Ambigram logo

WhitePepper's picture


I'm trying to create an ambigram for a logo for a bespoke, alternative wedding jewellery maker. The name of the company is 'Ivy Clara;.

Here is what i've come up with so far, and unless I can fine tune this to read more clearly I think I'll abandon the ambigram approach. Before I do throw in the towel however, I thought I'd post it here to see if you intelligent people can help out at all.

Any hints, or tips on general ambigram creation would be welcomed; as well as specific advice on the uploaded example.

Thank you,


ambigram.jpg32.67 KB
AndrewSipe's picture

I think what's working against it is it's too stylized. It's hard to pick out the letterforms at all. I didn't notice any characters just a pattern.

Try simplifying and smoothing out the character shapes. It's quite rigid.

Pedro Leal's picture

yes, you do need to smooth out the shapes!Id start by reshaping the y... it's the harder to read.

cerulean's picture

For something as difficult as "ivyclara", I think you'll find that even if you work out a really good ambigram, a lot of people still won't be able to read it, making it ineffective as a logo. But if you want to keep trying, I suggest centering it on "l" and you'll probably find better solutions. The development of an ambigram generally requires sitting down with a pencil and paper and doodling out as many bare solutions as you can find first, and applying style comes afterwards.

chriswong's picture

the type treatment looks very gothic and I can't seem to read it, I guess you gotta experiment some other gothic typefaces.


lapiak's picture

It looks awesome, but I cannot read it at all. As Asvetic said, try simplifying, and try to make it more of a recognizable letter. For instance, when you separate the 'v' it looks like a stroke down that connects to 'i' to make an 'n' (make space between) and the right stem of 'v' looks like an 's'. Utilize spacing and don't disconnect letters. That should help with legibility. The style looks great, but it's a matter of refining, connecting, and shaping.

WhitePepper's picture

Thanks all for your comments so far. I agree that this looks too stylized so I've gone back to pen and paper to simplify. It still looks rather blocky and stylized but I think it is now easier to make out and will provide a better foundation to build upon and smooth out.

I tried centering it around the 'l' but it just didn't seem to work. What I like about centering it round the 'Cl' combo is that i can make the C a capital letter and therefore help divide the word into 'ivy' and Clara'.

This is just a scan (with a bit of photoshop) so it's very rough around the edges, but do you think it's a better attempt?



AndrewSipe's picture

It's better than the previous, but could be simplified and cleaned up even more. ivy is still difficult to ready, and the Cl is slightly better but not much. ArA is the most readable.

I think you might want to consider staying with all caps or all lower case. Also, use line weight to your benefit. Thick lines stand out, light lines disappear, this could help make certain character more obvious when in reverse.

WhitePepper's picture

Thanks Asvetic. you're right, I think line weight will make a big difference, and is what I will work on next, though I'm not sure all caps or all lowercase will be possible (nice though it would be!)

I just showed this to someone and thought it said 'Wazzam' so I guess I've still got a long way to go.... :)

WhitePepper's picture

And someone else has read it as 'watlara'....

aluminum's picture

Why not play off of 'ivy' and try to emulate a more organic line rather than the geometric slabs?

WhitePepper's picture

I definitely intend to! In fact, the style of the jewellry is very organic and 'ivy like' so it makes perfect sense to do that. I just find it easier to start all blocky like this and then refine.

Thanks for the input!

WhitePepper's picture

Does anybody have any suggestions on how to make the 'iv' less like a 'w' without losing the clarity of the 'ra'?

AndrewSipe's picture

The reason I suggested the all upper or lower case, was that I was thinking you might have more success with italic lowercase letters and double story a's. I can see the i flowing out of the stem of the a, and l out of the descender on the y.

Keep pushing yourself.

WhitePepper's picture

Hmmmm, I see what you mean. I'll give it a go!

WhitePepper's picture

Okay, I've taken your advice Asvetic, and come up with this. Again, its a very hastily put together 'sketch', but it seems to be much more legible now. Also, the curves give me something to work with to get that more organic feel that I'm after. I feel this is moving in the right direction now.

Kirs10's picture

I love your ambigram concept for a wedding jewelery designer. Your design has improved nicely. The latest posting is the first one that I could read the name clearly and not have to stare at it a few minutes to figure it out. Moving from a gothic-type of letter form to a more humanistic/organic was an excellent suggestion by aluminum. The second a in Clara needs some tweaking. Nice work and it's been exciting to see your progress. Looking forward to seeing the final version.

AndrewSipe's picture

Much much better!

