcultures and associated phenomena, quite a few web sources, and Barrie Tullett’s work on typewriter artwork, Typewriter Artwork: A Fashionable Anthology. From these items, I imagine I used to be in a position to create a complete but source-critical understanding and outline of the subject material below investigation.



Whereas engaged on this thesis, there did not appear to be a definition of textual content artwork accessible anyplace. That is most likely as a result of nearly full absence of each Finnish and English literature or analysis on textual content artwork. Simply the truth that the English Wikipedia article for “textual content artwork” redirects to a obscure and sparse article on ASCII artwork signifies the shortage of analysis and that the historical past of textual content artwork has not been absolutely understood internationally. Nevertheless, to deal with my analysis subject, I have to outline textual content artwork not directly.

Once I began to develop a definition of textual content artwork, the distinction in the usage of a letter character in written language and in textual content artwork gave the impression to be a defining issue. What’s the significance of a letter in textual content artwork? What is the distinction between a letter character in written language and in textual content artwork?

Textual content is a semantic unit. In textual content, the shape is not as vital because the which means given by the kinds. Written textual content consists of graphemes, i.e., written characters. Grapheme refers to letters, that’s, characters utilized in a phonetic writing system, and different writable characters akin to numbers and punctuation marks. In written language, textual content and letters include meanings; they’re a software for communication.

Within the context of textual content artwork, a personality is taken into account solely by its type. In textual content artwork, a letter isn’t symbolic and doesn’t have semantic which means, however the composition of letter characters creates a picture, which in itself can symbolize one thing. The semantic which means of the picture arises from the shape given by the composition of the letter characters, that’s, what the picture resembles, in contrast to in written language the place mixtures of letter characters, phrases, and sentences imply one thing, carry which means. Thus, one can suppose that the phrase “ball” instantly brings to thoughts an object fabricated from some materials, whereas within the context of textual content artwork, a ball could be symbolized by, for instance, the letter O, wherein case simply the form of the letter can call to mind an object made of fabric.

Textual content artwork can due to this fact be outlined as follows: textual content artwork is a type of artwork wherein a composition of letter characters kinds a two-dimensional illustration, that’s, a picture.

Word from 2023:

This definition isn’t passable.

To start with, there are types of textual content artwork the place characters can have be each: semantic (the place the character is part of a phrase) and non-semantic (the place the identical character is a part of an typographical image) meanings. That is fairly widespread in formed or visible poetry.

Secondly — the place the try at a common definition of textual content artwork will get actually difficult — it is attainable that the entire image consists of no letters in any respect. An instance is in fact ANSI artwork, the place the photographs normally encompass solely block parts █, ▓, ▒, and ░.

A attainable, extra broad, but additionally extra simple, definition of textual content artwork may very well be: pictorial photos created from sort parts. (I do not counsel that to be the definitive definition, as a result of it would not fairly seize the essence of extra calligraphic types of textual content artwork.)

Broadly, textual content artwork could be divided into 3 classes: calligraphic, mechanical and digital.

Calligraphic textual content is hand drawn, it consists of however isn’t restricted to those sub-genres: calligrammes, calligraphic footage, zoomorphic calligraphy, numerous formed or sample poetry (carmina figurata, grid poem, imago poem, spatial line poem), micro-calligraphy (or microgrammy), some asemic writing and pictorial islamic calligraphy.

Mechanical textual content artwork is normally finished with both letterpress or typewriter. That features subgenres akin to: sort footage / typipictures (US), art-printing, letter-pictures, pictorial typography, dominated work / image, imagotipo/imagotipia (Venezuela), Koppermandaag prenten (The Netherlands), Bildsatz, Ornamententypensatz, Typensatz (Germany), Stigmatypie (Austria), stigmatypy (US), typometry / typometrie, typotecture and typewriter artwork (together with concerte poetry and different visible poetry).

Digital textual content artwork consists of numerous textmode artwork akin to 7-bit and 8-bit ASCII artwork, PETSCII, ATASCII, PC-ASCII (crammed ASCII), ANSI artwork, Amiga ASCII, Shift_JIS, Unicode artwork, Taiwanese ANSI and others. Non-textmode textual content artwork consists of newer and extra diverse kinds, however they’re too quite a few to incorporate right here. Test Carlsson’s overview and Polyduck’s What is Textmode? for extra.

(I ought to write a extra complete overview particularly of the mechanical ones in some unspecified time in the future…)


Earlier than the invention of typewriters and computer systems, calligram was the commonest type of textual content artwork. A calligram is a poem, phrase, or phrase wherein the textual content or phrases are organized in order that they collectively type an image. The image shaped within the calligram is normally visually associated to the phrases or phrase utilized in it and expresses the theme of the poem. One of many first calligrams is Axe by Simmias of Rhodes, made in 325 BC, the place the textual content kinds a picture of an axe (Determine 2). A Jewish custom of micro-calligraphy additionally resembles calligrams, the place small written Hebrew letters type geometric and summary photos.

A manuscript page of 3 poems shaped like an axe, wings and a vase
(Determine 2.) Axe of Simmias of Rhodes, 325 BCE

Arabic calligraphy will also be thought-about a type of textual content artwork. Drawing people is seen in Islam as idol worship, so picyutrd had been drawn utilizing calligraphy, that’s, textual content. In Islamic tradition, calligraphy is taken into account the noblest type of visible artwork, because it interprets the phrases of God as revealed within the Qur’an into a visual type. Qur’anic manuscripts have all the time been commissioned from probably the most expert calligraphers to offer the textual content a creative look worthy of its worth .

Movable sort and printing press developed within the 1400s made duplicating data quick and, above all, low-cost. The printing approach made it attainable to form individuals’s perceptions of themselves and the encompassing world. The good revolution of printing in Europe was the invention of movable sort, which meant that the identical sort may very well be used time and again to provide many alternative printed merchandise. Movable sorts considerably accelerated web page manufacturing in comparison with engraving every web page individually on wooden or steel plates, so movable sorts had been additionally used to create typographic ornaments and footage .

Word from 2023:

That is my present focus of research and I hope to write down extra concerning the historical past of pictorial typography with movable sort quickly™!

