Fractal Ambigram Results!

I was a little hesitant to set this theme for the challenge, as I knew it would be quite difficult, but I was very impressed with all the entries received! It took me a while to choose, but here is the winner:

punya-mishra-fractal2
Punya Mishra – Fractal

It is simple an effective, and the animation adds a lot to the theme! Punya submitted a lot of animated entries like this, so keep scrolling to see them all!

Here is the runner up – I feel slightly bad for not choosing this as the winner as it is a bit more ‘clever’, but it took me a little while longer to be able to read it:

Otto Kronstedt Flake
Otto Kronstedt – Flake

Notice how the F has a rotational symmetry of order 3, and also rotates to make the A, which is what leads to the fractal effect. And the photoshop effects add a nice atmosphere. Very inspired!

otto kronstedt root
Otto Kronstedt – Root

This one made me laugh a little. This style of fractal is typically called a tree, but here it is turned upside down, and called a root. 🙂

The T/RR is very clever!

Otto Kronstedt boom
Otto Kronstedt – Boom
dhaval shah eminem
Dhaal Shah – Eminem

This one goes to show that you can make something effective with only pre-existing fonts! The E/M looks very natural, and it got me thinking that any chain ambigram can be converted into a fractal ambigram just by turning the chain into a spiral.

And now, as promised, here are the rest of Punya Mishra’s animated designs:

punya mishra ambigram
Punya Mishra – Ambigram
punya mishra similarity
Punya Mishra – Similarity
punya mishra matrix
Punya Mishra – Matrix
punya mishra mandelbrot
Punya Mishra – Mandelbrot
punya mishra iterate
Punya Mishra – Iterate
punya mishra invariance
Punya Mishra – Invariance
punya mishra infinite-zoom
Punya Mishra – infinite
punya mishra fractal
Punya Mishra – Fractal
punya mishra dream
Punya Mishra – Dream
punya mishra beauty
Punya Mishra – Beauty
punya mishra spirals
Punya Mishra – Spirals
Punya Mishra self similarity
Punya Mishra – Self Similarity
Punya Mishra regress-infinity-symbol
Punya Mishra – Infinite Regress
Punya Mishra matrix2
Punya Mishra – Matrix

And here are the honorable mentions:

paul hannah Snowflake
Paul Hannah – Snowflake
Otto Kronstedt spiral
Otto Kronstedt – Spiral
himanshu modi - grid
Himanshu Modi – Grid
dhaval shah aurora
Dhaval Shah – Aurora
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Ambigram competition – Fractals!

I’m quite excited to see what submissions this one gets – you have a couple of options:

  1. Make an ambigram of your favourite Fractal pattern
  2. Incorporate a Fractal into your ambigram design
  3. Design an ambigram which is by design self similar
  4. All of the above!

Email your submissions to kai@ambigr.am before 28th July, good luck!

Functional Ambigram Results!

Hello everybody – it seems this theme has sparked a lot of inspiration, with many wonderful entries!

And the winner is:

Jennifer Lynch upvotedownvote

Up/dn by Jennifer Lynch. I know it is small, and I know it is simple, but in my opinion it is the most functional one! Here, you can see it being used as the upvote/downvote symbols on the ambigram subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/ambigrams/

 

metal fence texture png Best of chain fence for photoshop Google
Diego Colombo – Caution High Voltage

This one was my favourite entry! However I could not select it as a winner because the fact it is an ambigram adds nothing to the design functionally. The sign is stuck to the fencing, and there is no reason to turn it upside down. However, it is very pretty, so I decided to mention it!

otto kronstedt play pause
Otto Kronstedt – Play/Pause

This one is very functional – often there is one button for both play and pause, and with this ambigram, there need only be one word to show both functions!

otto kronstedt welcome come again
Otto Kronstedt – Welcom/Come again

it reminds me of the famous ambigram doormat, but with a more polite sentiment!

saransh Kejriwal - please clean room
Saransh Kejriwal – please clean room/please don’t bother

Another brilliant idea! A sign to help hotel staff know which rooms need to be cleaned.

 

Alessandro_Pocaterra_Nice_Day_fuck_you
Alessandro Pocaterra -Nice Day/Fuck You

If you are prone to grumpiness at work, perhaps this sign would help your co-workers know how approachable you are feeling without having to talk to you.