Perhaps to make the C standout more, instead of closing the top of the inside curve of the a, have it turn into a ball terminal like on the v.

AndrewSipe's picture

Did that last suggestion make sense? I'm talking about the inside of the double story a, keep it a double story, just don't close the counter.

WhitePepper's picture

Yes, I think that makes sense - like this?

Kirsten, I've looped the tail of the a/i back over to give an illusion of a stem for the 'a' - do you think this works any better or does it just confuse?


AndrewSipe's picture

yeah, but don't just have it end and turn into a ball, curve it around alittle to indicate the start of a counter.

Also, open up the C/a more.

Also, the loop on the y/R extends quite far, if you make it more circular you could shrink it vertically.

WhitePepper's picture

Okay, I've made some changes and I think it's looking cleaner and easier to read. I'm also beginning to add some ornamental swashy bits to help convey the nature of the jewelery. My problem with version 2 is that the final 'a' can be read as 'w', but then in version 1 it could read as a 'u'.

What does everybody else think?

AndrewSipe's picture

Make it a stand alone i, don't connect it to v, that'll break up the u/w that's forming. I'd even elongate the swash off the i pass the l, really embellish it.

The C is still lost to me. Take a look at Scala's double story a. Notice how open it appears... that's what I was trying to refer to in the last reply.

eliason's picture

I don't suppose they'd want an exclamation point at the end of their logo?! :-)

AndrewSipe's picture

Craig what do you suggest then?

rlynch's picture

What about tightening up the space between the 'i' and the 'v' and making the dot of the 'i' more of a brush-stroke (thin getting thicker)?

Kirs10's picture

the i and the v are very readable and would probably withstand a little additional abstraction to get the second a to read more like an a. I'm not sure the additional swoosh on the i and the second a is bringing anything to the table. It's a complex design as it is, additional embellishments that don't aid the readability start to distract from the message. (same for the swoosh attached to the y and r) However I do prefer the logo on the diagonal.

eliason's picture

Craig what do you suggest then?

I hope the tone of my post wasn't taken the wrong way - I meant it as a tongue-in-cheek comment on how a little leeway in adding punctuation would make it a heck of a lot easier.

Like Kirsten, I'd suggest dropping the swashes. I think with that done you're very close.

It's been interesting to see this develop (and it's come a long way)!

AndrewSipe's picture

Craig, I took it with a bit of sarcasism... like you were saying, "I DON'T suppose they’d want an exclamation point at the end of their logo." as in no exclamation and the mere idea was ridiculous.

I apologize for jumping down your throat.

eliason's picture

No problem at all.

jayyy's picture

I really like the progression so far. It looks way better done in script. I am not too sure about the swoosh coming off the 'Y' and 'R'. To me it seems to be erroneous and just confuses. It looks nice, but a bit stuck on at the end.

WhitePepper's picture

I've tried the standalone 'i' and I don't think it looks too much like an exclamation mark at all - it just sort of turns into an embellishment which is fine. I've unjoined the rest of the letters too and it seems to read that little bit more clearly.

I also like the idea of the brush-stroke dot on the 'i' which i have now implemented.

For the time being I have also deleted the swooshes to aid legibility, though I may want to incorporate some again later. We'll see how it goes :)

The whole thing certainly needs tidying up, smoothing out etc, but does this seem like a step in the right direction?

AndrewSipe's picture

By George, I think you've got it!

Very nice indeed. The letterforms have all come together, now it's time to work on size and flow.

I think the C/a could be larger, and the v/a smaller. the first part ivyC looks even, but inverted the R in laRa stands out. Adjusting the vertical alignment of the letter might de-emphasize this, but you'll have to play around till you get something that works.

You're in the home stretch, it's really just a clean up and adjustment procedure now. Nice work!

cerulean's picture

The i is starting to look a bit like a necklace with pendant. That would be good for the efficacy of the brand if you can subtly reinforce that resemblance as you refine the curves.

stotion's picture

Nice work! You've made excellent progress. The "a" and the "c" might benefit from being more rounded.

WhitePepper's picture

Yes, I think that may help. As it stands, I've shown the current variation to a few people and nobody has yet been able to read it, which renders it pretty much useless as a logo, so unless I can improve the readability soon, I'm going to to have to try leave the ambigram idea and move on!

Any more comments or suggestions welcome!

jayyy's picture

Great job - looks great since I last looked!

WhitePepper's picture

Thanks! I haven't had time to go back to this yet but it's on the cards. I'll let you all know how it turns out (even if it's not an ambigram!)

picard102's picture

I'm getting an h out of that r personaly.

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