You couldn’t ASCII for a better gift

Twitter art for the holidays: It's the perfect 140-character gift.


Fernando Alfonso III


Published Dec 12, 2011   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 11:59 pm CDT

While millions of people around the world have been busy putting up holiday decorations and wrapping presents, a handful of Twitter artists have been creating small pieces of holiday art that you can send in a second.

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Using ASCII characters, a 48-year-old encoding scheme that is built into all modern computer operating systems, artists like Matthew Haggett (@tw1tt3rart) and Gregory Wadsworth (@aggregart) have put together holiday tweets featuring Santa Claus, reindeer and Christmas trees.

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Twitter art is an offshoot of older ASCII art, a mainstay of online communities since the days of bulletin-board systems—but adapted to Twitter’s compact format.

Image by Matthew Haggett

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*First Published: Dec 12, 2011, 4:11 pm CST