Alessandro_Pocaterra_Pillow_HugMe
Alessandro Pocaterra HugMe/I need sex

Do you have intimacy issues and need a nonverbal way to communicate to your lover that you are in the mood for sex? Look no further!! Bonus points for the upside down heart 😉

Beth Gulley Feed, Fed
Beth Gulley – Feed Dog / Fed Dog

This is a nice functional ambigram. It is to indicate whether or not the dog needs feeding – I like how the expression on the dog turns from grumpy to satisfied!

Dhaval Shah - engaged vacant
Dhaval Shah – Engaged/Vacant

A nice idea for toilet signage – I can imagine the lock mechanism rotating and updating the message!

Dhaval Shah - pass fail
Dhaval Shah – pass/fail

This is a nice idea, but I can see how some unscrupulous students might abuse the ambiguity of the stamp to show their parents how they pass every test!

Dhaval Shah - push pull
Dhaval Shah – Push/Pull
Dhaval Shah - up dn
Dhaval Shah Up/Dn

The same solution as the winning entry! Unfortunately this one doesn’t win because of context – an up/dn button on an ambigram website is more functional than an up/dn button on a lift, because it also has the function of providing context of the website.

diego colombo Dolls Shop
Diego Colombo – Dolls Shop

Come in, dolls shop open / Sorry, dolls shop closed. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to read the word ‘Sorry’. But the lettering is beautiful!

himanshu modi push pull
Himanshu Modi – push pull

Imagine this design on a set of glass doors – on one side you would know to push, and on the other you would know to pull!

otto kronstedt full empty
Otto Kronstedt – full/empty
otto kronstedt pull push
Otto Kronstedt – Push/Pull
otto kronstedt right left
Otto Kronstedt – Right/Left

 

And there we have it! Thank you for all your submissions, and I hope you enjoyed looking at everyone else’s.

K

 

 

 

Ambigram competition – Functional ambigrams!

Hello Ambigrammists.

This month’s challenge will be to design an ambigram that has a real world application! Of course, you won’t be able to solve world hunger or cure cancer with an ambigram design, but think of a situation where an ambigram might come in useful. Here are a couple of famous examples:

Image result for come in go away doormat

Image result for drink drunk ambigram

Untitled

In these cases, the use is more of a gimmick, but in a way, that is the nature of an ambigram! If you’re stuck, think of a niche you are interested in, and think of any situation where you ever need to look at something upside down or through a mirror.

Be creative, come up with something fresh, and email your designs to kai@ambigr.am before 15th June. I believe in you!

Kai

Physics Ambigram Competition Results!

Hello ambigrammers, thanks for all your amazing entries, but at the end of the day we have to choose a winner, and that winner is:

diego colombo - Everlasting Transmutation of energy and matter - Matter becomes Energy
Matter becomes Energy – Diego Colombo!

Lots to take in here! But I especially like the very legible ambigram in the middle – matter becomes energy and energy becomes matter. The outer rings are also very impressive, and very beautiful. Well done Diego!

And here are the honorable mentions:

harold kit elvira - darkmatter
Harold Kit Elvira – Dark Matter

I was coincidentally speaking with an astrophysicist yesterday, and we are getting ever closer to figuring out the mystery behind Dark Matter. He said he predicts this to happen within the next 10 years. Dark Energy, however, will likely remain a mystery for much longer. Very nice, very classic design.

john langdon 4 FORCES
4 fundamental forces – John Langdon

Here we have 4 ‘atom’ looking designs – the nucleus reading the word Force, and the rings reading Strong Nuclear, Electromagnetic, Gravitational, and Weak Nuclear. 4 Fundamental forces, like the 4 elements!

Otto Kronstedt Einstein
Otto Kronstedt – Einstein

We do not get many spinonym entries, and I have never actually tried one myself. This is beautiful and clever. Perhaps it also refers in a metaphorical way to general relativity – each letter is the same from a different frame of reference.

otto kronstedt Equilibrium
Otto Kronstedt – Equilibrium

If you haven’t tried mirror reflective ambigrams like this before, they aren’t easy. Normal ambigrams allow you to take advantage of a little quirk with the Latin alphabet – they are much easier to distinguish with the tops of the letters than the bottom (except in outliers like the letter U). This is a great design, and it nicely represents the word it reads.

 

otto kronstedt Force
Force – Otto Kronstedt

Otto makes a lot of fancy experimental designs, but we cannot forget that he is also great at the classic black and white blackletter ambigram. Nice!

