An Introduction to ASCII Art

    _    ____   ____ ___ ___      _         _   
   / \  / ___| / ___|_ _|_ _|    / \   _ __| |_ 
  / _ \ \___ \| |    | | | |    / _ \ | '__| __|
 / ___ \ ___) | |___ | | | |   / ___ \| |  | |_ 
/_/   \_\____/ \____|___|___| /_/   \_\_|   \__|

Artwork that is made up of nothing more than carefully-arranged keyboard characters — 95 American Standard Code for Information Interchange characters, to be precise — is called ASCII art.

I have already shared a few examples of ASCII art, without going into detail about them being ASCII art, in my post about having fun with the Linux command line, where Asciiquarium, Banner, Cowsay, Figlet (which produced the above example), and Sl were all featured.

There are multiple styles of ASCII art, such as typewriter styles that form individual letters, line art to create shapes and characters (even emoticons!), shaded art, solid art, etc. Even photos can be converted to large, intricate versions of ASCII art.

For the sake of this brief introduction, I’ll spare you all of the details of each type of art, and leave you with a few examples:

           _.---.)
 (^--^)_.-"      `;
 ) ee (           |
(_.__._)         /
  `--',        ,'
   jgs )_|--')_|
       ""'   ""'

    ___  ___  ___  ___  ___.---------------.
  .'\__\'\__\'\__\'\__\'\__,`   .  ____ ___ \
  |\/ __\/ __\/ __\/ __\/ _:\   |`.  \  \___ \
   \\'\__\'\__\'\__\'\__\'\_`.__|""`. \  \___ \
    \\/ __\/ __\/ __\/ __\/ __:                \
     \\'\__\'\__\'\__\ \__\'\_;-----------------`
      \\/   \/   \/   \/   \/ :               hh|
       \|______________________;________________|

        ___,-----.___
    ,--'             `--.
   /                     \
  /                       \
 |                         |
|                           |
|        |~~~~~~~~~|        |
|        \         /        |
 |        \       /        |
  \        \     /        /
   \        |   |        /
    \       |   |       /
     \      |   |      /
      \     |   |     /
       \____|___| ___/
       )___,-----'___(
       )___,-----'___(
       )___,-----'___(
       )___,-----'___(
       \_____________/
            \___/

        .--.
       |o_o |
       |:_/ |
      //   \ \
     (|     | )
    /'\_   _/`\
    \___)=(___/

        .
       ,O,
      ,OOO,
'oooooOOOOOooooo'
  `OOOOOOOOOOO`
    `OOOOOOO`
    OOOO'OOOO
   OOO'   'OOO
  O'         'O


,---,---,---,---,---,---,---,---,---,---,---,---,---,-------,
| ~ | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 0 | [ | ] | <-    |
|---'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-----|
| ->| | " | , | . | P | Y | F | G | C | R | L | / | = |  \  |
|-----',--',--',--',--',--',--',--',--',--',--',--',--'-----|
| Caps | A | O | E | U | I | D | H | T | N | S | - |  Enter |
|------'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'-,-'--------|
|        | ; | Q | J | K | X | B | M | W | V | Z |          |
|------,-',--'--,'---'---'---'---'---'---'-,-'---',--,------|
| ctrl |  | alt |                          | alt  |  | ctrl |
'------'  '-----'--------------------------'------'  '------'
                                  Euphrasie