Simply because the printing press as soon as did, the typewriter revolutionized the world. By the top of the 1800s, it had established its place not solely within the industrial and industrial sectors but additionally within the cultural and social fields. Typewriter created new professions and livelihoods and was additionally a vital step in the direction of girls’s emancipation. It additionally gave individuals the means to speak freely with out worry of censorship and enabled writers to write down as rapidly as they thought. The typewriter introduced a contemporary means of straight presenting and disseminating ideas. It additionally turned a software for making artwork.

Typewritten drawing of a butterfly
(Determine 3.) Flora Stacey’s butterfly (1898)

One of many first surviving photos made with a typewriter is an image of a butterfly made by Flora Stacey, who labored as a secretary, in 1898 (Determine 3). By re-entering the identical paper at completely different angles and stacking letters, nearly any form may very well be created, and Stacey’s image is extra paying homage to pencil drawing than typical mosaic-like textual content artwork. Alternatively, a number of years earlier, the publication Pitman’s Typewriter Guide (1893) higher utilized the constraints and prospects set by the typewriter and is extra paying homage to fashionable ASCII artwork than Stacey’s butterfly (Determine 4).

Various patterns, letters and characters made with a typewriter
(Determine 4.) Pitman’s Typewriter Guide (1893)

Nevertheless, textual content artwork made with a typewriter could be seen to have flourished primarily within the 50s–70s. Across the similar time within the Nineteen Fifties, concrete poetry was born in numerous elements of the world, the place the typewriter was used as a software to create visible poems with the typographic format of phrases being essential to the impression. In concrete poetry, seeing and studying play an equally vital function. Artists and poets who used this technique had been serious about how printed phrases could be interpreted by their presentation and design. They sought methods to create new meanings and conceptual ranges for the textual content by visually composing it.

On the similar time, written messages had been transmitted over radio hyperlinks utilizing teletype machines. Utilizing a sound paying homage to Morse code, the machine might remotely management one other related teletype machine, with messages printed on paper by a printer. What was written on paper at one finish was robotically written on paper on the different finish. To standardize the character graphics for teletypes, the 5-bit Baudot code was developed, which could be thought-about a precursor to the ASCII character system. Textual content artwork created with teletype machines was exchanged amongst different radio amateurs, and these works are very paying homage to future ASCII artwork (Determine 5).

The last supper rendered with text
(Determine 5.) Teletype artwork.

The event of various types of textual content artwork doesn’t appear to be linear however seems to have occurred independently following every paradigm shift in info know-how. They’re fascinating examples of how know-how has been used as a software to create works removed from what the know-how builders might have imagined they might create. The pioneers of textual content artwork appear to have been primarily those that weren’t primarily artistically oriented however had been serious about know-how and its limitations.

Step one within the emergence of computer-made textual content artwork, referred to as ASCII artwork, occurred with the change in Western consumption paradigm led to by the microcomputer revolution within the late Seventies. How did this paradigm shift happen, and what adopted? What steps led to the beginning of ASCII artwork? I’ll talk about these points within the subsequent chapter.



At its core, computer systems are intricate calculators, adept at computing mathematical capabilities swiftly and processing huge quantities of information. Till the late ’70s, these calculations and information processing had been carried out on giant mainframes – the first-generation computer systems located in glass-walled pc rooms. These had been primarily used as devices of centralized energy inside hierarchical organizations to handle giant and complicated commercial-administrative methods. This gave beginning to an trade the place IBM performed a dominant function. These mainframes had been solely accessible to entities with vital capital, such because the protection trade, giant firms, and universities. Their operation required experience in each {hardware} and software program.

By the late ’70s, foundational pc parts, transistors, and microprocessors, had been miniaturized sufficient to permit for the creation of fairly sized second-generation microcomputers. In essence, microcomputers didn’t differ from mainframes besides in dimension, worth, availability, and complexity.

Nevertheless, the know-how revolution did not stem merely from technological achievements, however from the evolution of factories that produced parts. As these parts had been miniaturized, their manufacturing prices decreased, and manufacturing power effectivity and volumes elevated. This allowed for mass manufacturing of computer systems. But, by the mid-’70s, a typical microcomputer consumer wanted expertise like soldering parts, setting up keyboards, interfacing gadgets, and programming each the system and functions. Computer systems transitioned from pc rooms to design places of work and labs, inadvertently giving rise to the hacker tradition. A brand new wave of enterprises emerged within the IT sector, main improvements and growing consumer-friendly functions and gadgets.

By the late ’70s, new firms emerged that bought pre-assembled computer systems. Apple was certainly one of these, with its Apple II in 1977 being the primary massively profitable mass-produced microcomputer. In a Could 1977 article for Byte journal, Apple’s Steve Wozniak wrote,

“I believe a private pc must be small, dependable, handy to make use of, and cheap”.

Not did pc customers have to be IT consultants or hobbyists, however might merely be the “extraordinary client”.

The third technology, or private computer systems, within the Nineteen Eighties, transitioned IT from the arms of engineers to a broader consumer base who started making use of it for duties like phrase processing and spreadsheet calculations. By the ’80s, the market had been flooded by a number of small, medium, and enormous firms providing numerous options. By 1983, nonetheless, the market was predominantly dominated by methods from three pc producers: Apple Laptop’s Apple II, Commodore Worldwide’s Commodore 64 (and later Amiga), and IBM’s PC. Every catered to barely completely different client bases based mostly on worth and technical options. Apple computer systems had been largely bought to customers wanting a mixture of video games and utility applications, Commodore dominated the gaming market due to its affordability and superior graphics and sound capabilities, and IBM quickly secured a monopoly within the company IT world.

Within the Nineteen Eighties competitors, IBM established the dominant customary for private computer systems (IBM PC-compatible computer systems), however misplaced its unique rights to fabricate machines following its customary. By the top of the ’80s, 80% of all bought microcomputers had been both IBM-made or no less than used its system. Nevertheless, by the early ’90s, the mantle had shifted to the Intel-Microsoft duo, whose actions reshaped the complete trade. Intel was answerable for processors, and Microsoft took care of the working system.

Nonetheless, Amigas had been fashionable within the early ’90s and have become vital amongst pc fanatics. They had been extra prevalent in Europe than in America, which influenced the sturdy Amiga tradition in Europe. As an example, in response to a reader survey carried out by MikroBitti journal, 49% of its Finnish readers owned an Amiga, whereas 27% owned a PC, on the flip of 1991–1992.

