Environmental ASCII Art

By: Nancy Grundahl

Have you discovered ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) art? It uses the characters of a typical computer to create graphics — like this fish art.

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Computer users created ASCII art in the 1970’s when most computers couldn’t handle images and Photoshop wasn’t born yet.

Here at EPA, some folks incorporate environmentally-themed ASCII art into their email signatures. Fish are quite popular. It’s a cool effect.

With the advent of Twitter, there is a resurgence of ASCII art, some even renaming one-line ASCII art as “Twitter art” or “Twart.” ASCII art can be used to add extra pizzazz to tweets.

Do you create ASCII art for signature boxes or for Twitter? If you do, please respond to this blog with your environmentally-themed creations. Make sure you follow the rules so that everyone will see what you see. Only use the ASCII character set of 128 characters. Only use a font that has uniform character width like Courier or Monaco. And, don’t use italics.
Also, please follow copyright restrictions. While you can copy other people’s ASCII art to use in your personal signature, you cannot use it for business purposes without getting the artist’s permission.

Looking for inspiration? See what other folks have done . Then, think in bigger terms – ASCII art that’s several lines high. And, if you really want to get into it – ASCIImation – videos done totally with ASCII art. No, I am not kidding.

About the author: Nancy Grundahl has worked for the Philadelphia office of EPA since the mid-80’s. Nancy believes in looking at environmental problems in a holistic, multi-media way and is a strong advocate of preventing pollution instead of dealing with it after it has been created. Nancy also writes for the “Healthy Waters for EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region” blog.

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