This week while thinking of graphic design inspiration, all of a sudden an awesome idea struck my mind, “Ambigrams”. Angels and Demons, a sci-fi mystery novel by Dan Brown included many ambigrams. Even the tittle of the book itself was an ambigram.
An ambigram as quoted by Wikipedia is a word, art form or other symbolic representation whose elements retain meaning when viewed or interpreted from a different direction, perspective, or orientation.
There can be many types of Ambigrams but the most common ones are:
A design where a word (or sometimes words) are interlinked, forming a repeating chain. Letters are usually overlapped meaning that a word will start partway through another word. Sometimes chain ambigrams are presented in the form of a circle. [Wikipedia]
A design in which the spaces between the letters of one word form another word. [Wikipedia]
A design that can be read when reflected in a mirror, usually as the same word or phrase both ways. Ambigrams that form different words when viewed in the mirror are also known as glass door ambigrams, because they can be printed on a glass door to be read differently when entering or exiting. [Wikipedia]
An ambigram that, when rotated, can be read as a different word than the original, e.g., “LIFE” would read as “DEATH”. [Wikipedia]
Creating ambigrams doesn’t have strict rules or guidelines though there are tips and tricks. Ambigrams can easily be created out of symmetrical names.
There have been attempts to make computer generated ambigrams and have succeeded at a great extent in that case.
Let’s talk about few of the ambigrams from the novel itself. Designed by John Langdon ( http://www.johnlangdon.net/works/angels-demons/ ) is an artist, an independent graphic designer, a writer, and Typography professor at Drexel University. He is best known for his ambigrams, most notably those in Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, Angels & Demons.
Earth – Air – Fire – Water