Nevertheless, Amiga’s share of the house pc market declined sharply in subsequent years as PCs overtook them by way of price-to-quality ratio. Commodore could not counteract IBM PC’s and its clones’ rise with their Amiga. Although initially forward by way of worth, by 1992, it turned difficult to provide cost-competitive know-how towards the ballooning PC trade.

In Could 1994, Commodore filed for voluntary chapter. Nevertheless, the unwavering loyalty of some Amiga customers ensured that the Amiga pastime and scene continued, even when new gadgets had been now not bought. By the mid-’90s, PCs had turn out to be the usual residence pc in Europe, with no critical challengers in sight. Steadily, computer systems turned a family merchandise in Western international locations.

Brushes and parchment, the printing press, teletype, and typewriters every enriched text-based communication of their time. Equally, probably the most essential issue of the pc revolution was the democratization of data as the pc turned a client product. Within the following subsections, I’ll talk about the evolution of pc writing methods and the emergence of various types of ASCII artwork with these gadgets and methods.


Within the Nineteen Sixties, to facilitate the switch of text-form info throughout numerous methods and gadgets, the ASCII character set customary was developed (an acronym for American Customary Code for Data Interchange). In info know-how, a personality set is an settlement defining how binary numbers represented as bit mixtures must be interpreted as characters belonging to a writing system. A pc can appropriately course of solely these characters included in its recognized character set. ASCII is a 7-bit character set, protecting 128 (2⁷) character positions, and primarily encompasses the letters, numbers, punctuation, and particular characters, in addition to sure management codes, required for American English.

A list of characters in ASCII
(Determine 6.) Printable letters and symbols from the ASCII character set.

Since computer systems sometimes use 8-bit bytes and ASCII is 7-bit, many pc producers developed broader character units the place the spare bit was utilized. This doubled the variety of characters from 128 to 256 (2⁸). In these character units, the primary 128 characters sometimes matched ASCII, however the remaining positions may very well be devoted, for instance, to letters of different languages or characters reserved for desk graphics. Because of this, the prolonged character units of various pc producers might range significantly.

ASCII remained probably the most generally used character set on the Web till 2007 when it was overtaken by the UTF-8, based mostly on the Unicode customary, comprising over 110,000 characters.

Paintings created with the ASCII character set is known as ASCII artwork. Nevertheless, the time period “ASCII artwork” has turn out to be an umbrella time period for all sorts of photos shaped from computer-assisted characters. That is considerably deceptive, as ASCII refers back to the authentic 7-bit, 128-character place character set. Most ASCII artwork, nonetheless, is crafted utilizing prolonged 8-bit or greater character units. Essentially the most famend types of ASCII artwork are 7-bit ASCII artwork, ANSI artwork, Amiga ASCII, ATASCII, PETSCII, Shift_JIS, teletext, and Unicode artwork. Every employs a definite character set and sometimes a selected font to craft the photographs.

Most ASCII artwork is crafted utilizing a pc’s text-based system (referred to as “textmode”), which consists of a grid constructed from identically sized cells. Every cell can include one character. Characters make use of a monospaced font, with every character occupying equal house, thus every row can include an equal variety of characters. The variety of characters per row will depend on the system and utility in use. As an example, IBM PCs employed an 80×25 grid for displaying textual content, with a most of 25 rows, every having 80 cells. Present textual content processing predominantly helps variable-width fonts, which weren’t viable in textmode. ASCII artwork made in textmode can thus be described as a type of mosaic, the place typographical symbols are exactly organized on a grid to type a picture.

One of many earliest photos paying homage to ASCII artwork was created by Kenneth Knowlton and Leon Harmon, each of whom labored at Bell Labs. The picture was a mosaic of a nude, comprised of symbols utilized in digital circuit diagrams: (Determine 7).

A black and white image of reclaining nude body, comprised of symbols used in electronic circuit diagrams
(Determine 7.) Harmon-Knowlton nude.

“The nonscientific, some say creative, facets of pc graphics arose for me through a sophomoric prank. Ed David, two ranges up, was away for whereas and the mice, one may say, performed ever extra freely. Leon Harmon stopped by to ask me for assist with an excellent concept: when Ed returns, one whole wall of his workplace might be lined with an enormous image fabricated from small digital symbols for transistors, resistors and such. However general, they may type a somewhat-hard-to-see image of, guess what, a nude! And so the famend Harmon-Knowlton nude was conceived, coaxed into being, and duly held on Ed’s wall.”.

Regardless that this picture was swiftly faraway from the workplace wall and quickly dismissed by Bell Labs’ PR division, it leaked to the general public, ending up on the pages of The New York Instances and even on show on the Museum of Fashionable Artwork in New York in an exhibition titled The Machine as Seen on the Finish of the Mechanical Age. This prank became a sensation in a short while, and the creation of this symbol-based mosaic was a vital step within the evolution of pc graphics and ASCII artwork.


ASCII artwork made with the Amiga pc’s font and column settings is known as Amiga ASCII.

The Amiga has its personal 8-bit character set. The primary 128 characters comply with the ASCII customary, however the remaining 128 characters belong to Amiga’s prolonged character set. It is not significantly fitted to drawing footage and graphics, because it would not include characters meant for drawing tables and graphics, in contrast to character units of another up to date machines. Amiga’s prolonged character set primarily incorporates some mathematical symbols and a few characters of European languages, such because the letters ä, ö, and å utilized in Finnish.

A list of characters in Amiga
(Determine 6.) Printable letters and symbols from the Amiga character set.

What makes the Amiga significantly appropriate for creating textual content artwork, nonetheless, is its default monospaced font “Topaz”. Its letterforms and column settings permit for the creation of cohesive patterns. In Amiga, the road spacing and character spacing are very slender, so sure characters “merge” if organized appropriately. For instance, by typing an underscore adopted instantly by a slash, it appears to be like as if these two characters had been one cohesive sample and never two separate characters.

By combining these characters, it is attainable to create footage resembling sketches or define drawings. It is a particular characteristic of Amiga ASCII, distinguishing it from all different types of ASCII artwork. Amiga ASCII can be referred to as line-ASCII to distinguish it from filled-ASCII made on PCs.