And finally, here are the rest of the entries, in no particular order:

Electro_Magnet
Electro Magnet – Otto Kronstedt

A very creative layout, but I find it hard to read.

michael Irving Chaos Order
Chaos/Order – Michael Irving

The duality of chaos and order! Our inevitable collapse as a universe into a state of perfect entropy.

michael irving Yin&Yang
Yin & Yang – Michael Irving

I think the ambigram here is a beautiful design, but it clashes with the symbol in the background. The symbol is so simple, yet the ambigram is filled with flourishes. Perhaps a more simple minimalistic ambigram design would fit better here.

Otto Kronstedt E_mc2
E=MC2 – Otto Kronstedt

Again, a very creative layout, but the E has some very elaborate flourishes, distracting from what it should read!

 

Otto Kronstedt Elemental_forces
EM, G, WN, SN – Otto Kronstedt

Another spinonym design by Otto Kronstedt, showing the 4 fundamental forces in abbreviated form.

vy fieldthumb
Field – Vy
vy gravitythumb
Gravity – Vy
vy ionthumb
Ion – Vy
vy lightthumb
Light – Vy
vy naturethumb
Nature – Vy
vy obeythumb
Obey – Vy
vy relativitythumb
Relativity – Vy
vy stringthumb
String – Vy
vy wavethumb
Wave – Vy

As a relative newcomer to the ambigram scene, I love the new approaches Vy takes! With any art form, after doing it for so long, you get develop a formula and if you aren’t careful, end up limiting yourself. But here, I can see a lot of things I would never have thought to do myself. I love the F/D in Field, the TR/N in String, and the Ion ambigram – all of which are new and fresh to me. The N/RE in nature, the Obey ambigram, and the Light ambigram however need some work to achieve perfect legibility. I’m not too sure about the W/E in Wave – I like it, but I’m struggling to see how to make it look more like a W. Maybe it is a lost cause (unless somebody can prove me wrong.)

All around, good work, keep it coming guys 😉

Poetry Ambigram competition Results!

The time has come, for us to now announce the results for this month’s contest!

And the winner is…

 

John Langdon with his ‘Haiku’ ambigram!

John Langdon Haiku
John Langdon: Haiku

I have difficulty every time I need to choose a winner, but in this case, there was no doubt. No other design submitted to this competition embraced the theme so thoroughly as this one did!

I feel like poetry at the most fundamental level is the art of hiding extra meaning in words. Ambigrams are very similar, but instead they hide their extra meaning in the graphical symbols which represent the words. In every case, this means using one set of symbols to represent more than one word, in the same way that a single metaphor can represent more than one idea. But in the case of this ambigram, there are other hidden messages, like little easter eggs!

As we all remember from school, a Haiku has 3 lines, and so does this ambigram – split into 3 vertical sections. And the number of syllables in each line of a Haiku are 5, 7, and 5 – just as the number of strokes making up the letters in each vertical segment of this ambigram are 5, 7, and 5.

I suppose this gives the design a certain rhythm which mimics that of the poetic form it references – and this is something I approve! Of course, I think it is also clear that Haikus are inherently symmetrical in their form, which make them a perfect candidate for a poetry themed ambigram competition.

Unfortunately, I can’t read the ambigram in the little red stamp at the bottom. I assume it is the name of the artist, but I cannot read it! If I were to give one other point of criticism, I would like to see this written with a brush and black ink. That would complete the visual metaphor, for me!

Another favourite was Diego Colombo, with his ambigram of Dante Alighieri

diego colombo DanteAlighieri
Diego Colombo – Dante Alighieri

I don’t have much to say about this, it’s just such a good example of a well executed ambigram. Very readable, very pretty, and very symmetrical!

John Langdon QUOTHERAVENEVERMORE
John Langdon – Quoth the Raven Nevermore

This one has done something interesting. Rather than ‘QUOTH THE RAVEN NEVERMORE’, this ambigram has written ‘QUOTHERAVENEVERMORE’, re-using certain letters. At a certain point when designing ambigrams, you need to think about how our brain fundamentally reads words.

Scientists have in the past performed tests, where a subject is given some text to read, and a camera tracks his eyes as he reads. What they find is that people read by recognising the shapes of words, rather than by recognising the shapes of individual letters. More advanced readers might be able to scan over a few words at once, and process them as a whole.

This is the psychological trick used in this ambigram – even though some letters have been re-used, this only happens with letters at the start or end of the word. This means that the shapes which make up each word do indeed appear in this design, even though some of them ‘overlap’.

