Custom ASCII Art Prints

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Published on: October 9, 2007

While I was at DefCon in Las Vegas did I check out a vendor who did custom t-shirts. This stuff is often very cheaply done and the t-shirts don’t last very long. Three times washing it and the print would fade out. What caught my interest was the fact that they actually did very professional and high quality print and that for a reasonable price.

I always wanted to have some nice ASCII or ANSI printed on a shirt so I showed them a few ASCIIs and asked them, if they could do it. I am not an expert in this kind of stuff, but it turned out that block ASCII was actually very hard for them to do, because they convert the image to vector graphics first and use that pattern when they do the actual print. They said that the creation of that vector pattern will take forever, because it has to break down all the individual lines. And there are a lot of lines in Block ASCII hehe.

I agreed for the higher price tag, if I can get in return the vector file, which will allow me to do additional copies fairly easy without spending a lot of money. They agreed and said that it will take a while and that it will be impossible to do it right there at the conference and be done the same day. No problem, the conference was still on for another two days so I agreed to give them time until the last day of the show.

The Results
… were pretty amazing. I had them make me two t-shirts, one with a SAC ASCII logo by Hetero and another one with my own Dytec ASCII logo. Here are two photos showing me wearing the t-shirts. The Dytec logo color is a gray, like the original font color in MS DOS. The SAC logo is in bright and shiny white.

Below each photo is a link to the original ASCII art piece on my website for comparison.

See original ASCII

See original ASCII

Pretty cool eh? I was thinking about creating some more t-shirts and may be sell them off my site, but I don’t know if there is any interest in that kind of stuff. If you are interested, leave a comment here at my blog to let me know. If enough people are interested, I will consider it. If you can’t wait and would like to get the same t-shirts, which I am wearing in those pictures, read the next paragraph.

A Little Gift
I was thinking about it and said to myself “what the heck!”. Here are the vectorized versions of the two ASCIIs, which were used for the prints and were the most time consuming and expensive part of the whole process. I zipped them up and the file is about 2 MB in size. The file format is “.ai” whatever that might be, but the shop I used for the prints is able to use them and print additional t-shirts very easily and cheap, because they can load it right into their printing machine without any pre-processing.

You can thank me for it by linking to, making a donation (see any of my arts detail pages) or buying some of my mouse pads or something like that. I nice thank you and a drink (if we ever get a chance to meet in person) will also do I guess hehe.

Where Can You Get Something Like This?
The shop that did the t-shirts also does other types of custom prints. I was asked a few times where you could get ANSI art as a poster or large picture to hang it on to your wall. Here is the answer to that question: custom print. It is not cheap, but it also does not cost an arm and a leg. You also have to worry about a frame. You might want to ask them if they would take care of the framing for you. Keep in mind that a framed picture is harder to ship and would increase the cost for that.

I can recommend the print shop that did the t-shirts for me, it is called LBGFX Solutions. You can visit their website at They are located in National City in California. You can also contact the owner directly via email. His name is Liz Dela Cruz and his email is lizdcruz at gmail dot com. Tell them that I recommended him. He will not remember my name, just tell him “the guy with the ASCII prints at DefCon 15″ and he will remember :).

Another print shop I know who does this kind of print and also understands what you are talking about if you ask for an “ANSI” to get printed are the guys from ShadowVex for whom I created the custom DefCon ANSI. They are located in Oregon and their website is more or less under construction and promotes their DJ’ing and not their custom printing. They organized the sound and music for one of the official DefCon parties btw. and they do sell t-shirts and a lot of other custom printed merchandizing for DefCon at the conference for over 10 years now. I talked with them about the need of a website and maybe some ecommerce features while I was in Vegas. It is on their to-do list. In the meantime is the best way to contact them via email. The name of the guy is Kevin Whitesmith and his email is Kevin at shadowvex dot com. Say “Hi” from me, if you decide to email him.

Cheaper Alternatives
For simpler prints do you not have to get fancy. I used deviantART for some stuff, like my ASCII and ANSI mouse pads and postcards. I blogged about them last November in greater detail.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Buy ANSI Print Buy ASCII Print

Another alternative for this kind of stuff would also be CafePress. They also do t-shirts, but be careful and keep in mind that the quality of those t-shirts is probably not getting even close to the quality print done by a professional custom print shop.

Good luck and happy printing :). Cheers!
Carsten aka Roy/SAC

  1. Katherine says:

    I know this is a little late, but I was looking for those guys from DefCon and not remembering their acronym, ran into your site.. After which I remembered the order of the letters and the font they used which makes F look like T.

    So here’s their actual website;

    Thanks for blogging about them though, without your help I may never have found them =P

  2. Argh.. I typed their URL wrong, but at least I had their name right in the text :) I fixed this error in the post.

    Thanks for pointing out my typo. I have not noticed it. I am glad that the post helped you (even if it was helping in an unusual way) hehe.

    Carsten aka Roy/SAC

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