Slashes and underscores are maybe probably the most generally used characters in Amiga ASCII artwork. These characters type the idea of many Amiga ASCII footage. Two slashes positioned one under the opposite type a cohesive slanting line, and two underscores in a row type a straight horizontal line. These characters can type an infinite number of shapes, which just about seamlessly join to one another. As a result of cohesive line shaped by the slash, many Amiga ASCII logos look italic or slanted.

The word foundation rendered in Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 9.) Basis – this phrase is shaped utilizing the Topaz font characters / and _ with Amiga’s authentic column settings.

Michael Hischer, whom I interviewed, describes his approach as:

“[The limited number of characters] has all the time been a possibility and problem for me to create one thing that others do not do or cannot do. I by no means use greater than ten characters when creating ASCII. An extreme variety of characters can be a distraction and divert from the necessities.” (Determine 10)

Various typographical symbols from the Amiga character set
(Determine 10.) Characters primarily used within the artwork of Michael “Pores and skin” Hischer, a pioneer of Amiga ASCII artwork.

Amiga ASCII is a part of a broader phenomenon referred to as the demoscene. The demoscene is a pc hobbyist subculture centered round its cultural artifacts, demos. Demos are real-time audiovisual shows executed on a pc, made particularly inside the demo tradition, or demoscene, that emerged across the mid-Nineteen Eighties. The Amiga scene, however, is a subculture of the demoscene, centered on logos and different visible supplies made for BBS utilization and the aggressive talent of textual content artists.

Amiga ASCII artwork could be seen as a continuation of PETSCII artwork made on Commodore’s earlier Commodore 64 pc. PETSCII refers back to the character set of the Commodore 64, which was well-suited for textual content artwork. The technologically superior Amiga, nonetheless, changed the Commodore 64, and plenty of PETSCII artists started to create textual content artwork on Amiga computer systems. Nevertheless, the recognition of Amiga ASCII artwork is especially based mostly on the tradition and social communities shaped round BBS. For that reason, I’ll primarily deal with discussing Amiga ASCII in the course of the BBS period, leaving out the similarities of PETSCII artwork to Amiga ASCII.

Nowdays Amiga ASCII is generally created on PC, Mac or Linux computer systems. The one defining issue for Amiga ASCII artwork at this time appears to be the tactic of making the picture utilizing the Amiga font.


A BBS (Bulletin Board System) refers to a pc related to the landline community by a modem, to which its customers, or BBS fanatics, related with their very own pc. The primary focus of BBSs was totally on numerous dialogue areas and file sharing. Many BBSs shaped tight-knit consumer communities and served as assembly locations for numerous teams. BBSs could be considered precursors to many options acquainted from at this time’s Web, akin to social communities.

The origin of BBSs started when Ward Christensen and Randy Suess (US) developed the MODEM program in 1978 primarily for information change inside their pc membership. With it, two computer systems might talk and change information. Later that 12 months, Christensen and Suess developed the system referred to as the world’s first BBS referred to as CBBS (Laptop Bulletin Board System).

Amiga computer connected to a CRT showing a colorful BBS menu screen
(Determine 11.) BBS rig on an Amiga 1200 pc.

Connections to the BBS had been made utilizing a modem related to the landline community, utilizing a character-based terminal program. Connecting value the identical as making an everyday telephone name. Worldwide connections had been thus attainable, although costly. After calling the BBS, the consumer needed to log into the system first. Most frequently, actual names and generally additionally pseudonyms or handles had been utilized in BBSs. As well as, throughout registration, customers had been typically requested for title and handle info and generally additionally for sure information communication settings.

BBSs had been navigated utilizing keyboard instructions in numerous menus. There have been a number of completely different menu ranges, normally various in response to the software program the BBS used. Usually, BBSs included dialogue areas, file areas, non-public messages, bulletins, and in some methods, it was additionally attainable to play text-based video games or chat in real-time with different customers and the BBS administrator. File change was a big a part of BBSs, as importing information earned utilization time within the BBS.

BBS actions remained for a very long time inside a small group serious about information communication and microcomputers. Steadily, as modem speeds elevated in the direction of the top of the Nineteen Eighties, it started to unfold to the attention of bigger consumer teams. What began primarily to facilitate mutual info change started to type a subculture. The age and consumer construction started to vary, and on the similar time, the methods BBSs had been used diversified considerably. Within the 90s, the subculture was primarily composed of younger males aged 15-20. They shared an curiosity in computer systems and the probabilities they created. BBSs had been vital communal boards for social exercise. They served as assembly locations for pal teams in addition to hobbyist and subcultural teams.

As a result of residence computer systems in the marketplace that had been incompatible with one another, hobbyists had been loosely divided into completely different consumer teams particular to every pc. It was attainable to log into BBSs with any pc, however as a result of completely different character set requirements, they won’t essentially show or operate appropriately. Because of this, Amiga and MS-DOS-based PCs developed barely completely different consumer cultures, even when their primary vibe was the identical.


Knowledge switch through modem was very sluggish and due to this fact consisted primarily of textual content information. Terminal applications used to hook up with the BBSs additionally operated below text-based working methods. As a result of their text-based nature, the BBS consumer interfaces had been fairly austere. There arose a necessity to brighten these interfaces and create photos.

Amiga and PC-based BBSs began to be adorned with ASCII graphics. Many of the BBSs operated on PCs, which weren’t suitable with Amiga (Determine 12). Graphics on the PC had been created utilizing the prolonged character set and font of the unique IBM PC, referred to as ANSI artwork.

The word GRMMXI in PC and Amiga ASCII styles. The PC style word looks like it's outline is made of dashed lines while the Amiga has a more seamless outline.
(Determine 12.) The identical brand in IBM PC’s (left) and Amiga’s (proper) fonts.

ANSI artwork is a type of ASCII artwork. Nevertheless, it considerably differs from different types of ASCII artwork, as ANSI artwork primarily consists of rectangular raster bars and appears extra like pixel graphics than precise textual content artwork. PC computer systems’ ROM (learn solely reminiscence) contained the character set and font specified on “code web page 437”. This character set consists of the 128 characters of the ASCII customary and moreover a set of graphical parts particularly for drawing tables and graphics. Nevertheless, ANSI photos are primarily composed of 5 characters, whose completely different power raster surfaces allow the creation of coloration fields and shading on an 80×25 grid. Utilizing coloration was additionally attainable by terminal management codes included within the terminal management customary. The everyday ANSI coloration palette consists of 16 colours and eight background colours, which was later expanded to 16 colours and eight background colours. This allowed for considerably extra imposing photos than conventional ASCII graphics.

