An “Ambigram” is
a particular typographical word (or group of words) that may
be defined as an 'amphibian' visual creation because it occupies
at the same time two different reading/meaning planes of a
page. The distinctive feature of an Ambigram is that it remains
unchanged even when inverted, or reveals the coexistence of
a second word when either it is reoriented (by rotation or
reflection) or when you simply change your vantage point.
may, in many respects, be compared to the art genre Cubism
as you can see and interpret several sides of an object in
just 2 dimensions. For most artists, ambigrams are a kind of
experimentation and merging of calligraphy/typography and optical
illusions. Ambigrams were certainly known in the past. One
of the earliest recorded examples is the ‘Chump matchbox’ design
published in the magazine Strand within the year 1908.
most common type of ambigrams is the “rotational
ambigram”. One form is a word or phrase written
in such a way that it appears identical even when it is read
upside-down. The other form of rotational ambigram is a word
or phrase written in such a way that a second different word
appears when it is rotated upside-down.
common type of ambigrams is the reflected or “mirror
ambigram” which can be symmetrical with respect
to a horizontal (lake reflection) or vertical axis
• The “figure-ground
ambigram” is a particular kind of ambigrams where
both positive (figure) and negative (ground or interspace)
space read as words.