Another Ambigram Tattoo

sch2525's picture

I've been attempting to design an ambigram tattoo for the past couple of years, but I'm never happy with the design. I finally drew this last week based on a typeface I saw and would like some feedback.

It's supposed to be my mother's maiden name: "di Noia." I'm afraid that I've gotten to the point where I can read the name despite how illegible it may be.

Sorry for the bad sketch and copy - I had to scan my sketch on the copy machine in my office. I'm in no way a professional designer, so any tips to improve it would be great. I'm trying to go for an old-fashioned/European/traditional tatoo/almost pirate-like look, hence the blackletter.

This is in NO WAY a finished piece, obviously; so please don't comment on tracking and such - that stuff will come later! :)

Thanks!

-Scott

evanmacdonald's picture

I like the symmetry, thought I didn't quite get it at first. Still, asymmetry is a powerful design principle. It reads to me as "dio noia."

I think that by taking the O out of "dio" and letting there be a space would help quite a bit. The open end to the 'o' in noia is a bit confusing. Also, I think it would be nice to see the 'i' in Noia right-side-up.

It looks good, just tough to read. then again, its a tattoo right? Who else needs to read it?

evan
www.evanmade.com

sch2525's picture

Thanks, Evan.

Because it's an ambigram, I want it to have perfect rotational symmetry. So getting rid of the "o" shape after the "di" would require me to delete the "o" in "Noia."

But yes, that first "o" shape is what I really need help with.

nvhladek's picture

As it stands, the 'N' is not drawn with perfect rotational symmetry. Since it's the centerpiece, that needs to happen if you're insisting on perfect rotational symmetry.

Could experimenting with the flourishes on the the 'N' to look like an 'o' provide a promising direction?

--
Nick Hladek

sch2525's picture

Thanks, Nick. Yeah, you're right. I did make the "N" different on both sides on purpose, but maybe I should make them perfectly symmetrical.

I'll play with the flourishes a lot...good idea.

-S

sch2525's picture

Please excuse this very bad sketching and scanning job, but getting rid of the first "o"-shape made me think. So I started playing with the negative space a bit.

What do you think about this? I think it loses some of its legibility, but I'd like to know if I should continue on this route.

(Actually, now that I see it on the screen, I realize the verticals on the "N" need to be thicker)

Thanks!

-S

dtw's picture

Does it have to be in the blackletter style? If not, you could try something along these lines (please excuse the even sketchier nature of my sketch!)...


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Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

eliason's picture

Yes, it seems like a D/a should be much easier to pair than a d/A

dtw's picture

My thought was the same as Nick's: if the "o" becomes attached to the N (as a swashy flourish) and NOT attached to the "di" then it should reduce the appearance of an extra unwanted "o". The change of style for the "D" was to avoid the hassles of trying to make the "a" not look like a "p"!

Keeping an eye on the legibility is key, unless you want to end up with (wait for it, neologism on its way...) a "nequigram" (design that's not readable in either direction): there are enough of those about already.
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Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

sch2525's picture

Thanks for the comments.

Dave - that looks just like my original sketchy from a few years ago. Actually it looks like you copied it right on (great minds think alike)!

I wanted to do something blackletter because I just like the style and the inherent masculine quality of it (I know that's argueable). I like the contrast between sharp point and smooth curves, too.

Hmm...looks like I still need to play around a bit.

Thanks for the ideas. Please feel free to sketchy and play as much as you want (I know that can be taboo here sometimes).

-S

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