Word from 2023:

As a result of the instruments for creating ANSI and Amiga ASCII are largely the identical, many up to date Amiga ASCII items additionally use ANSI colors. Nevertheless, if coloured Amiga ASCII is considered on an precise Amiga, the colors would not present.

ANSI graphics had been initially utilized in crack intros for unlawful software program copies and within the logos of BBS login pages. Earlier than lengthy, ANSI artists shaped teams and started publishing month-to-month packages containing ANSI artwork. Actions had been sometimes organized, and intergroup competitors turned a necessary consider sustaining the depth of the pastime.

A couple of complete research and different literature have been written on ANSI artwork and its associated tradition, so I’ll omit its in-depth dialogue from this thesis.

Amiga ASCII was largely created for functions associated to BBS boards. BBS directors wanted lovely login pages and ASCII artwork to brighten numerous sections of the BBS to enhance the consumer interface.

Within the early Nineteen Nineties, Amiga ASCII artwork teams and people started to launch their supplies as collies or brand collections. This conference could be seen as having come from the ANSI artwork facet, the place teams printed their works in artwork packs. Nevertheless, Amiga ASCII collies had been particular person textual content information containing all the fabric, whereas ANSI artwork packs had been collections of separate information.

At this time, BBS boards don’t have any sensible significance and exist largely for nostalgic functions. They will also be a standing image for teams and a solution to go the time. Nevertheless, numerous web sites on the Web have changed the BBSs because the publication channel for collies.


Colly, or assortment, is a textual content file containing a set of Amiga ASCII artworks created by a number of artists. The first objective of collies is to showcase the newest works of an ASCII artist in a single place.

The time period “colly” originated from the Amiga ASCII group ART‘s 1992 launched brand assortment referred to as Assortment quantity 1 , after which it turned a standard observe inside the subculture. Collies had been the first publishing format for Amiga ASCII artwork and have remained so to this present day.

Not often was Amiga ASCII used for conventional, representational artwork. Nevertheless, representational photos could be utilized in collies as illustrations. The primary content material of collies was typographic logos. They had been normally made to a most dimension of 80×25, because the terminal applications used to hook up with BBS had been this dimension. Logos had been sometimes 7-12 letters lengthy, relying on the width of the emblem font. The letters of a brand had been typically adjusted in response to the size of the phrase and its meant use. The identical brand fashion may very well be utilized to phrases of various lengths. Even four-letter logos may very well be stretched to 80 cells to swimsuit its use in BBS. Typically, ornaments or texturing had been made across the brand to border the emblem itself.

Some collies had been collections of miscellaneous logos, ads, and different supplies utilized in BBS made by the artist. Nevertheless, many collies showcased the artist’s newly developed typographic fashion to make logos. Collies may be made in collaboration with one other artist. Then each artists would create their very own model of a specific phrase, and the one that commissioned the phrase might select which one to make use of. Collies had been typically hundreds of strains lengthy.

Artists releasing collies competed with different artists for the perfect colly. A person or group that made an attractive colly gained respect and standing amongst members of the subculture. Makers of high-quality ASCII artwork might additionally ascend inside the group’s inside hierarchy or obtain invites to usually extra esteemed teams. As in different pc fanatic subcultures, competitors amongst teams and their members was a key consider motivating teams to publish and preserve the standard of collections.

A colly historically consists of the next parts:

A. Commercial for the group’s personal BBS
B. Title of the colly, creator’s brand, and group brand
C. Desk of contents (index)
D. Introduction / creator feedback
E. The precise content material of the gathering, i.e., ASCII logos, BBS ads, and file_id.diz information
F. Credit
G. Greetings (greets)
H. Acknowledgements (respects)

A. Commercial for the group’s personal BBS

Collies normally start with both an commercial for their very own BBS or a title. The BBS commercial promotes the group’s personal headquarters (HQ) BBS. The headquarters function the group’s major publication channel for brand new collies, the place the place the group’s productions arrive the quickest.

Logo and various advertising text in black and white Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 13.) BBS can commercial from the colly “zeitgeist|shifting|on” by the Finnish Amiga ASCII artist working below the pseudonym Zeus.

Within the advert, the title of the BBS is made as an ASCII picture, and particulars concerning the BBS are listed round it. This info normally consists of which teams it serves because the headquarters for, the names of the BBS directors, technical particulars, software program, and addresses used for connection. Solely these with a purposeful BBS use a BBS commercial. (Determine 13).

BBS ads had been additionally made for BBSs aside from the group’s personal. These adverts may very well be unfold on dialogue areas reserved for adverts in different BBSs. The extra spectacular the advert and the extra well-known the artist who made it, the extra individuals it attracted to go to the marketed BBS.

Firstly of collies, there may be normally a title. The title could embody the title of the colly creator, the title of the group the creator belongs to, and the title of the gathering. The title is vital as a result of it displays the theme and elegance of the gathering and offers a style of what is to come back. It serves as an introduction to the next sections. (Determine 15).

Various logos, text and patterns in black and white Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 15.) Title from the “Jungle Fever” colly by Finnish Amiga ASCII artist Antti “h7” Kiuru.

C. Desk of contents (index)

The desk of contents lists the ASCII photos contained within the assortment in numerical order. Within the checklist, names are normally written in plain textual content. Tables of contents are used particularly in lengthy collies, which can include tons of of logos and different ASCII photos made for numerous events.

Collies typically additionally include a short introduction, the place the creator writes concerning the origin or theme of the gathering, their very own life, information, or different issues associated to the subculture. This enables the creator to elucidate the background of their colly, categorical their ideas associated to drawing, or reinforce their place as an Amiga ASCII creator. (Determine 14).

See Also

Logo and epilogue text in black and white Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 14.) Introduction to the “Jungle Fever” colly by Finnish Amiga ASCII artist Antti “h7” Kiuru.

