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ASCII art is using ASCII / text characters to form a picture. I've done my fair share of small, lame ASCII art pictures, and there seems to be three main variations:

  1. Hand drawn lines - manually typing symbols to form the outline of an object.
  2. Generated from an image - using a program/website which inputs an actual image (.jpg, .png, etc), and generates an ASCII art version (of some character width) using the fact that some characters have more black than others.
  3. Generated text - using a program/website which inputs a text string, and generates fancy ASCII lettering.

... and of course you could always use a hybrid of these in one drawing!

Generating ASCII Art From a Picture

Generating ASCII Art Text

  • Patorjk - a good number of "ASCII fonts" to chose from.