Childhood Competition – results!

Winnie-the-Pooh Ambigrams by Eytan Wronker
Eytan Wronker

The winner is Eytan Wronker for the ambigram above! This was exactly the nostalgia buzz I was looking for when choosing the theme for the competition. You were very lucky to have every G line up with one another so that they could all be consistent. I really like the I in Tigger – it curls the wrong way but does it so confidently it is legible!. The EE/E solution is very odd and I have never seen it before, but I will give it a pass!

Here are all the other wonderful designs which have won a spot in the list of honourable mentions:

diego colombo Three's company
Diego Colombo

I love the concept of 3 different solutions for the same word, but the solutions are so similar! It would be nice to see 3 completely different solutions, but that would be a lot more work, and the solution you have managed to find here is spectacular, so I shouldn’t really be complaining.

john langdon Faculty Brat
John Langdon

I had never heard the term before and had to Google it. I’m never any good at solutions like U/B, but it’s looking great here!

Patrick Hjelm Knight rider ambigram
Patrick Hjelm

I love everything about this one. The style is so cool and the solution is epic. I realy like the KNI/ER bit.

michael irving 3 popsicles
Michael Irving

The rest of these designs are by Michael Irving.

michael irving 3 stooges
Michael Irving

This is a great design! I love the upside down head drawings, making it clear that the design should be inverted.

michael irving comics and cartoons
Michael Irving
michael irving Playing Friends
Michael Irving
michael irving snow angels
Michael Irving
michael irving summer vacation
Michael Irving

I really live the style with this one! The use of the shells as little tittles is very cool.

michaelDrive in movies
Michael Irving

Childhood Ambigrams – Constructive Criticism

This section is for the ambigrams which I found difficult to read, and have given suggestions for their improvement.

These are the entries from Val – reading Scate, Queen, MTV and Disco.

My favourite entry is Skate – the sharp angles give it a lot of character, and I can imagine it on a t shirt already! A very creative design and solution – but I think it would just be so much easier to read with a crossbar through the A! I really love the D/O solution in Disco. I find it hard to read the C, but everything else is there – the style is very fitting. I really like the minimal style of the MTV design – but it is a little confusing. When the black letters are read, it says MTV, but when the white letters are read, it looks like it says M||V – maybe the T should be a different colour so it is noticeable however you read it?

I think overall, I love your minimal lettering style but you have to remember the design needs to be as legible as possible – there is no reason the A in skate should not have a crossbar! Such a simple addition would make it significantly better!

thony littlehouseontheprairie
Little House on the Prairie – Thony

Thank you for your first entry to this competition Thony! The ambigram is very polished as a design, and I can see you spent a lot of time on it. However there is one thing holding it back. You are clearly going for a cursive appearance here. Cursive can work very well with the right ambigram, as the lines connecting letters can be just as important as the lines making up the letters – but here, the connecting lines are only there for aesthetic purposes. This would be fine for normal lettering, but since it is an ambigram, when it is turned over, all those pretty connecting lines turn into distractions. If you look at your final word – ‘Prairie’, each letter is connected by a stroke at the top, which makes it very difficult to separate them into individual letters. When reading, our brains take more information from the top of the letters than they do from the bottom, so these unnecessary strokes make it very confusing to read. I would suggest choosing a style which helps the ambigram work – you might have to substitute the french R’s for something else if that is the case, but you have a strong foundation here to work from!

adrien arnoldy caroet do notes
Caroet de Notes – Adrien Arnoldy

Caroet do Notes means notebook in French. The solution is perfect and I don’t think there is a more legible one. But ambigrams are more than just the solution – they are also works of art. The next step is to finalise your design with a fitting lettering style and some ink!

adrien arnoldy playground
Playground – Adrien Arnoldy

The main problem stopping this from being perfectly legible is the Y/O solution. In my experience, nothing ever comes from forcing letters to fit a shape they don’t want to be in. When we read words, we do it by recognising shapes. I can see a very slight gap in the top of the Y to suggest it isn’t a G, but when the brain is reading the letters, it sees the overall shape rather than small details like that. Rather than trying hard to fit the Y into the shape of an O, it might be better in a situation like this too look for another solution.