E. The precise content material of the gathering, i.e., ASCII logos, BBS ads, and FILE_ID.DIZ information

The primary content material of collies consists of ASCII logos made for others, BBS ads, and file_id.diz textual content information. These normally come as requests from different members of the subculture. For instance, a BBS administrator may ask an Amiga ASCII artist to create a login web page brand for his or her BBS. Then the creator of the colly can use their newly developed fashion to create a brand for the BBS administrator to make use of. So, ASCII logos had been typically put to some use. ASCII logos may very well be requested by anybody, people, or teams.

FILE_ID.DIZ is an ASCII textual content file that incorporates a brief description of the content material of the archive file. Many BBSs allowed customers to add their very own information for others to obtain. BBS directors may require the particular person importing a file to additionally present an outline of the content material they’re importing. To standardize descriptions, archive information had been supplemented with a FILE_ID.DIZ file to supply a transparent description of the content material to be downloaded. The textual content file was required to include no less than this system title, model quantity, and an outline of the file to be downloaded. Historically, FILE_ID.DIZ was allowed to be 10 strains lengthy, with every line containing a most of 45 characters.

Logo in black and white Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 16.) FILE_ID.DIZ file for nuancE from the colly “zeitgeist|shifting|on”. The highest bar serves as a separator and supplies the emblem quantity, plain-language title, and objective (FILE_ID.DIZ), in addition to the gathering title. The numbers and spacing symbols across the brand are usually not a part of the emblem itself however point out row and character depend. On this FILE_ID.DIZ brand, the requester’s title is stylized. Placeholder textual content is left under it for format testing when there isn’t a precise content material but. The underside nook incorporates the artist’s pseudonym abbreviation zS! i.e., Zeus.

Nevertheless, Amiga ASCII artists started to make use of this file for their very own wants, typically as an icon for the colly. On this case, FILE_ID.DIZ incorporates the title of the colly, the creator, and a few launch info. The aim of the icon is to be as spectacular as attainable to draw the eye of others, because it serves as a preview for the precise colly.

Completely different logos are separated by a separator. The separator additionally buildings the content material and helps with navigation. The separator normally lists the emblem quantity, which matches the desk of contents, the title of the colly, the title of the emblem, and/or the title of the particular person requesting the emblem. As a result of logos are sometimes troublesome to learn, the textual content of the emblem within the separator is commonly written in plain textual content.

Amiga ASCII logos all the time have the artist’s personal abbreviation hooked up, indicating the creator and copyright. The worst violation is to steal another person’s fashion or brand and declare it as one’s personal. If caught, the punishment may very well be exclusion from the subculture.

F. Credit

Credit present the closing particulars for the colly. It lists the creator’s title (or names) and attainable visitor appearances, i.e., if one other Amiga ASCII artist participated within the creation of the colly. The credit typically state the discharge date, file dimension, file title, font used, textual content editor or different technical particulars. Typically the credit additionally point out what music the creator listened to whereas creating the colly.

G. Greetings

Greetings, or greets, checklist the creator’s private acquaintances.

H. Acknowledgments (respects)

In acknowledgments, or respects, Amiga ASCII artists who’re admired and revered by the creator are listed, even when they don’t seem to be personally recognized.

Greetings and acknowledgments had been as soon as vital for rising visibility. In listings referred to as ASCII charts, Amiga ASCII artists had been ranked by recognition utilizing numerous metrics. Amiga ASCII artists may very well be publicly voted on, or the greetings and acknowledgments included in collies had been counted collectively, measuring the artist’s recognition. Those that obtained probably the most greetings and acknowledgments from different artists topped the checklist, in flip rising their recognition and visibility of their collies. Rankings additionally took under consideration for whom different artists had made logos. This partly motivated designing logos for different ASCII artists.

The most important archive web site for Amiga ASCII collies,, lists about 4,000 collies from 780 completely different artists spanning the years 1992-2015. Most of them had been launched earlier than the 12 months 2000. Whereas Amiga ASCII could be thought-about a distinct segment subculture, the variety of artworks and artists signifies a big phenomenon.

Word from 2023: is nowdays, however sadly it appears to be down each on occasion. Archives containing all of the launched collys from 1992–2015 could be discovered on github


I did not get to witness the golden days of BBSs and ASCII artwork or belong to the ASCII art-related subculture as a result of the subculture had already waned by the point I began my pc hobbies within the early 2000s. Nevertheless, I bear in mind what the Web was like within the late 90s and early 2000s. It was a magical and mysterious place for me, the place every so often, I might encounter these unusual photos made up of mere characters. These may very well be seen in text-based information information of downloaded information, feedback on dialogue boards, or hidden in a web site’s supply code. These photos intrigued me, and at about ten years previous, I too wished to grasp this artwork of image-making: slowly, one letter at a time, I typed a picture of a DJ taking part in information. The approach was difficult and time-consuming sufficient that I attempted it solely as soon as.

In January 2014, I discovered a web-based pastime journal on the web, OrDeR Of ThE ShAdOw Wolf, a cyberzine, made by the Dutch digital music-producing artist Danny “Legowelt” Wolfers. For a second, the web felt magical and mysterious once more, as I learn textual content specified by inexperienced monospaced font on a black background, with titles and pictures made in ASCII.

Legowelt begins the cyberzine with these phrases:

“Welcome to the primary concern of ORDER OF THE SHADOW WOLF, a cyberpunk e-zine in true authentic textual content format. That is how e-zines seemed earlier than the daybreak of the web within the Nineteen Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties. They had been distributed through BBS’s […]. Individuals would obtain these e-zines on their 300 baud modems and skim them on their monochrome inexperienced screens late at night time. Tough to think about now however doing this felt like probably the most thrilling factor on the planet, surrounded by a mystique of hacker romanticism and being a cyberpunk pioneer. It was a time when your mum and retarded jock cousin weren’t on the web, much more hardcore…you had been most likely the one particular person in your entire city or space logged into our on-line world!”

I wished to delve into this obscure subculture and the best way of creating photos. It felt fascinating. I additionally do not imagine I am very expert in illustrating, designing logos, or producing visible materials generally. I wished to reinforce my inventive expression. After making an attempt to attract my first ASCII picture, I discovered that making logos and pictures with the constraints set by ASCII is sort of liberating. The limitation of the ASCII character set forces creativity and makes use of it as a power for making photos. The primitive nature of this medium felt like the fitting technique to develop my expression.

