Ambigrams 2006

“Ambigram” is a general term for textual images which can be viewed in more than one way. This page includes only rotational ambigrams — which can be read both right side up and upside down — however there are many more types. Reflective ambigrams can be read in a mirror, and shift ambigrams can be read differently just by thinking about them a different way.

I believe that I first came across ambigrams in Martin Gardner’s book “Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers” which we had around the house when I was small. I only recently decided to try making my own, the results of which are below. Note that since I’m not exactly a graphic designer the results aren’t up to par with, say, John Langdon’s or Brett Gilbert’s>.

I found a good starting point for making these was the ambigram-matic generator; my “Xavier” ambigram is similar to the one generated there. For other words it is not quite that simple; the ambigram-matic does not do ligatures. In the “Sylvia” ambigram, for instance, the rotated ‘y’ produces both the ‘l’ and the ‘v’. I don’t have a system for those more complex cases, instead I just doodle for a while until it starts to look good.

So without further ado…

Ambigram of Xavier My name: Xavier.
Ambigram of Richard The name Richard.
Ambigram of Dix The name Dix, which is a nickname for Richard (above).
Ambigram of Sylvia The name Sylvia, this one is a "chain" ambigram, it does not work when the name stands alone, but rather you need a repeating sequence.
Ambigram of Anne The name Anne, I admit I didn't do very much for this one. It's essentially exactly the word "Anne" written in the Marker Felt font. I did, however, slightly modify the 'a' letterform to make it look more like an 'e' when flipped.
Ambigram of Claire For my friend Claire. This is another "chain" ambigram.
Ambigram of Sonja For my friend Sonja. I think this one turned out nicely.
Ambigram of Flip Over This one says "Flip Over". I'm not sure how legible it is; personally I can read it quite easily but I've been staring at it for too long so can't really judge. I like that it's in a different style to the other ones.