Text Art on Twitter

The biggest struggle with posting ASCII art anywhere was always the formatting. Trying to get your work to use a fixed width font so it doesn’t come out all warped looking. Also, making sure you added carriage returns at the end of each line of text. If you missed one you would soon find out if you posted it somewhere outside of the Notepad file you created the art in.

I don’t know how the Twitter art is posted. That may be as complicated as making the art itself. A lot of the Twitter art seems to be design versus a picture/ image. The designs are nice. But, as an ASCII artist from the olden days, I am biased to love artists who use text to make images and manage to get them to post.

For a quick look at the most recent text art on Twitter search for the hash tags:

  • #140Art
  • #TwitterArt
  • #SymbolArt

140 Artist on Twitter and the site 140 Art.com

tw1tt3rart on Twitter

T_witterArt on Twitter

twart1st on Twitter and Twitter Artist’s blog

Newmoticons on Twitter and a tumblog.

ASCII_Art on Twitter – Not really ASCII Art but Twitter art and text art.

Daniel Rehn has a Twitter Art list.

TwingDings for Twitter

TwitClipArt – Twitter Drawings Library

Squidoo: One Line Art for Twitter – A good start to practice with. Try other ASCII art sites to find more one line art or begin creating your own.

Hand Drawn Web Design

I made this list for myself a few weeks ago. I love the hand drawn element added to web designs/ site templates. I was doing some myself, posting drawings I had done to my personal blog. I would like to get back to that.

Anyway, here for your viewing pleasure… my list of resources for creating your own hand drawn web template or for adding elements of the hand drawn to what you already have. Best wishes!

Flickr: Hand Written Blogs – Not just the template but the whole blog.

Tutorials:

We are Not Freelancers has a video tutorial: Technique for creating a hand drawn website.

Talk Mania created a hand drawn template and has a guide to what they did to get there.

Web Designer Wall also shows their process in making the current hand drawn template.

Go Media Zine shows how to turn a hand drawn sketch into a vector illustration.

Resources: (Most are geared to using PhotoShop).

Webitect has links to resources and a few tips for designing.

1st Web Designer has resources for using PhotoShop as well as fonts anyone can use.

My Ink Blog has examples of templates and resources for making your own.

Design M.ag has template examples and resources.

Design Reviver has doodling and other resources for making hand drawn templates.

Snap 2 Objects has sketches, doodles and other hand drawn elements.

Hongkiat has 40 hand drawn fonts.

Examples:

Smashing Magazine writes about the trend to hand drawn websites and shows their top picks.

Hongkiat has 50 hand drawn template designs picked out as favourites.

Outlaw Design Blog showcases 30+ hand drawn websites.

Blog Spoon Graphics has 50 Inspiring Illustrations in Web Design.

Create Who You Are Blog has a few more designs reviewed.

Own Your Blog Again

I have a question for you today. If your blog were not in part focused on getting readers, traffic and money making… what would you do differently? If you really took back ownership of your blog, made it a project of love again, just for you; how would you change it?

I would add colour. Not just any colour or just a little bit to highlight and be pretty. Oh no! My very first true personal blog was red on red. Really, deep, dark, vibrant red background with a white font so it could still be read. It wasn’t easy to read. All that red was hard on the eyes, even for me and I loved it.

I feel the new round of blogs are missing that personal flavour. When you blog just for yourself you are free to be as creative or tasteless as you like. Now, with the focus on making your blog for the hypothetical reader a lot of that has been shafted.

I’m working on adding that red back to this blog. It’s coming, but in a more tasteful way than my old blog. Compromise maybe but I won’t be sucked under pandering to what people want.

Type in Your Own Style

In writing we use fonts far more than we actually think about them. What font are you reading right now? Do you know for sure, me either. I could check the HTML and find out but I don’t need to. I know it’s working and it’s readable.

Still, there are endless fonts of every style imaginable. I hunt for fonts when I want to make a new banner or header. Sometimes I have a fairly good idea of roughly what I want. I can almost see it, the shape and size of the letters. Have you ever thought about making your own font? It’s really quite interesting, typography. Try drawing an alphabet, not writing the letters but drawing them.

Here are three links about making your own fonts in case you are more than just curious.