I set the next objectives for myself earlier than embarking on the challenge:

“I intend to strive numerous kinds and strategies to attract logos with ASCII. Initially, no less than, I’ll use the phrase “GRMMXI” because the textual content for my logos, which represents my pals/classmates/creative group for whom, and to whom, I am creating these logos. This may preserve me motivated. By way of experimentation, I goal to look at shapes, typography, logos, and textures in a brand new mild, thereby evolving as a graphic designer. I additionally have not finished a lot brand design earlier than, so I hope this method brings new views to brand design.”


I work as an online designer, so I began engaged on my first experiments with the textual content modifying software I do know greatest: a code editor. Nevertheless, I quickly realized that with the default font of the code editor, I could not produce outcomes that met my expectations: the characters did not mesh properly collectively. I wished to know the way ASCII artwork is actually made.

Logo in black and white Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 17.) FILE_ID.DIZ file from the collective publication of the Break group.

Whereas getting acquainted with ASCII artwork, I wasn’t but conscious of the existence of Amiga ASCII. From the positioning, which archives ASCII and ANSI artwork, I discovered the emblem of the Break group (Determine 17). I had by no means seen ASCII graphics of this fashion earlier than, the place the strains join nearly seamlessly. I wished to make my thesis utilizing this method and started to delve into the technical traits of this fashion.

In my search, I discovered the web site, which archives Amiga ASCII collies. It’s the most complete web site archiving Amiga ASCII and now serves as the first publishing channel for brand new Amiga ASCII works for a lot of. The location is filled with more and more spectacular Amiga ASCII collies, and shopping by the works of others served as a big supply of inspiration all through the challenge. I made a decision that I wished to publish my challenge on this web site in its authentic colly format.

I discovered and put in the unique Amiga fonts in TTF format on my pc. This allowed me to begin creating Amiga ASCII photos and delve deeper into the tactic of creating ASCII photos. I set my textual content editor’s consumer settings to make use of the Amiga Topaz font, decreased the road top, and altered the colours to black and white. This allowed me to attain the specified outcomes.

Logo in black and white filled ASCII style
(Determine 18.) My first ASCII try. When checked out carefully, the above seems as a heap of random letters and symbols. Nevertheless, by squinting, one can discern that it reads GRMMXI. Every character has its texture, distinction, and form, which, when positioned facet by facet, are decreased to a bigger cohesive type or floor. I later discovered that that is referred to as crammed ASCII, which was a standard technique of making ASCII on PC computer systems.



Typing every character by hand required absolute focus. Nevertheless, utilizing the cut-paste approach, experimenting with new shapes and concepts was straightforward and clean. This course of enabled fixed analysis of the work. From the identical brand, a number of completely different variations may very well be made.

Logo in black and white Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 19.) Brand variations. My early brand workout routines, experimenting with completely different variations of an simply readable brand.

Nevertheless, creating logos started to really feel difficult and inflexible. Evaluating my logos to these made by others, I felt that I used to be not succeeding in creating an authentic but fashionable brand sort. I attempted sketching ASCII logos in a drawing ebook, however that additionally felt irritating since, as an illustration, curved shapes are tough, if not not possible, to make with Amiga ASCII. It was higher to draft straight within the textual content editor and let the restrictions set by the characters affect the formation of the shapes.

For that reason, I wished to interrupt free and create photos and logos that deviated from Amiga ASCII conventions. I additionally realized that I did not have to comply with the footsteps of earlier ASCII artists and due to this fact did not set clear content material pointers. I solely determined upfront that I might strive completely different strategies and see what felt proper and most inspiring. Therefore, the picture themes do not comply with a transparent unified line; the outcome consists of various experiments.

I attempted a extra expressive type language by creating logos that consisted of sharp angles and straight strains mixed with wiggly shapes utilizing parenthesis. Utilizing parentheses appeared promising since I hadn’t seen many utilizing them of their logos. I challenged myself and created a “slimy” brand that dripped downward utilizing parentheses, which I discovered profitable.

Logo in black and white Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 21.) Baltic Circle. Slime brand.

In a single brand experiment, I added eyes and a mouth, making the letters appear like enjoyable characters. This impressed me to strive creating human figures. With the particular characters of the Amiga ASCII character set, I used to be in a position to create faces in numerous views. The simplest facial options had been the eyes, which I made utilizing “hatted” variatons of a-, o-, and u-letters. Nevertheless, making the mouth was difficult since only a few Amiga ASCII characters are diagonally inclined. Drawing arms and ft additionally proved extraordinarily troublesome due to their spherical shapes.

Logo in black and white Amiga ASCII style
(Determine 20.) Character sketches.

Nevertheless, this picture theme felt funniest and most inspiring to me. I felt most inventive when making characters. In accordance with Michael Hischer, whom I interviewed, representational photos weren’t extremely valued previously, however they’re now considered positively, which motivated me to proceed drawing characters.

My enthusiasm for creating photos skilled highs and lows. My preliminary objective was to attract no less than one ASCII picture per day, which I did within the early phases of the challenge. Nevertheless, making logos felt difficult, and I turned annoyed with my drawing. Satisfaction was arduous to come back by. Moreover, immersing myself within the subject and writing about it took a big quantity of power. Writing the thesis was difficult from begin to end, as I spotted early on that I had chosen an almost unexplored subject. Nevertheless, Amiga ASCII as a topic is extraordinarily fascinating, which helped me persevere in creating the thesis.


In the long run, I created over 50 completely different brand and character experiments. I assumed the quantity was too small to provide an honest remaining product, however when making the colly, I spotted it was nonetheless ample.

I refined the ASCII photos I had made and constructed the colly utilizing the PabloDraw program. PabloDraw is an ASCII/ANSI editor for contemporary working methods. It’s particularly designed for ASCII artwork creation and consists of Amiga’s authentic Topaz font and column settings. For the colly, I had no clear concept; as an alternative, I introduced my separate picture experiments into this system and began constructing appropriate mixtures from them.

Word from 2023:

Nowdays I might advocate utilizing Moebius as an alternative of PabloDraw.

The items fell into place on their very own. Firstly of the colly, I created a dreamscape that continues in a comic-like method with an individual pondering the creation of a thesis, including a meta-level to the colly. From inside the dreamlike panorama, the title of the colly, “innocence,” is revealed, which I selected as a reputation to explain, firstly, the childishly harmless place to begin of my authorship as a brand new ASCII artist, but additionally proclaiming my innocence in creating an unconventional colly stemming from my background.