A consequence of your R/G solution is a small circle to the right of the R, which can easily be turned into an O to make it a helpful addition to the ambigram, so why not combine the RO into a G/RO solution? Here is my sketch:

my playground

This makes the U a little harder to read, but by playing around with different lettering styles, you might be able to find one which works. Letters like U and O are normally quite tricky, so you chose a difficult word to ambigramize here, and I’m not sure a perfectly legible solution is possible. But the moral is, rather than forcing together letters that don’t fit, take a step back and try to find another route to the solution. But thank you for your entries and I hope to see you in future competitions!

dhaval beyblades
Beyblade – Dhaval Shah

The style of lettering works very nicely with the background graphic – well done! There are a few minor changes that could be made to the solution and one big one. The Y could be made bigger, and have the tail dip below the baseline. This would make the A fit in better with the other letters and be more legible. The first E could do with a shorter bar in the middle, so that it is less prominent when reading the D. The final problem is the B/L, which unfortunately I don’t know how to fix. You could try rounding out the edges to make it look like a B, but with this method I don’t think it will ever be completely legible. But it is a great attempt and it looks very nice!

dhaval cartoon network
Cartoon Network – Dhaval Shah

I understand you are trying to make each letter fit in a box like the original logo, but unfortunately this is the least legible way of making an ambigram. The N/N is naturally perfect, however the other letters are only legible because the logo is so iconic. In this situation there are 2 choices:

  1. Sacrifice legibility to maintain the original style.
  2. Sacrifice the original style to maintain legibility.

You chose the first one – which might work well with other logos, but in this case it makes the challenge of creating an ambigram impossible. If you are sure that you do not want to change the style from that of the original logo, it might be better to choose a different cartoon channel to parody!

dhaval pokemon doraemon
Pokemon/Doraemon – Dhaval Shah

I do like this one – I enjoy the RA/M solution, as well as the M/K. The style of lettering is very energetic and fits perfectly with the two cartoons you have chosen. However, the diagonal split down the middle where you change the colours is intensely distracting and makes it significantly harder to read. I understand that you are trying to show the colours of both brands in the same design, but it goes back to the two options I mentioned in the previous example. In this case however, I think there is a good solution! If you make the same ambigram in both styles, and place one on top of the other I think that will get the point across well enough. When turned over, Pokemon will be in blue and Doraemon will be in yellow, but that doesn’t take away from the magic of the ambigram, and it will make it a lot easier to read. If you send me an updated version like this, I can place it here with the other designs!

 

Paul Hannah HideNSeek.jpg
Hide n Seek – Paul Hannah

I have never played hide and seek in tall grass before, but now I wish I had! The main thing which makes this harder to read is the consistency of the letters. The D is the only letter which is the ‘wrong’ size here and it makes it harder to read. Unfortunately it’s not an easy problem to fix, and you might be better off playing around with different lettering styles and solutions to find something which fits better.

 

 

Ambigram Competition results – Philosophy!

Hello! Thanks for all the entries – not only was the artwork great, but there were lots of nice philosophical ideas to contemplate, so thank you!

otto kronstedt - earth air fire water
Otto Kronstedt – Earth Air Fire Water

I have spent a long time deciding on a winner – so many good entries! But I have finally settled on this design by Otto Kronstedt

If this competition was based purely on ambitiousness and geniusness, this would win by a mile. If you hadn’t noticed, it’s a reimagining of arguably the most famous set of ambigrams – John Langdon’s elements. However Otto has managed to get all 4 words into one design which can be both rotated and mirrored.

