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For Typography Lovers

What is an ambigram? The word comes from the latin “ambi”, which means around or both. The prefix is used for words like, ambidextrous, and, ambiversion.  The greek suffix, “gram”, which means drawing or carving, is used in words like, diagram, and, histogram. Basically, an ambigram is a typographical design where a word can be read the same from multiple directional viewpoints.

You have to be a very skilled artist to successfully pull off a design like this. One such person is John Langdon, whose skills were put to use for the best-selling novel,Angels and Demons”. Part of the novel is about a secret society called The Illuminati which used 4 iron brands to burn the elements, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, into the chests of their kidnapped victims. While the story is violent and gruesome, the designs for these words are quite elegant and beautiful. 

Whether you read the words right-side up or upside down, they still say the same thing. Take a look yourself:











It takes a very keen eye to be able to see how to design the letterforms just right so they form another letter upside down. Not all ambigrams are this intricate. Some are quite simple. Like this one:










 Regardless of the degree of intricacy, I find ambigrams fascinating. Ambigrams are a fabulous example of how design IS art!