Ambigram Design

mattmc's picture

I've been kind of fascinating with designing ambigrams or inversions for the past month or so. I've attached a few examples

I've been looking at the work of John Langdon, but does any one have any other tips in designing these or great ambigram artists to check out?

'matt' ambigram2.24 KB
'matt' ambigram2.25 KB
'give/take' ambigram2.87 KB
'puzzle' ambigram1.89 KB
chrisherron's picture

One of the great ambigram designs:

dtw's picture

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

dave bailey's picture

Hi Matt,

I have been working directly with John Langdon for the past five years. The one major piece of advice I see when I look at other peoples' ambigrams is that it looks like all the work was done on the computer. Throughout my time working with and being taught by John, he has always emphasized the creative process. Always starting with a pencil and paper before any digital tool is touched can create more possibilities to explore/refine later. Think about how fast you can sketch out a few letters on paper as opposed to just jumping into Illustrator/Freehand etc and trying to 'sketch' digitally. Not all words will work and forcing a word to work usually results in a less than ideal final product. Another tip is not starting with a defined style in mind, you must respect each letterform and what structure is required to make that character recognizable to the reader. I just posted my latest piece over here:

If you go to John's website and click on Contact then Choose Commission - Ambigram - For Personal Use, you'll see some more of the custom type work I've done.

jhnvilchez's picture

I couldn't agree with Dave more. I had a class with the owner of Managerie Creative, a design firm specializing in the film industry, and had a workshop on ambigrams. Everything was done by hand and tightly refined multiple times before even jumping on the computer. The ambigrams looked better in the end and as hard as it may be to believe, it was 100 times easier starting on paper than on the computer. I just posted some here:
I'm not sure if they are all from Managerie but Princess Bride and Managerie (obviously) are.

Johan Vilchez

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