Posted by: barbaraneill | January 31, 2013

Bob Neill’s Typewriter Art

Recently, a copy of Bob Neill’s Book of Typewriter Art was sold on ebay. I was especially interested in this because Bob Neill was my Dad and, as well as being a respected hypnotherapist, Dad was always happy to try his hand at anything that might be considered unusual. In 1960, when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, Dad read about a woman in Spain who was making pictures on a typewriter. That was all the inspiration he needed and it wasn’t long before he was making TV appearances and being featured in magazine articles, having produced his own typewriter art.

Dad produced many typewritten pictures over the years and then decided to go a stage further, by publishing two books of patterns; rather like knitting patterns. These patterns would enable readers of his books to produce their own copies of his typewritten pictures. I remember, vividly, the arduous task of helping Dad put his books together by reading out lines such as “one at, one and, two dots” etc.; lines that were completely nonsensical until they were translated into the rather impressive pictures that Dad had painstakingly assembled. I have to confess that. although I have taken after my Dad by becoming a hypnotherapist, reading those lines of symbols out to him as he checked for accuracy, is the closest I’ve come to producing pictures on a typewriter!

There appears to be a renewed interest in typewriter art and, specifically, in my Dad’s work, with articles and blogs about him, (including this one, obviously!), and, although now out of print, his books are available from time to time, from various retailers of second-hand books.

There is an excellent blog from Lori Emerson, in which she reproduces patterns from Dad’s pictures so, if you have a typewriter and would like to have a go, you can access Lori’s blog here:

Bob Neill’s Book of Typewriter Art was published by Weavers Press in 1982

Bob Neill’s Second Book of Typewriter Art was published by Weavers Press in 1984

Bob Neill went on to publish two books on Practical Hypnotherapy, (RONE Books), in 1994 and 1997






  1. WOW! 🙂


  2. […] recently came across some articles describing Bob’s work, including one by his daughter, Barbara, one by Lori Emerson that includes a PDF scan of the first book, and an article The Lost Ancestors […]

  3. I’m the author of the computer program, which I wrote when I was a student. See my post

  4. Wow, so interested to see this blog. I have both those books and recreated some of the pictures during the 80’s. On Tuesday I acquired an old manual typewriter which has encouraged me to have a go at some more of the pictures. I came across this while looking to see if there were any more patterns that I could try.

  5. When I was around 12yrs old, in the early 80s, I typed a picture of Adam Ant – the pattern was in a magazine, possibly ‘Jackie’. I remember how much I enjoyed doing this – it was quite painstaking!- and was so proud to complete it. I have recently been searching through some old boxes for this, alas to no avail. A quick Google search has found (on Lori Emerson’s blog) a pdf of Bob Neill’s first book, but not the second which I believe includes the Adam Ant pattern. I would be so grateful if anyone

  6. oops – I’ll finish that now – if anyone can supply a pdf of the Adam Ant instructions that would be great.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      I’m Barbara; Bob Neill’s daughter.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed typing the picture of Adam Ant all those years ago. My Dad put many, many hours of work into producing his books and I’m sure he would have been delighted that you are still enjoying his work.

      I don’t have a PDF of my Dad’s second book, but I have scanned the relevant pages of the Adam Ant pattern and I think you should be able to follow the pattern from the scanned images. If you let me know your email address, I’ll send them to you.

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