This is a sunny workshop with a broad working-table in front of the window. It is covered with pens and brushes, multi-coloured inkwells and heaps of paper. On one of the papers you see the word
(by P. Mishra)
An ambigram is "a calligraphic design that manages to squeeze two different readings into the selfsame set of curves" (Douglas Hofstadter). In a wider sense (and in the sense of the word) it is a graphic which can be read in more than one way - usually a symbol or sequence of letters which looks the same when turned around or mirrored.
You can find some beautiful ambigrams here:
- Scott Kim's inversions
- Punya Mishra's visual wordplay gallery (seems to be down at the moment)
- John Langdon's ambigrams
- Brett Gilbert's ambigrams - not many, but some are jewels
- Gef's Ambigram Gallery
and there are many more links on Punya's and Gef's sites.
Part of the fun and the challenge, I think, is to style your ambigram in a way that suits the person (a child? a very serious person? someone who likes gothic stuff? ...) If it doesn't work out that way, however, don't worry - some words and letters start living a life of their own as soon as you start fiddling around, and that's great too. You don't need any special equipment for a start, although I imagine that a drawing pad or a scanner might come in handy when things get more sophisticated :)
Here are some ambigrams I made for friends and family, using paper and pencil for sketching and just the Gimp or Paint and a mouse for the realization. You can click the images for a larger view.
Attica - a logo for my Greek class website
Nick, a good friend (my first try)
Black-white version here
My brother caught the ambigrammitis too! Here are some names he did in Paint. I think they're great. Again, the children chose the colours for their ambigrams :)
The children and I did this version which no one likes but Martina.
And this one we did together for two online friends who got married and now have a little daughter, Rana. Their names change into each other's when you turn them around. We're pretty proud of the feat.