Unfortunately however I am having a difficult time reading the R’s in both Air and Fire. I think the R in Air can be made more legible without affecting the other words too much:

my air

However I have no idea what to do with the R in Fire. I’ll leave that up to the genius of Otto Kronstedt!

I can fully appreciate how difficult this must have been to design, and how much work was put into it. And at the end of the day, I think it would be impossible to try something this ambitious and to have it perfectly legible, so in this case I don’t think the legibility is much of an issue. The fact that it has been designed, and that the words can be deciphered if you look for them, is enough!

Diego Colombo RenèDescartes
Diego Colombo – Renè Descartes

I very nearly selected this as the winner, so I decided to honourably mention it. It’s just a very well polished very readable solid ambigram design, and I know Diego must have spent a long time tweaking it to perfection. I almost want it as a tattoo!

And in no particular order (it’s actually alphabetical by the first name), here are the other entries:

damian lakey philosophy ambigram
Philosophy Ambigram – Damian Lakey

Really enjoyed this one. ‘Philosophy Ambigram’. It is self referential, it is self aware, and it is beautifully post-modern – the perfect entry for such a theme!

dhaval shah birth life and death
Dhaval Shah – Birth Life and Death

Wonderful entry – very easy to read and some great ideas in the letter forms. Well done Dhaval!

dhaval shah Chanakya ca'KY
Chanakya / ca’Ky – Dhaval Shah

This one is very impressive – it’s a bi-lingual, bi-scriptual perception shift ambigram design, of the name of an ancient Indian philosopher. Unfortunately I cannot read Devanagari, but Dhaval also sent me a useful image to help you see the other script hidden in this design:

dhaval shah Chanakya ca'KY devanagari

Again – really good work, and very impressive to work with two different scripts!

dhaval shah heart body mind soul spirit
Heart Body Mind Soul Spirit – Dhaval Shah

I really love this one! The funky colours and curly text gives a very psychedelic 70s feel – very fitting as the words written could easily have come out of the mouth of a new age spiritualist. Thanks for your entries!

 

himanshu modi imagined realities
Himanshu Modi – Imagined Realities

Himanshu’s words:

“Imagined realities” is a concept I came across in the works of “yual noah Harari”. It’s a powerful concept, perhaps a little frightening too. For anyone wanting to know more, I would highly recommend a book called “sapiens – a brief history”.

There you go, look up the book if you want! Very nice design – I’ve never seen a G/L like that, and the ED/R must have been hard to pull off. Great stuff!

James Gowan Philosophy.jpg
James Gowan – Philosophy

This one is very nice, and I love the added touch of the secret reversed quote on the bottom, as well as the reflected signatures in the bottom corners. The style works very well!

michael no regrets
Michael Irving – No Regrets

I just love this one – the style is really great and consistent! but the thing I love most is how Michael was able to put a space between the two words. Usually in ambigram design, it is not possible to put a space unless the point of rotation is in the middle of that space. But here, the lowercase r allows for a bit more room, and the space appears when inverted. Brilliant!

michael ArsGratioArtis ArtForArtsSake.jpg
Michael Irving – Ars Gratia Artis / Art For Art’s Sake

I bi-lingual ambigram of an English phrase with its Latin counterpart. In reference to Michael’s previous entry, this is how multiple words is usually done – with the first letter of each word being bigger and more distinct than the others. It’s always impressive when an ambigram is made of such a long phrase!

