Dec 12, 2022

4 min read

The history of 800x80

A special way to present your digital art on twitter

I regularly visit the #800x80 hashtag and every single time I’m surprised by the amount of creativity and diversity of style

it’s something I’m incredibly proud of and hope it continues being something artists can rely on for a creative boost and help them experiment with a format outside of their square comfort zone, and to help preserve this format I decided to write this article on its history and how it started.

I’ve always fascinated and interested in creative ways of presenting my digital art within the limits of Twitter and social media in general, the rules they set is the rules artists have to follow, they create the canvas and you draw on it, yes you have complete freedom to create the artwork of your dreams but you still have to make it fit within their canvas dimensions.

So most artists including me gravitated towards the square ⬜ format since it’s usually the best way to view an artwork while you’re scrolling your feed on mobile among other many factors i can’t get into right now.

So one day I was extremely burnt out of this format and I started experimenting with the limits of the Twitter canvas by trying extremely random resolutions with random settings trying to break the way Twitter displays media, most of those experiments ended up with either Twitter refusing to upload the file or ugly black bars on the sides.

But after many tries and failures one random resolution worked perfectly and looked unique in the sea of square art, that resolution was 800x80 ✨

The first 800x80 i made

I got a lot of positive feedback after posting it and it inspired a few people to create their own 800x80 artworks, it was really refreshing and extremely fun so i made a tweet encouraging everyone to join us and create their own.

A lot of people joined and it became bigger than i could ever imagine, the hashtag was full of extremely creative and clever ideas ✨

Another large reason for its explosion in popularity was genuary 2022, the prompt for day 13 was 800x80, I’m not sure who suggested it for them and how it ended up there but I’m glad it happened, it’s amazing when something you started takes a life on its own and expands to communities beyond your reach.

A few days later me and lochieaxon created a cute little website that helped organize all the 800x80 artworks using the Twitter api, the site worked for a bit but then we started having technical difficulties and it wasn’t pulling all the artworks from the hashtag properly, but since it’s a community project i encourage everyone to create their own version of the website if they want to help make it work, although the hashtag is good enough it’s cool to have the website as a backup.

it’s hard to know exactly why 800x80 was such a large success among artists, it might be the cliché saying of limits breeds creativity or just the novelty of trying something new, whatever it is I hope it continues to inspire and help push digital artists think outside of the social media square format box ⬜

If you’re feeling inspired, please go make a 800x80 artwork and post it under the #800x80 hashtag ✨

Share your ideas with millions of readers.