I’ve been snooping around my hard drives recently and came across an old Dropbox back up folder that contained a load of stuff from a group project I was part of but never happened.

Amongst the files were a load of ascii logos and banners that I designed and stored but unfortunately were never used in any productions. So after looking through them and realising I’d done more than I remembered, I decided to turn the better ones into a mini ascii colly and shove them online.

I’m working on the txt file when I get the chance but it should be an easy enough task to do and I always enjoyed designing logos and reading oldskool Amiga ascii collys and artpacks.

For those blissfully unaware of what ascii art is, a brief history goes like this….

Ascii (ass-kee) art is a design that is produced using only keyboard characters and utilising a monospaced (fixed width) font like courier or fixedsys on the PC. To produce these designs, you require some form of text editor program like Notepad or CygnusEd (CED) which was the weapon of choice on the Amiga.  Using the standard system fonts wasn’t really the best way of viewing logos on the Amiga, so freeware dedicated font packs were released by ascii artists to better show off designs – Micro Knight and p0T NoODLE were two of these fonts.

The ‘ascii scene’ was a demoscene subculture that arrived during the time of bulletin board systems on the Amiga and earlier platforms. During the time of modems and BBS’s,  board splash screens normally had a large ascii logo showing the board name and was surrounded by general info about the sysops and nodes. Most BBS’s contained some form of ascii art and the more popular, elite boards had more flamboyant designs and banners often referred to as oldskool ascii.

BBS Splash Screen

This form of art duely evolved into pure ascii scene groups who released large collys (collections) that usually contained personal logo requests from other users, general group info, artist charts, design and more often than not, flamewars with other groups. These were fun to read and the constant accusations about other groups stealing designs (lame ripz) was always a giggle. These collys were then uploaded to bulletin boards and each archive containing the ascii text file would have it’s own identifier or FILE_ID.DIZ file that contained info about the file. The files would then be distributed worldwide around the BBS network.

Another face of this art scene was ANSI, Block Ascii or High Ascii which was created using the keyboard extended characters. This was also used for BBS design but was mainly utilised in nFo files for group productions and releases.

Block Ascii

The ascii scene’s hey day was the mid to late 90’s, before the emergence of the internet and the demise of the Amiga. Even though the scene continues today on the PC and art collys are still released at demo parties, it’s nowhere near as prominent as it once was.

Please feel free to comment / amend / correct me on the above history lesson.