It is the same reason that the AV in Raven is still legible, when the A and the V share a stroke.

It reminds me of this optical illusion:

paris

‘The’ is written twice in that sentence, but at a glance, you would not notice!

Michael Irving Poetry_Prose
Michael Irving – Poetry/Pros
Dan Adona Henleys classic
Invictus – Dan Adona
otto kronstedt BloodSweatTears
Otto Kronstedt – Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Words from Churchill’s famous speech (which I have generously considered for the theme of poetry!)

otto kronstedt serenity wisdom courage
Otto Kronstedt – Serenity, Wisdom, and Courage

Words from the Serenity Prayer (which I have also generously allowed entry into this competition!) Here is the relevant excerpt from the prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

I love these 3 word ambigrams so much! They may be difficult to read, but I consider that part of the challenge!

Constructive Criticism

Antonella La Rocca m'illumino d'immenso
Antonella La Rocha – M’illumino D’immenso

Unfortunately I do not speak italian, so this is less immediately easy to read, but I do love the way it is presented, on a postit note in a makeup case. I would love to see a more finalised version – keep in mind that ambigrams should be beautiful as well as clever!

Antonella La Rocca wildeoscar doriangray
Antonella La Rocha – DorianGray/WildeOscar

Although I love the presentation, this ambigram does need some more work. Some letters are very difficult to read, and just need a bit more time to get them perfect, because finalising it in ink! For example, the AY/W solution, and the NG/LDE solution are both on the right track, but could just do with some more playing around to get them as legible as possible. But well done, you are definitely on the right track!

Dhaval Shah padmaavat
Dhaval Shah – Padmaavat

I do like this one, but there is one very striking missed opportunity. Both the A’s look very different, and the second A looks exactly the same as the M. This is of course very confusing, especially since it is a phonetic spelling of a non-english word. The solution is pretty simple – an uppercase M already looks a lot like two uppercase A’s next to each other! You’d need to play around with it, but I’m sure it will turn out clearer than this solution!

Dhaval Shah Shakespeare
Dhaval Shah – William Shakespeare

The image of Shakespeare does help to make this design readable, but unfortunately, I don’t think I could have read it without the picture. To fix this, have a look through the design and find all the unnecessary strokes.

For example, the K/E and E/P solutions both have a lot of strokes in them, making them quite complex and less easy to read. Merging the two of these into a single KE/PE glyph will reduce the number of unnecessary strokes, and make the piece as a whole a little easier to read:

kepe

I would suggest you focus on every unnecessary stroke while designing an ambigram, and try to uncover creative ways to hide them. It isn’t always possible, but in those cases.. sometimes you can even disguise them as a flourish, or a punctuation mark!

Thank you everybody for your submissions, I did enjoy them all. If you are inspired by an idea that could be used as a theme for a future competition, feel free to email me! 🙂

 

New ambigram competition!!!!1!

After a long hiatus, we are back in business! This month’s theme is POETRY. Try to incorporate poetry into your ambigram, whether that be a little rhyming symbiotogram, a metaphor encapsulated in a perceptual shift ambigram, or just the name of your favourite poet. Go nuts, there are no rules in poetry!!

Email your entries to kai@ambigr.am before the 17th February, and I will announce the results then.

Kai

Mythical Creatures winner!!

The winner of the competition this month is Jennifer Lynch for her design below:

Jennifer Lynch Kraken_black_gradient
Jennifer Lynch – Kraken

This looks so good – usually I find such heavy illustration distracting but in this case they make the design work even better, like how the R is completed with a tentacle. I’m not usually a fan of this K/K solution but I think the fact there are tentacles everywhere make the extra lines in the letter less noticeable. And I love the colours! I think the gradient in the tentacles helps them to be less distracting in the places where they would be too busy, and the blue in the eyes is like the perfect final touch. It looks like it could be a cover illustration for a book. Congratulations Jennifer!

And now for the honourable mentions:

diego colombo Lycanthrope
Diego Colombo – Lycanthrope

Very classic design.

eytan wronker cyclops
Eytan Wronker – Cyclops

Perfect! The symmetrical illustration in the middle really ties everything together – I love it!

eytan wronker Harryhausen ambigram
Eytan Wronker – Harryhausen

I’m not sure Harryhausen counts as a mythical creature, but with all the illustrations it fits the theme perfectly.

