Ambigram Definitions
Posted by on Oct 9, 2010 in Ambigram Definitions, Uncategorized | 5 comments

An “AMBIGRAM” is a fascinating and increasingly popular artform of letters and words.  Some refer to it as “word art”. There are various forms of ambigrams that posses unique and specific symmetrical properties.  One thing is certain…an ambigram is interesting from any angle. Would you like to learn more?

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Single Rotational (Symmetrical)

Example:       John to John and Mabey to Mabey

Definition:      These designs read the same upside down (turned 180 degrees).  In this example both the larger word “John” (blue) and the “mabey”  copyright symbol (green) read the same when the ambigram is turned upside down.

Explanation:  You can see that the small white rectangle with “John” in the middle is right side up on the right ambigram and upside down on the left, rotated ambigram, but the rest of the ambigram looks exactly the same.

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C. Spencer Reynolds AmbigramDouble Rotational (Symmetrical)

Example:       C. Spencer Reynolds

Definition:      The design is composed of two symbiotograms (described below) that when displayed together, read the same when rotated upside down.  In this example a person’s full name is used.  This type of ambigram is much more complicated and delicate to design.  Thus, it becomes a unique piece of art.

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Mabey Chain Ambigram

Complete Chain Rotational (Symmetrical)

Example:       mabey…mabey… mabey…

Definite:        A word is placed in a circular pattern and can be read forwards, backwards, upside down and right side up and still always spells the same word.  Letters are usually overlapped meaning that a new word will start partway through another word.  This type of ambigram makes line art a type of eye candy.

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Partial Chain Rotational (Symmetrical)

Example:       Bailey… Bailey… Bailey

Definite:        The same word is placed over and over again in a progressive chain.  If turned upside down, the ambigram reads the same.  You will notice that one part of this type of ambigram is often highlighted in a bright color to draw your eye to the specific word being repeated.

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Single Rotational (Asymmetrical)

aka Symbiotogram

Example:        to Ford

Definition:     The design reads differently when rotated upside down (rotated 180 degrees) as in these examples of “Brian” and “Ford.”  This is a very complex type of ambigram and requires patience, much thought, and a creative design.  You will notice that Clayton Mabey chooses to include both “Brian” and “Ford” in this example for greater appreciation of the symbiotogram.  If he chose to post just one of these words, it would more accurately be a symbiotogram, but the viewer would be left to wonder how it would look turned on itself.

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Vertical Reflected Ambigram (Symmetrical)

aka Vertical Mirror Ambigram

Example:       “Almo/Rita/50th”

Definition:      A word that can be reflected left to right and looks the same in a mirror held next to the ambigram.  The tilted ring as the centerpiece of the design was purposeful and done for affect. Again, this is one of the more complex kinds of ambigrams to construct.  This ambigram is symmetric about the vertical or Y-axis through the center ring.

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Dry Fly Images AmbigramHorizontal Reflected Ambigram (Symmetrical)

aka Horizontal Mirror Ambigram

Example:       “Dry Fly Images”

Definition:      A word that can be reflected up to down.  This is a less common version of a mirror ambigram since it reflects vertically about the horizontal or X-axis, rather than it’s more popular counterpart.

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Clayton Mabey DesignPerceptual Shift Ambigram

aka Oscillation Ambigram

Example:       Clayton (and) Mabey

Definition: A word or phrase that requires a shift in perception instead of orientation.  For instance, creating a design that can be read as both the name “Clayton” or the name “Mabey” depending on which side of the brain is engaged. This type of ambigram is one of the more difficult to create.

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Horizontal Reflected Ambigram (Assymmetrical)

aka Glass Door Ambigram

Example:  [an example will be posted soon]

Definition:      An ambigram that when reflected left to right in a mirror creates a different word.  These ambigrams are also known as glass door ambigrams, because they can be printed on a glass door to be read differently when entering or exiting.  Again, this is one of the more complex kinds of ambigrams to construct.

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Figure-ground Ambigram

Example:  [an example will be posted soon]

Definition:      A design in which the spaces between the letters of one word form another word.

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Multi-Lingual Ambigram

Example:  [no example is currently available]

Definition:      An ambigram that is read one way in one language and then another way in a different language.



5 Responsesto ““Ambigram Definitions”

  1. Tammy says:

    I am looking for the word EVOLVE in a funky SUPER to easy to read font.

    Can you send me idea of what you can do?

    Blessings
    Tammy

  2. lisa says:

    I’m looking for the name PACO AND LISA. some how put together. Email me for any details.

  3. aaron says:

    I am looking for a vertical ambigram that says two phrases on forearm. From wrist to elbow “forgive my sins” from elbow to wrist ” pray for us” I’m not picky about font.

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