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138: Fistful of Ambigrams!

November 10, 2012

Oh, that’s right! I have a blog.

Well, shoot. I suppose I should update it with something today, since I kind of promised to post something a week, every week until the sun burns out, and it’s been about a week again.

Hmmm… Let’s see what’s in the emergency bag…

A ha! Here’s something:

Yes, it’s that time again. Time for me to add to the ever-growing collection (parts 1, 2, and 3) of ambigrams! It’s been more than a year than the last installment, so if you’re just joining us, let me catch you up.

An “ambigram” is a word with some kind of (often unexpected) symmetry. The above “something” is the most common form. It reads the same when rotated 180 degrees.

I’ve got quite a little crop since last time, so let’s harvest, shall we?   What you’re looking at here are rough drafts. If any of these needed to be finished, I would probably drop it into Illustrator and clean it up a bit–smooth out the lines, simplify the curves. But right now, my primary goal is just to get a bunch done.

daniel jonathan chad

Daniel, Jonathan, and Chad. Starting off with a few that are pretty straight-forward. These designs work well in small print. My favorite innovation of the bunch is in Jonathan. The way the first A inverts to form a T was a fun puzzle to figure out.

vincent zachary

Vincent and Zachary. Swoopy and dynamic, these two ambigram designs seem to have a lot in common.

Chris Erik Mike

Chris, Mike, and Erik. I grouped these together to talk about sneaky tactics. Sometimes it’s important to make a letter completely disappear when flipped. The E in Mike becomes the heavy serifs in the first part of the M. And the C in Chris becomes just a decorative element at the end of the word (although I could probably improve its camouflage). Also, the E/K in Erik wouldn’t make any sense without the context.

joe joe

Here are two takes on the name Joe. Maybe the bottom one looks more like Job, I don’t know.

doug keli kitri

Doug, Keli, Kitri. All these ambigrams ended up slanting the same direction, so they got grouped together.

ranjan justin

Alright, I know what you’re thinking. “Nope. Illegible,” and you’re probably right. This is what happens when you force it. The top one is Ranjan, and the bottom one is Justin. I think Justin is the least legible of this batch, but I also like the design. These are cool to me, and have a kind of industrial, wrought iron feel to them. They are also clearly not done. Sometimes it’s nice to try to make ambigrams of words that seem impossible.


Last but not least, we have Phoenix. In my opinion, it’s the coolest one this time around. It has a good flow and a decent legibility.

I wonder how long before I post another…

See ya next week.


Want more? Check out the previous ambigram posts. (parts 1, 2, and 3)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2012 2:32 pm


  2. November 11, 2012 9:24 pm

    You’re going to go through all the names in the world, aren’t you…

  3. Deborah Hepworth permalink
    November 12, 2012 5:15 am

    Always one of my favorite posts–and, I agree, last one is most fun of all!

  4. November 13, 2012 1:24 am

    Yup, “Phoenix” looks awesome — but then, they all do! I vaguely tried to do an ambigram once. It did not go well… But you, sir, are a master.

  5. December 9, 2012 9:00 am

    I like the Phoenix and the Vincent – They are the coolest:D

  6. February 12, 2014 8:09 pm

    Reblogged this on stickshift'dre and commented:
    Impressive and quite light hearted, this artist thinks forwards and backwards. Awesome.

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