ASCII art is constructed from individual text characters, and has been used from the early days of computers to make some of the most creative pictures and artistic designs that human-kind has ever produced — some small, some more than a meter in height.

ASCII art is strangely interesting to human beings… perhaps because it has an elemental analogy with life itself, in its creation of complex objects with attributes of humour from what could be mistaken to be the simplest of constituents, a set of ASCII characters.

Since the middle of the 20’th century, artists renowned and unknown have created uncounted thousands of ASCII art pictures with nearly as wide a range as those created by painters in water and oil. A few examples can be seen in the section on email signatures. A list of sites holding collections of ASCII art is provided below:

A few examples of ASCII art can also be seen in the section on email signatures. More information can be found in the ASCII Art FAQ.

Descriptive ASCII. Descriptive ASCII is a variant of ASCII art that describes a word or phrase by positioning of ASCII text. A few classic examples are shown below.

Descriptive ASCII



Neon light


Mind over matter


Reading between the lines



| sand |



I understand