Above are the rest of Michael’s entries, which are all very legible, and include some lovely life messages. Thanks for the motivation!

otto cogito ergosum
Otto Kronstedt – Cogito Ergo Sum

One thing I constantly notice about Otto’s work are the creative solutions. Whereas the C/M is quite hard to read, every other glyph looks beautiful and approach the challenge in a unique way. I particularly like the G/S solution – very legible and very pretty!

otto kronstedt - categorical imperative
Otto Kronstedt – Categorical Imperative

An example of where the style of lettering is chosen to work as well as possible with the requirements of the ambigram. The L/I is a great example of this, as well as the R/O and the G/A. All of those elements work well because they are written in an italic script, and borrow elements from the letterforms in those scripts.

otto kronstedt - regula aurea
Otto Kronstedt – Regula Aurea

A nice touch to add the Golden colour – matches the sentiment of the text well!

val camus (002)
Val – Camus

Val has a very unique an minimalistic approach to letterforms. The M might be illegible in any other context, but here is it perfect. The CA/US is very clever in its simplicity and I love it! The only issue is that the C is higher than the other letters, which would be fine in other cases, but the style of the other letters is so well proportioned it looks odd. I would suggest something like this:

mycamus

This way, the C being above the A makes sense in the context of the rest of the design. But it is your choice – well done!

val carpediem (002)
Val – Carpe Diem

Another example of Val’s unique approach to letter forms – the CA/EM here is amazing and I’ve never seen something similar. I think the standard approach to this glyph CA/EM would be something like this:

ca em

But it is refreshing to see a new solution! I think it is very legible and I wouldn’t change a thing.

val cicero (002)

This is a very interesting design, but I’m finding it hard to see the distinction that makes the C different from the E and the E different from the O. C/E is always a tricky one, so again I applaud the creativity!

Thanks for all of your entries, it was a pleasure. Until the next time!

Ambigram Competition 6

Hello dudes!

Here’s the theme for the next competition: Philosophy!

Whether that be the name of your favourite philosopher, or a clever symbiotogram of some philosophical concepts, the choice is yours.

Make my day – email submissions to kai@ambigr.am before 7th June.

Peace

Ambigram competition 5 results

Hello there everybody – lots of great entries this month! As well as some new names – welcome to the club!

My favourite entry and the winner of this month’s competition is as follows:

Michael Irving Questions Answers

The winner is Questions/Answers by Michael Irving! I’m a bit confused as to why the ‘Answers’ is presented as a reflection of the ‘Questions’, since this is a rotational ambigram – but I just love the design so I decided to ignore that! The W is a letter I always have trouble with, but here it is expertly pulled off, all with a very clean but stylised look. Well done!

otto kronstedt Beauty Beast

This is Beauty/Beast by Otto Kronstedt. I really love this design, and it would have come first, if it were not for the fact that the ‘Beast’ appeared to read ‘Beasty’. But it is a very impressive perceptual shift ambigram.

otto kronstedt Recieve Give

Otto also submitted this one – another very nice perceptual shift design. It reads ‘receive’, but if you look closely, you can see ‘give’ popping out. Amazing!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Michael Also submitted around another 20 designs! They are all good, but I wouldn’t want to drown out everybody else’s work with all of his, so above is a slideshow where you can go through them at your own leisure.

harold kit elvira frenemy

I really enjoyed this Friend/Enemy by Harold Kit Elvira. Very readable, and very pretty! I think the F/Y is genius, making part of that 4:3 letter ratio!

Dhaval Shah Angry Proud

This piece by Dhaval Shah is very fun – the left column reading Angry, and the right reading Proud. The best part is the little faces showing the emotions in the middle!

Dhaval Shah Android Human

Android/humanoid by Dhaval also incorporated images.

Dhaval Shah Gain Loss

And here is Dhaval’s final entry – Gain/Loss.

JOHN LANGDON startfinish circle.jpg

John Langdon’s style is very well known at this point, and here is a perfect example of why he is so admired! A never ending ring of Finish/Start, with no finish, and no start of its own. Truly using the ambigram form as more than just a clever graphic.

ANTONELLA

I love the calligraphy style of this entry from Antonella from Italy! It reads Angelic/Diabolic and is mirror-reflective. The GE/BO in the middle is unlike anything I’ve ever seen – really cool!