 

Otto Kronstedt centaur
Otto Kronstedt – Centaur

Really great simple lettering!

Otto Kronstedt electra
Otto Kronstedt – Electra

I think it’s pretty hard to do reflective ambigrams with a gothic style, just because how the line variation depends on the angles of the lines, which change when reflected. But somehow this one works very well!

Otto Kronstedt Minotaur
Otto Kronstedt – Minotaur

An ambigram so good I would not be surprised if you did not realise it was an ambigram upon first glance!

Otto Kronstedt morpheus
Otto Kronstedt – Morpheus

 

patrick Hjelm mjölnir thunder tor
patrick Hjelm – Mjölnir Thunder Tor

I love the style in the Thunder design.

thony - banshee
Thony – Banshee

I really love the lettering style in this one, I can tell a lot of work was put in to get this just right.

thony - griffin
Thony – Griffin
thony garuda
Thony – Garuda

 

dave williams cyclops
Dave Williams – Cyclops

Really lovely style here! The C/O and Y/P solutions are so bold that they work perfectly.

 

dave williams Gorgon
Dave Williams – Gorgon

 

dhaval pixie
Dhaval Shah – Pixie

A perfectly simple design – can’t really go wrong with a word like this!

dhaval witch wizard
Dhaval Shah – Witch vs Wizard

Very nice ambigram! I would only say that the D has an unnecessary stroke in there, which can be fixed easily:

kai wizard

michael irving Baba Yaga
Michael Irving – Baba Yaga

 

michael irving Frankenstein
Michael Irving – Frankenstein

 

michael irving Grim Reaper
Michael Irving – Grim Reaper

I do love this design, but I feel it would be better if all the letters were made as thin as the scythe in the first stroke, just to keep it consistent. But it is a great ambigram!

michael irving JackRipper
Michael Irving – Jack the Ripper

The CKT/PP solution is so good! The London smog effect on the letters creates a great atmosphere.

michael irving Jersey Devil
Michael Irving – Jersey Devil
michael irving Loch Ness
Michael Irving – Loch Ness Monster

The imagery here is great!

michael irving Vampire Werewolf
Michael Irving – Vampire/Werewolf

 

michael irving Witch
Michael Irving – Witch

 

michael irving Wolfman
Michael Irving – Wolfman

 

michael irving zombie
Michael Irving – Zombie

 

Mythical Creatures Ambigram Constructive Criticism

As with the new structure of the competition, all results I found difficult to read will be put here, with some constructive criticism, however valuable you may find it!

dave williams phoenix
Dave Williams – Phoenix

I found the P here difficult to read and it took a while to get used to it. It’s a tricky solution, but in this case I think it could be fixed by just changing the lettering style into something more fitting – perhaps a more modern geometric style.

kai phoenix

I gave it a little go – perhaps the P is still hard to read but at least it now fits consistently with the style of the whole piece!

dave williams polyphemus
Dave Williams – Polyphemus

I had a similar problem reading the E in this one and I think it can be fixed in a similar way. I know at this point the gothic style is quite cliche with ambigrams, but I think it would work really well here, perhaps with a capital E!

dhaval abada
Dhaval Shah – Abada

This one is perfectly legible, but I have one suggestion. Use capital A’s, they are already symmetrical! And when it comes to ambigrams I think it is acceptable to mix uppercase and lowercase letters.

dhaval werewolf vampire
Dhaval Shah – Werewolf/Vampire

I’m not very good at figure/ground ambigrams so I don’t know how good my advice is, but every good figure/ground ambigram I’ve seen only uses 2 colours which tessellate perfectly, so if you focus on the foreground colour, you see a different word to when you focus on the background colour. With this one there are 2 foreground colours and the background is white, so it is more like a group of letters which sometimes fit each other. Maybe it could be fixed with some work, but I get the idea this is one of those things which only works with certain words. However, as I said before, I’m terrible at these so you might want to look for advice elsewhere. Keep at it!

 

Otto Kronstedt perfect human
Otto Kronstedt – Perfect Human

 

Otto Kronstedt unicorn blood
Otto Kronstedt – Unicorn Blood / Live Half a Soul

These two as far as I can see are actually really good, but the ripples in the reflection are just a bit too distracting and I’m finding them very hard to read! I love how the ripples help to add the crossbars in the E, F, and A in the second design however – very clever! But I would perhaps tone it down in the other areas.

And that’s all for the constructive criticism – the next post will announce the winner as well as some honourable mentions!