ASCII Portraits

ASCII Portraits

I’m a web designer by day, working for a fabulous little company based in South Bend, IN. My coworkers moved into a new office this year and the new space meant many freshly-painted, completely bare walls. After a geeky brainstorming session with the staff, we had plenty of fun ideas. First, we stenciled the corresponding hexadecimal numbers onto the yellow, orange and blue walls (more on this later).

Next, we put up employee photos. Made of code.


To make your own ASCII portrait, play around with the generator at To replicate my results:

1. Take a nice, clear photo with a plain background. To avoid a shadow behind the subject, either turn off the flash or make sure that they are several feet away from their backdrop.

2. Convert photo to black and white. I found that bumping up the contrast often helped, also. Save.

3. Use a max width of 80 characters (the site’s default) and font size medium. Upload your edited photo.

4. Once you’ve generated your ASCII art, you can copy it into another program to tweak. I made my images 1/2 page with a white border and printed them on cardstock. You can also change the font, but remember that it has to be a monospaced typeface (like Courier) or the characters will squish together instead of standing neatly in columns!

5. To complete the office look, hang with metal binder clips on small nails.

(What the heck is ASCII?)

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