Daily posts of text graphics and related works, stretching back thousands of years. Textiles, BBS-graphics, poetry, mosaic, typography, and much more. More than 5000 images collected by Raquel Meyers and Goto80.
text-mode.tumblr.com was launched in february 2012 in order to collect quality text graphics in one place. We selected our favourites from archives such as asciiarena, sixteencolors, utf8art and ANSIart but also wanted to show other media and formats.
Over time the focus broadened and shifted from technological concepts to aesthetics, which opened up for things like pottery, architecture and square kufic. We also started to ask ourselves how relevant it was to use character encodings such as ASCII and Unicode to categorize the works, since it was often either difficult or irrelevant.
t3xtm0.de was launched in March 2014 to archive 2000+ posts properly, outside of Tumblr. Both places are now updated with the same material but here it is easier to search. For example, you can combine two tags to find emoticons from the 1800s, animations in ASCII or teletext graphics by Raquel Meyers.
If you find any errors or have suggestions, or if you want to have your works removed from here, please get in touch. If a post is missing a source link or hi-res image, you can try to find it at text-mode.tumblr.com instead.
Formats & media
ASCII – EU/US-centric encoding of 128 characters
ANSI – Colourful and more advanced than ASCII
Antiope – French teletext standard used for Minitel
Architecture – yes
ATASCII – ASCII-encoding for Atari’s 8-bit computers
Baudot – pre-ASCII encoding, often used for teletype
BBS – bulletin board systems, popular pre-internet platforms
Braille – tactile writing system for the visually impaired
EBCDIC – IBM’s encoding that competed with ASCII in the 1960s
FANSI – An ANSI-variation that supports 256 colours, among other things
Letterpress – Oldschool form of printing using movable type
Minitel – French videotex-service 1982-2012
PETSCII – Used in Commodore 8-bit computers.
Print – Things on paper, mostly
RTTY – Radio Teletype
shift-JIS – “Japanese Unicode”
SharpSCII – “Japanese PETSCII”
SMS – mobile phone text messages
teletext – information service for TV, still popular in north EU
Telidon – Canadian videotex service, also featuring vector graphics
Typewriter art – From the 1800s to today
Unicode – currently the most widely used encoding
videotex – a two-way communication, based on teletext
xbin – a variation of ANSI
Artists & groups
A. Bill Miller American ASCII artist. Glitches & grids!
Blocktronics (b. 2008) International group of ANSI and ASCII-artists.
Dom Sylvester Houédard (b. 1924) British typewriter artist and poet
CTRL+C & CTRL+V Generic anonymous name on Japanese text forum.
Delaware Japanese music/design/art collective
Joan Stark Early American internet-ASCII artist
Julian Nelson Typewriter-activist and artist, active since the 1930s
Max Capacity American artist working with PETSCII and teletext, etc
Raquel Meyers Spanish artist, working with PETSCII and teletext
Vuk Ćosić Serbian artist, bringing lots of ASCII into the art world
(more coming up)
Advertising – KFC, Playboy, Atari, the Human League, and more
Animation – Anything that moves
Clothes – ASCII, knitting, cross stitch… new and old
Cross stitch – The oldest form of embroidery there is
Emoticons – :) and :( and ^^ is only the beginning
Grids – Noteworthy examples of (mis)using the grid
Mosaic – Graphics made with tesserae, blocks, symbols, etc
Patterns – A discernible regularity in the world
Poetry – Concrete, visual, dada, code, before christ, after christ
Scene – Demoscene, warez, cracking, hacking, phreaking, etcetera
Sloyd – A special kind of craft
Square kufic – Ancient Arabic script that looks a bit like QR-codes
Tiles – Both physical tiles and computer tiles
Tessellations – Like a more complex form of mosaic
Textile – Brand new or super old, always good
Text-mode – When nothing else matters
Tools – Machines, software, gadgets, media, etc
Toys – All the kids stuff!
Typography – Arranging type, usually not in a grid
χχχ – Naked stuff