RUBEN TINOCO VIDA MORTE

Vida/Morte – the portuguese words for Life and Death, courtesy of Ruben Tinoco. The D/OR is very clever!

v y ambicomedydrama

And finally, I’m very happy to announce this newcomer to the ambigram community – Val! This design above reads Drama’Comedy, and I love it! It reminds me a lot of the Aphex Twin logo – you could imagine an alien society writing in a language similar to this – very minimal and a very unique style!

val head tail

Val also submitted this figure ground entry, of Head and Tail. I’ve tried this kind of ambigram a few times, but it has never come out very good. This one is great!

val high low

And finally – another entry from Val – High/Low. If i were to give some constructive criticism, it would be that with ambigrams you don’t have to follow the same conventions as normal lettering. It’s ok to have the stem of the first H go above the x-height, even if it means the W has an elongated stroke. And the second H could also have both strokes connected – if the stem for this letter didn’t touch the base-line, when rotated, it would look like a stylised serif on the L, making both letters more readable. But an excellent start to the ambigram art form – good luck with all your future endeavours, and I hope to see more work from you in other competitions!

 

Thanks for all the great entries, keep up the good work!

Love and peace

Kai

 

Ambigram Tournament 5!!!

Hello dudes

It has been a while, so why not have another little competition? Todays theme is the Duality. Make a symbiotogram of two words which exist in duality with one another. Day/Night, Love/Hate, On/Off – the options are limitless!

Any form of ambigram is accepted. Email them to me at kai@ambigr.am before 23rd April to enter!

Peace and Love

Ambigram tournament 4 results!

I’m proud to announce this month’s winning entry – this Tesla ambigram by Harold Kit Elvira modelled on the Wardenclyffe tower which was designed and built by Nikola Tesla!

If there was one thing I would change – I don’t think the little serifs on the crossbar of the E are necessary, and it makes it look like a little H. But these things are just a matter of opinion, and I just love the concept so much!

tesla harold kit elvira
Tesla by Harold Kit Elvira

A tessellating design is still something I need to successfully complete – they have not worked for me in the past. I think they would make great quilts/wallpaper/tiles! Here is a crazy 4-directional tessellating design by Alain Nicolas. I really like the S/TE solution.

einstein2 alain
Einstein Tessellation by Alain Nicolas en.tessellations-nicolas.com

Not happy with just 1, Alain also submitted this 2-directional tessellating design for the same word:

einstein1 Alain Nicolas
Einstein Tessellation by Alain Nicolas en.tessellations-nicolas.com

This Galileo design by Damian Lakey has a great consistent style – reminds me of the ‘Blade’ or ‘Resident Evil’ logos.

Galileo Damian
Galileo by Damian Lakey www.goodandeviltwins.com

This entry for Isaac Newton/Newton’s apple was very impressive – but there’s always a problem with A/P solutions where the A ends up looking like a D. But I love the torn paper/scroll effect on the letters, and Damian has used these little torn flourishes to his advantage for example in the I/E solution.

Isaac-Newton damian
Isaac Newton/Newton’s apple by Damian Lakey www.goodandeviltwins.com

When browsing websites like this before, there was always a comment on how difficult it was to judge the entries. Now that I am running my own competitions, I can completely sympathise. Each entry is just so unique and special in its own way, I find it so hard to decide on a winner!

If you didn’t win this time, do not worry – I probably spent a long time looking at your entry and ended up letting it slide for some arbitrary reason. If I judged these again next week, I would probably have chosen a different winner! The best you can do is keep submitting to each tournament and try your hardest!

Yours sincerelery

Kai

Ambigram tournament 4

Whew – sorry for the lack of updates. As university exams draw nearer, the stress is high and the free time is non-existent. However – I see no reason not to have another little tournament!

The theme for this one will be pioneers of science, Whether that be physics, engineering or computer science – it’s all up to you! As usual, there will be a certificate for the winner of the first prize. Email your submissions to kai@ambigr.am before the 6th June, and I will judge them in the following week.

Any format of ambigram is permitted.

Have fun!

Kai