There’s a lot you can do with 140 characters on Twitter.
Matthew Haggett, 44, is a graphic artist in Portland who created the popular Twitter account @Tw1tt3rArt. With more than 88,000 followers, Haggart’s tweets drawings made entirely out of traditional fonts that meet Twitter’s 140-character restriction. His account exploded during the 2010 World Cup, when he tweeted art of team names and country flags.
Each design takes him 10-20 minutes to whip up, and advertising agencies, such as Wieden+Kennedy for Nike and SS+K for Chevy Volt, have commissioned him to create Twitter art for them.
Haggett’s favourite design is one of Domo Kun, a mascot for a Japanese television station, embedded below:
“I joined Twitter in 2009 with a standard personal account @MatthewHaggett,” Haggett tells Business Insider. “I noticed a few people tweeting ‘art’ made out of unusual characters and symbols. @140artist, @HG47, @GuyVincent, and @LarryCarls0n are the four that made the biggest impression on me. I set up my own art account, @tw1tt3rart, a few months later to experiment with the medium. I began in early October that year doing mostly abstract pieces while I figured out how the unicode shapes worked.”
Haggett says he was drawn to Twitter art because it’s a hack — it utilizes Twitter in a way its founders never intended. Also, it was the only way to share art before Twitter allowed photos, GIFs, and videos to be embedded. He says he doesn’t use any special software to create his designs, only unicode characters that can be found on any computer.
Haggett shared some of his favourite designs with Business Insider. If you copy and paste the characters, you can tweet some unbelievable things.
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