What is an Ambigram?
An ambigram is a typographical technique that uses written words that can be read from multiple viewpoints, while sending similar or completely different message. It is an art form or other symbolic representation of a word whose elements retain their meaning when viewed or interpreted from a different direction, perspective, or orientation.
The way an ambigram is used determines the orientation, complexity and readability. Like any other art, ambigrams also hold value for their different meaning and representation under different form.
Types of Ambigram
In design, some ambigrams highlight a relationship between their form and their content. Ambigrams usually fall into one of several categories:
- 3-Dimensional ambigram is a design where an object with different letters will look like of appear to read several letters or words when viewed from different angle. Such designs can be generated using constructive solid geometry.
- Chain Ambigram is a design where words are interlinked, forming a repeating chain. Letters are usually overlapped meaning that a word will start partway through another word. Sometimes chain ambigrams are presented in the form of a circle.
- Dihedral ambigram is a usual mirror-image ambigram consisting of numerical digits.
- Figure-ground ambigram is a design in which the spaces between the letters of one word from another word.
- Fractal ambigram is a version of space-filling ambigrams where the tiled word branches from itself and then shrinks in a self-similar manner, forming a fractal.
- Mirror-image ambigram is a design that can be read when reflected in a mirror, usually as the same word or phrase both ways. Ambigrams that form different words when viewed in the mirror are known as glass door ambigrams, because they can be printed on a glass door to be read differently when entering or exiting.
- Natural ambigram is a word that possesses one or more of the above symmetries when written in its natural state, requiring no typographic styling. For example, the words “DAD”, “NOON” and “ANNA” form natural rotational ambigrams.
- Perceptual Shift ambigram is a design with no symmetry but can be read as either of two different words depending on how the curves of the letters are interpreted.
- Rotational ambigram is a design that presents several instances of words when rotated through a fixed angle.
- Strobogrammatic ambigram is a rotational ambigram consisting of numerical digits.
- Spinonym ambigram is a design in which all the letters are made of the same glyph, possibly rotated and/or inverted. WEB is an example of a word that can easily be made into a spinonym. Symbiotogram ambigram depict two words whose meanings are in complementary opposition.
Free Ambigram Generators
There is no one-shoe-fits-all solution to your design needs, so here are free ambigram generators.
Truly Science ambigram generator offers a mirror-image type ambigram. With this program you can mirror any word and even 2 different words of the same length. The designs are basic at best and offer no options for customization.
With this tool, you can create your design for names, words or phrases. It also produces one of the best chain ambigrams. Are you ready to begin? The drawbacks are there are no options for fonts or sizes. All letters are also in uppercase. It also offers limited types of ambigrams. You have very limited options to play with to come up with a suitable design. And yeah, it isn’t free.
Don’t expect too much from Font meme ambigram generator. It offers just two ambigram fonts, the One Eighty and Lake Reflection from Dan Guttmann. What it lacks in quality it made up for in extended options. You can input the font size, font color and effect.
For owners of android smart phones, Ambimatic is a good option for you. With Ambimatic you can create ambigram designs easily. Input two words that would be merged, and click the Generate Ambigram button to see your result. You can rotate the ambigram result and also share with other friends. Take note that Amblimatic uses the same flipscript algorithm hence it has all the features and drawbacks of flipscript.
Finally, here are some of the best ambigram designs out there. They should inspire you to create yours.
Faith Hope Ambigram
The ‘Faith’ and ‘Hope’ ambigram is an example of Rotational Ambigram. When rotated, the word Faith is seen as Hope.
Although words are awesome, so also are numbers. This is a Strobogrammatic ambigram. It offers a clean, plain and beautiful look. If you flip it around, the number 27 can be read from both sides.
Deep Guy Ambigram
The Deep Guy Ambigram is a classic Ambigram Example where the words D and G are designed in such a way that when either letter is rotated, it reads as the other.