Browse a 20-Year Archive of Retro ANSI/ASCII Art
The current nostalgia over everything from the ’90s and late ’80s has triggered a recent surge in retro art trends. But unlike the fad of pixel art, ANSI/ASCII art, or text mode art, is still created the old fashion way–and largely by the same people, too. ANSI/ASCII art is art composed of numbers, letters, and symbols. Although thought by many as a dead medium, the text mode art scene is kept afloat by a large pool of international artists who continue to create, transforming an outdated art form that was largely used for BBSes into a legit underground art movement.
Composed of several art groups, members within these groups release their work via packs, which are zipped files of artwork. Sixteen Colors, created by Doug Moore, is an online art gallery that archives more than 20 years of these art packs released since 1990. You can browse by year, check out the contents of each pack, and even upload your own. However, there’s more to the ANSI/ASCII art movement than creating text art. There’s an hierarchical/political structure to the art groups that’s way too complex to summarize in this recommendation. However, if you simply want to browse some amazing art work, check out our gallery of some mind-blowing creations above.