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:

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.

Anne Busert, my children's teacher
Anne Busert

Attica - a logo for my Greek class website

Chris, a friend and also myself

Dirk, a friend: modern and 'old style'

Dominik. I have two friends of this name.

Elisabeth, my daughter, who chose the colours, too :-)

Maria Gepp-Riedl, a great psychologist and someone very special
Maria Gepp-Riedl

Monika, a dear friend. I planned to do something with notes because she loves music, but it turned out completely different. So it goes.

Nick, a good friend (my first try)
Black-white version here

René, still another friend

Suad, yet another friend :)

Vesray, a friend's online name

Volker, my brother (his own one, below, is better, I think :))

Wolfgang, my son (who had the basic idea for this one) and my other brother

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 :)

Christiane (me!)

Eva, his girlfriend Martina's daughter and also our mother

Inga. Not too easy to read but beautiful.

Jale, his daughter
Jale 1
Jale 2

Julia, Martina's other daughter

Martin, my son

Martina 1
Martina 2

Merlen, his other daughter

Michaela (two versions)

Michael Alfs - Lektorat. Made for a friend, potentially for professional use.
Michael Alfs - Lektorat

MW (no one in particular)

Volker (himself)
The children and I did this version which no one likes but Martina.

M. Tewes, a collegue. After making the ambigram, my brother found out that it should have been 'Teves', with a 'v'. Oh well. Don't be picky, Michael.)
M. Tewes

Wolfgang, my son and brother no. 2)

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.

Maharet, Rana and Mesirii
All three

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