I Love Typography: So You Want to Create a Font

BitBox: How to Make a Hand Drawn Font

Chank: How to Make Your Own Fonts

Slate: You Type – The Strange Allure of Making Your Own Fonts

Last of all, you can use FontStruct to make your fonts. It is free web software. You can create your font and save it to use on Mac or Windows.

Personal Choices in Weblog Templates

How often do you change or customize your blog’s template (theme, your word of choice)? I find there is only so much I want to change through tweaking and the rest I hope to find in the template I pick. There are certain things I always look for, mainly to do with readability. I like a clean cut look with a font that looks pleasant and is easy to read. Many templates seem to have tiny fonts lately. I don’t see how a site focused on being content rich can pick a small font and think that is ok.

What do you look for in a blog template?

Here is my list, likely there are some things I will miss but it should give you an idea.

– Clear header, shows the site title and doesn’t blend in with the rest of the site.

– White space so the text doesn’t sink into the design.

– Dated entries. What is the point of making updates if no one can see your blog is being kept active.

–  One sidebar only. I tried 3 and even four but it just gets too cluttered. You have to be bold and cut out some of that stuff you are keeping in sidebars. Move it or lose it.

– A footer that lets you stick some of the clutter away. But don’t use it as a catch all. Everything down there is pulling down the load time for your blog. Is it really worth keeping?

– Clear definining points between posts. This includes having comments be easy to find wtih the blog entry they should be with. Some blogs require you to go back to the newest post to figure out where one entry divides from another and which comment link is the one with the post you were reading.

– Simple, clear font which looks pleasant on the page. I like a font with a little roundness but not to the point of being bloated looking. That may only make sense to me. 🙂

– A layout I can easily adapt by changing backgrounds and other things with the bit of CSS I know or can look up in a book.

– Not a lot of colours. I think I outgrow those first. Black and white may be really traditional but when I see it on another blog I always like it. So I try to stick to that even though I really love colour, especially red.

– I like being able to add links just under the header but it’s not essential. An about section or a place to put a short description under the title or near it. People are getting blind to the content in sidebars so your most essential information (what your blog is about) needs to be in a place where it is very visible.

– A border of whitespace around the blog itself. I like to have the option of adding a background image to fancy it up for special occasions.

– Something that doesn’t look really boxy. I know CSS works in sections and measurements but I prefer the template to look like it isn’t so regimental.

Especially Special Events

Do you know enough HTML code to change your site for the holidays? Try it! I know we are supposed to bow to the gods of branding but take a break from worshipping at Christmas time, Halloween, Valentines Day and other events. Even if it’s just for one day. Brighten up your site with a big red bow or a fresh banner in seasonal colours. Find something you can do even if all you can do is change the colours of your fonts to read and green. Keep your site readable but give it a holiday make over.

Mad Science Grrl Does it Again

The computer is formatted again and I am back to reinstalling all the software again. Some I think I will leave off. I still have hopes of getting a new computer. Once the taxes are actually, finally done and I get some money back. Computers aren’t as pricey as they were last time I bought a new one. Maybe I don’t need to spend a thousand dollars on a new one this time. That would be nice.

Anyway, it’s nice using a clutter free computer. It’s running faster and the mysterious and aggravating slow downs are gone. Maybe not all of that was from Sympatico. I think at least part of it was Webshots so I am not going to load that again. I do think I will go to my backup disk and nab the fonts and some graphics which I saved.

One thing I forgot to save to the back up disk were my bookmarks. Most of them don’t matter, but a lot were sites I intended to go back to and have a better look at. The ones that I do wish I had saved were about local history and urban exploration. It’s a pain that they are gone cause each was a site I found by chance. I didn’t find it through Google or any other search.

Do other people reformat their hard drive now and then? Seems few do when I ask. I think it’s great. Like having a new computer, almost. This one is so old I can’t say it feels new this time around. A lot of new stuff won’t work with Windows ME now. Stupid of them. Not everyone wants to buy the latest Windows, it’s unfair that software makers try to force it. I can’t use Google Toolbar, the new one now. They made if for Windows XP and up. Idiots. One more strike against the almighty Google.

Anyway, tonight I am going to muck around with the computer. I only installed one game so far. I thought I would do the split hard drive thing and have Ubuntu here but I decided against it cause this is such an old computer now and it does have little things going wrong with it. But, I will keep it when I get the new one. That way I don’t need to split the hard drive of a new computer. I can keep this one for the old software and start the new one on Ubuntu and keep it that way. I’m looking forward to it.