After this, the colly continues with numerous kinds and experiments that vaguely intertwine. My authentic ASCII photos laid the muse for the colly, however I nonetheless needed to do lots of work including backgrounds, decorations, and particulars.

I discover the ultimate outcome fascinating, and I’m happy with it. The colly turned out to be considerably illustrative, which deviates from the traditions of Amiga ASCII collies. Nevertheless, I imagine this can be a optimistic facet because the colly as a complete stays cohesive and intriguing.

Dot matrix printer printing the colly
(Determine 22.) The ultimate colly!


Collies are normally considered on a pc display screen, however I wished to materialize my product right into a bodily type. This appeared like a difficult process, as collies are sometimes steady, spanning a number of pages in size, making them troublesome to sensibly current, for instance, on the pages of a ebook.

I got here up with the thought to print my Amiga ASCII photos utilizing a dot-matrix printer. It could possibly print on steady type paper, which fashionable printers can’t do. Steady type paper is a steady strip of paper perforated at common intervals. Dot-matrix printers had been widespread within the 80s and 90s earlier than the arrival of correct inkjet and laser printers. In a dot-matrix printer, graphics are printed as dots by putting pins towards a black ribbon onto the paper. This was good for my objective, as my photos are black and white and would cowl a number of vertical A4 pages in complete. Because the gadget was fashionable across the similar time Amiga ASCII was mostly produced, it additionally served as a becoming historic reference.

Nevertheless, I do not personal such a tool, and in response to a Fb ballot, none of my acquaintances did both. The gadget gave the impression to be outdated know-how that nobody had. However I did not quit; I looked for “dot matrix printer” within the Fonecta search service. The search yielded just one outcome: the printer-manufacturing firm, OKI Finland. I emailed them, asking in the event that they knew the place I might borrow a dot-matrix printer. Fortuitously, and to my shock, that they had one to lend, which I borrowed for a month.

Dot matrix printer printing the colly
(Determine 22.) Printing the colly with a matrix printer.

Nevertheless, my luck modified when, upon testing the printer’s options, I discovered that it was not attainable to print a totally steady picture. The printout of my manufacturing turned out to be over 5 meters lengthy, and the printer left a margin of a couple of centimeter each 30 centimeters or so. That is as a result of printer’s drivers, which weren’t designed for lengthy print runs, even when it might be theoretically attainable. However, I did not let this discourage me, as the thought of the manufacturing nonetheless comes by regardless of this.

Word from 2023:

I did handle to print it as a “steady” picture by printing one part at a time after which fastidiously positioning the paper once more.

The goal of the challenge was to discover Amiga ASCII tradition, study to look at kinds, typography, and textures in a brand new means, improve my inventive expression, and collect insights for graphic design.

Amiga ASCII considerably resembles graphic design. It’s used to brighten consumer interfaces, create logos for purchasers, and typographic design lies at its core. Nevertheless, I do not really feel that I’ve gained any sensible profit as a graphic designer from this challenge. The strategy of Amiga ASCII is exclusive, and it has no sensible hyperlink to at this time’s world. It is arduous to instrumentalize. It operates below its personal guidelines, within the margin, exterior the mainstream. It’s anti-capitalist, even anarchistic, as a result of it’s troublesome to commercialize or show in artwork galleries. It may be described as digital folks artwork or custom. It pales in expressive energy in comparison with many different artwork strategies. But, it is alluring, charming, and pleasant due to its peculiar nature.

I don’t see that I’ve developed as a designer, however I really feel I’ve gained immensely from the challenge. I’m happy to have been launched to such an fascinating subject. In my opinion, I’ve supplied a complete description of the topic. I really feel proud to have discovered a talent that many individuals I do know had by no means even heard of, and in that respect, my objective was met: I developed my inventive expression. Nevertheless, I solely scratched the floor and see lots of potential within the technique. I positively intend to proceed creating Amiga ASCII artwork. It could even be nice if my challenge helped me turn out to be a part of the Amiga ASCII group.

As Matt “mattmatthew” Yee states in a Blocktronics interview:

“The works finished by new and previous artists today are most likely the perfect the scene has ever seen, with a number of exceptions. My friends have developed this technique additional than it has ever been developed earlier than. That is an thrilling time to attract.”

I sit up for following the event of Amiga ASCII artwork.

Word from 2023:

8 years later, I have to say doing this thesis was an actual turning level for me! It is troublesome to place into phrases how and the way a lot it benefitted me as a graphic designer or as an individual, however as textual content artwork remains to be on the core of my observe, I might say quite a bit. The “sensible” use of Amiga ASCII has primarily come from studying and understanding the modular course of of picture making, which has enabled me to develop numerous modular design instruments that I’ve utilized in my career as a graphic designer. Even a lot that I not often use any Adobe software program anymore.

I did be part of the Amiga ASCII group shortly after releasing my thesis, by becoming a member of the “Impure!ASCII 1940” group. In 2021 I collaborated with them by making an 8 minute long train ride animation that even gained the PC Demo compo at Flashparty 2021. I am actually joyful the way it turned out!

Regardless that it has been 8 years, I nonetheless really feel like I’ve solely scratched the floor of the potential within the technique. I do not see myself stopping anytime quickly.


  • Bann, Stephen (1967): Concrete poetry. A global anthology, Lontoo: London Journal editions.
  • Coulmas, Florian (1999): The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Methods. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • Halliday, M.A.Okay ja Hasan. R (1976): Cohesion in English. Longman.
  • Jäntti, Yrjö (1940): Kirjapainotaidon historia. WSOY.
  • MikroBitti-magazine 6–7/1992
  • Tullett, Barrie (2014): Typewriter artwork: a contemporary anthology. Lontoo: Laurence King Publishing.





  • Kiuru, Antti (2015): henkilöhaastattelu. Helsinki. 5.4.2015.
  • Hischer, Michael (2015): sähköpostihaastattelu. 18.3.2015.



“ttf model of TopazPlus” by dMG/t!s^dS! is licensed below CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.0 <!s-af10.readme.html > 10.4.2015.

Source Link

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2022 Blinking Robots.
WordPress by Doejo

Scroll To Top