ASCII Art Christmas Tree Lights Up

Update: I’ve been added as a contributor to the project on GitHub. With a link to my site. I’m happy with that. 

This is my original.

The copy below is nicely decorated, in colour. But, there are no artist initials.

I just went through and deleted all my art from Zazzle, all but closed up shop there, due to stolen art on the web. So much of it, without a link back to me,  without any credit for the original artist. People still assume any ASCII art is there for the taking. Wrong!

This script created with my ASCII Art Christmas tree has been downloaded 179 times in the last month. It is a project on Github. I would think people working in open source would give credit to people who have done the work.

In the past, I have given permission to people who wanted to use my art.  Mostly because they asked. No one has asked in a long time. They just take.

An ASCII Art Photo Booth

Receipt Bot is an ASCII art photo booth that prints on receipt paper. Each bot comes with different coloured eyes – red, blue or green. You walk up to it and press the big button, and when you do, its eyes flash like crazy and it prints out your face, ASCII-fied on a receipt.

via My side project is an ASCII art photo booth | Web design | Creative Bloq.

The Ancestors of ASCII Art

I especially like the idea that these styles of art, ASCII art, typewriter art, teletext and others, keep coming, without influence one from the other even. Just something people get an idea to make when they site down at the machine.

Though it is still around today, ASCII art reached the zenith of its popularity before the web. It was the visual language of BBSs, Telnet, and many other pre-WWW networks. In a wholly text-based world, these works proliferated. For the brief moment that modems were the preferred mode of access to other computers, they were useful. And their sketchy aesthetic seemed right for mediums that were provisional and changing rapidly.

These things did not evolve one from the other, so much spontaneously regenerate down through the years, time and again.

Source: The Lost Ancestors of ASCII Art – The Atlantic

Text Art Used for Newspaper Advertisments

It seemed that many of the newspapers of the era carried such illustrations, with large titles and sometimes simple shapes like hearts and crosses all composed out of type. I know it as ASCII art, but it appeared roughly a hundred years before the personal computer even existed. Of course, before there were computers, there were typewriters, and the first recorded instances of typewriter art date back to at least 1893, but I’d never seen a record of any other ASCII-type art as early as the 1870s. I felt like an archaeologist who picks up an ancient clay urn and finds a modern emoji on it.

In the early days of computers, those first graphics were text inside terminals or printed by daisywheel printers. However, unlike other ASCII art, the designs in these newspapers were definitely not created on typewriters—but painstakingly composed one letter at a time with blocks of type by professional typesetters. Nor are they actually art per se, but stylistic tactics employed to exploit scarcity as an advantage.

For most of the 19th century, newspapers were slim things. Every page had to be typeset by hand, meaning that the largest daily newspapers stretched to only 8 or 12 pages—and many were even shorter. Advertisers soon figured out how to exploit this scarcity of space by buying more ads than they needed, perhaps to deny their competitors any room. But once they had all that real estate, what do they do with it?

An ingenious solution emerged: What if, instead of giant letters, you could build large letters out of smaller blocks of text? I haven’t yet figured out the exact point when and where this practice started, but I did learn that it predated even the 1870s. I found an 1860 ad for hoop skirts in the shape of a skirt. And in 1862, Smith & Brothers brewery in New York placed ads with ASCII text in several papers nationwide.

Source: Solving a Century-Old Typographical Mystery – The Atlantic

On the Origin of Emoji

Lucas provides a brief history of emoji’s predecessors, all the way from ornamental characters in the hand-executed typesetting of early-16th-century printed books to the many symbols of digital type. His journey touches upon the evolution of the dingbat and the emergence of emoticons, the punctuation-based kaomoji, ASCII art, and even expressive punctuation such as the ironieteken — conceived to denote ironic statements — and late 16th-century English printer Henry Denham’s proposed percontation point — to mark rhetorical questions.

Source: On the Origin of Emoji