An ambigram as defined by Wikipedia, “is a typographical design or artform that may be read as one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also from another viewpoint, direction, or orientation.” To simply put, an ambigram is a typographical creation where the word reads the same when upside down, or flips to create a whole new word. Ambigrams are often very sophisticated and very imaginative typographical style of visual design.
So let’s take a look at some delightful graphic logotypes that read the same when they are reversed or flipped upside-down.
Although ambigrams became more popular as a result of Dan Brown’s bestseller novel Angels & Demons, the book cover of which had ambigrams designed by John Langdon, ambigrams have been around for more than a century. John Langdon and Scott Kim are regarded as pioneers and inventors of the modern day ambigram who have been most responsible for their popularization. Today, ambigrams are available on a variety of products and have also become popular for tattoos.
There are various Types of Ambigrams like rotational ambigrams, mirror-image ambigrams, chain style ambigrams etc. but the most common and widely used type of ambigram is Rotational Ambigram, where the word reads the same when inverted or rotated 180 degrees (i.e. flipped both vertically and horizontally). Just like any design, creating an ambigram doesn’t have any set guidelines or steps, it usually depends on the words and the typographical style that a designer wants to represent. A good ambigram is one which is readable and aesthetically harmonious.
Ambigrams are not easy to create, it requires the practice of looking at typographical ideas from more than one vantage point, but a finished ambigram is a piece of art. In this article we have featured some great ambigrams (logos and otherwise). And to quote Wired Magazine, “Ambigrams are the hottest trend in typography since Helvetica.” Let’s look at some awesome ambigrams.
Sun Microsystems logo is one of the most brilliant logos in the world. It is a rotationally symmetric chain ambigram, designed by computer science professor Vaughan Pratt.
Ultima is a rotational ambigram designed by Scott Kim. Turn this design upside down and you will see that it reads the same both ways.
A great Wordsmith ambigram designed by John Langdon.
The New Man logo is one of the first commercially designed ambigram logo designed by designer Raymond Loewy in year 1969, which is still in use today.
A famous ambigram created for Dan Brown’s book "Angels & Demons" by John Langdon. Dan Brown also named the protagonist of Angels & Demons after John Langdon as Robert Langdon.
Illuminati ambigram is an another ambigram drawn by artist John Langdon for Dan Brown’s book “Angels & Demons” as mentioned above.
A amazing ambigram with the word “Logos” designed by John Langdon.
A very legible ambigram designed by nagfa.
A rotational ambigram of the WIKIPEDIA logo, donated by Daniele Raffo to Wikipedia under GNU Free Documentation License.
A logo identity designed by Todd Weber for his freelance business.
A logo of blacklist.tv which also is a excellent ambigram.
Ambigram of “Webcomic,” created with GIMP by Dahtamnay.
A clever and interesting style of ambigram by Krzychu.
A logo for Blacksmithnyc.com designed by John Langdon.
A very skillfully executed, numeric ambigram by Aaron Gibson.
A delicate and appealing ambigram from the word Philosophy by John Langdon.
A logo designed from V and A shapes by Raja Sandhu. The type also easily works as an ambigram.
A ambigram which reads, “One Love ltd” designed by nagfa.
Another logo that reads the same when inverted, designed by Raja Sandhu.
A cool ambigram of his name by illustrative designer Von Glitschka.
Tattoo ambigram designed by John Langdon.
Tessellation with two 90° centers of rotation designed by Scott Kim. This design practices synergy in two ways first, the word crosses itself four times at two different types of junctions: S becomes Y and E becomes R. Second, letters are joined in pairs, reducing the number of modules to just three.
A beautiful Holiday Card ambigram by npgraphicdesign.
An ambigram with the text "Vegas" designed by Greg Williams.
A very easy to read ambigram logo designed by Adam P. Kuster.
A simple and appealing ambigram logo designed by Dalius Stuoka.
Wachovia Ambigram Logo by Brian Risk.
A logo which reads the same when flipped 180 degrees designed by Raja Sandhu.
A great ambigram logo design of xpedx.com, world’s largest distributor of printing papers and graphic supplies and equipment.
The movie, “The Princess Bride” featured an attractive ambigram on the cover of its DVD. This ambigram was accompanied by a photo that has some subtle insights into the story’s plot line.
A very simple and effective ambigram by Brett J. Gilbert.
IMJustCreative’s logo with initials IJC as an ambigram designed by Graham Smith. You can read more about this logo here.
Another brilliant numeric ambigram logo for the fashion industry designed by Zka.
A patchwork ambigram by Brett J. Gilbert.
A clear and legible ambigram of the word “Light” designed by eXcezZive.
This amazing ambigram by Scott Kim is also a Flash animation which metamorphosis from the digits 0123456789 to the title, Math Magic.
Ambigram logo for a t-shirt collection designed by B. Wichmann.
A cool spiral ambigram by rickxard.
A modern and attractive ambigram designed by Floris Voorveld.
Infinity Circle is a 180 degree rotational symmetry, bent into a circle, with three repetitions of the word designed by Scott Kim.
All City ambigram by Katsiedesign.
The flag of Mexico composed of 21 pieces and form a vertical ambigram reflection (mirror) with the name of the country designed by Jose Manuel.
An inversion by Scott Kim, “TEACH” reflects to become LEARN.
The word “awesome” is in itself pretty awesome, it is one of naturally ambigramatical words, designed by rymdimperiet.
Oh yes, that’s mine! With so many brilliant and inspiring ambigrams around, who would not get inspired? I surely was, and tried my hands at making an ambigram from my first name, Sonali. I have also written a walk-through on how I made the ambigram.
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