        _______
       //  ||\ \
 _____//___||_\ \___
 )  _          _    \
 |_/ \________/ \___|
___\_/________\_/______

~From: Colin Douthwaite



                                         do. 
                                        :NOX 
                                       ,NOM@: 
                                       :NNNN: 
                                       :XXXON 
                                       :XoXXX. 
                                       MM;ONO: 
  .oob..                              :MMO;MOM 
 dXOXYYNNb.                          ,NNMX:MXN 
 Mo"'  '':Nbb                        dNMMN MNN: 
 Mo  'O;; ':Mb.                     ,MXMNM MNX: 
 @O :;XXMN..'X@b.                  ,NXOMXM MNX: 
 YX;;NMMMM@M;;OM@o.                dXOOMMN:MNX: 
 'MOONM@@@MMN:':NONb.            ,dXONM@@MbMXX: 
  MOON@M@@MMMM;;:OOONb          ,MX'"':ONMMMMX: 
  :NOOM@@MNNN@@X;""XNN@Mb     .dP"'   ,..OXM@N: 
   MOON@@MMNXXMMO  :M@@M...@o.oN""":OOOXNNXXOo:
   :NOX@@@MNXXXMNo :MMMM@K"`,:;NNM@@NXM@MNO;.'N. 
    NO:X@@MNXXX@@O:'X@@@@MOOOXMM@M@NXXN@M@NOO ''b 
    `MO.'NMNXXN@@N: 'XXM@NMMXXMM@M@XO"'"XM@X;.  :b 
     YNO;'"NXXXX@M;;::"XMNN:""ON@@MO: ,;;.:Y@X: :OX. 
      Y@Mb;;XNMM@@@NO: ':O: 'OXN@@MO" ONMMX:`XO; :X@. 
      '@XMX':OX@@MN:    ;O;  :OX@MO" 'OMM@N; ':OO;N@N 
       YN;":.:OXMX"': ,:NNO;';XMMX:  ,;@@MNN.'.:O;:@X: 
       `@N;;XOOOXO;;:O;:@MOO;:O:"" ,oMP@@K"YM.;NMO;`NM 
        `@@MN@MOX@@MNMN;@@MNXXOO: ,d@NbMMP'd@@OX@NO;.'bb. 
       .odMX@@XOOM@M@@XO@MMMMMMNNbN"YNNNXoNMNMO"OXXNO.."";o. 
     .ddMNOO@@XOOM@@XOONMMM@@MNXXMMo;."' .":OXO ':.'"'"'  '""o. 
    'N@@X;,M@MXOOM@OOON@MM@MXOO:":ONMNXXOXX:OOO               ""ob. 
   ')@MP"';@@XXOOMMOOM@MNNMOO""   '"OXM@MM: :OO.        :...';o;.;Xb. 
  .@@MX" ;X@@XXOOM@OOXXOO:o:'      :OXMNO"' ;OOO;.:     ,OXMOOXXXOOXMb 
 ,dMOo:  oO@@MNOON@N:::"      .    ,;O:""'  .dMXXO:    ,;OX@XO"":ON@M@ 
:Y@MX:.  oO@M@NOXN@NO. ..: ,;;O;.       :.OX@@MOO;..   .OOMNMO.;XN@M@P 
,MP"OO'  oO@M@O:ON@MO;;XO;:OXMNOO;.  ,.;.;OXXN@MNXO;.. oOX@NMMN@@@@@M: 
`' "O:;;OON@@MN::XNMOOMXOOOM@@MMNXO:;XXNNMNXXXN@MNXOOOOOXNM@NM@@@M@MP 
   :XN@MMM@M@M:  :'OON@@XXNM@M@MXOOdN@@@MM@@@@MMNNXOOOXXNNN@@M@MMMM"' 
   .oNM@MM@ONO'   :;ON@@MM@MMNNXXXM@@@@M@PY@@MMNNNNNNNNNNNM@M@M@@P' 
  ;O:OXM@MNOOO.   'OXOONM@MNNMMXON@MM@@b. 'Y@@@@@@@@@@@@@M@@MP"'" 
 ;O':OOXNXOOXX:   :;NMO:":NMMMXOOX@MN@@@@b.:M@@@M@@@MMM@"""" 
 :: ;"OOOOOO@N;:  'ON@MO.'":""OOOO@@NNMN@@@. Y@@@MMM@@@@b 
 :;   ':O:oX@@O;;  ;O@@XO'   "oOOOOXMMNMNNN@MN""YMNMMM@@MMo. 
 :N:.   ''oOM@NMo.::OX@NOOo.  ;OOOXXNNNMMMNXNM@bd@MNNMMM@MM@bb 
  @;O .  ,OOO@@@MX;;ON@NOOO.. ' ':OXN@NNN@@@@@M@@@@MNXNMM@MMM@, 
  M@O;;  :O:OX@@M@NXXOM@NOO:;;:,;;ON@NNNMM'`"@@M@@@@@MXNMMMMM@N 
  N@NOO;:oO;O:NMMM@M@OO@NOO;O;oOOXN@NNM@@'   `Y@NM@@@@MMNNMM@MM 
  ::@MOO;oO:::OXNM@@MXOM@OOOOOOXNMMNNNMNP      ""MNNM@@@MMMM@MP 
    @@@XOOO':::OOXXMNOO@@OOOOXNN@NNNNNNNN        '`YMM@@@MMM@P' 
    MM@@M:'''' O:":ONOO@MNOOOOXM@NM@NNN@P  -hrr-     "`"""MM' 
    ''MM@:     "' 'OOONMOYOOOOO@MM@MNNM" 
      YM@'         :OOMN: :OOOO@MMNOXM' 
      `:P           :oP''  "'OOM@NXNM' 
       `'                    ':OXNP' 
                               '"'


             ;I;              
             +It.             
             +II+             
             +III;            
             +IIII;           
             iIIIII;          
             titIIII;         
             I;.iIIII;        
            .I;  =IIII;       
            .I;   ;IIII:      
            .I;    :tIIt      
            .I;     .tII=     
            .I;      :III     
            :I;       +II;    
            :I;       .II=    
            :I:        iIi    
            :I.        ;Ii    
            ;I.        =I;    
            ;I.        tt     
            +I        ;I;     
            +I       ;I;      
            tI      ;I;       
     :;itIIIII     +t:        
   ;tIIIIIIIII   :t;          
 .tIIIIIIIIIIi  ;i.           
.tIIIIIIIIIII;.;:             
;IIIIIIIIIII;                 
;IIIIIIIIIt;                  
 ;tIIIIt+;                    
   ....


                             ___-------___
                         _-~~             ~~-_
                      _-~                    /~-_
   /^\__/^\         /~  \                   /    \
 /|  O|| O|        /      \_______________/        \
| |___||__|      /       /                \          \
|          \    /      /                    \          \
|   (_______) /______/                        \_________ \
|         / /         \                      /            \
 \         \^\\         \                  /               \     /
   \         ||           \______________/      _-_       //\__//
     \       ||------_-~~-_ ------------- \ --/~   ~\    || __/
       ~-----||====/~     |==================|       |/~~~~~
        (_(__/  ./     /                    \_\      \.
               (_(___/                         \_____)_)

There are many sites that share ASCII art, but one of my favorites is ASCII Code.

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