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Ambigrams

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Ambigrams

Postby ErWenn » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:36 pm

I too have been a fan of ambigrams since I read about them in Hofstadter's books, though I view the many class periods I've spent trying to create them in a less positive light than you seem to. I'm interested in seeing if you came up with any interesting ones. Maybe I'll scrounge up a few and scan them in. As you say, it's very hard, and I don't really have a knack for it, but I enjoy trying anyway.

In regards to corporate logos, I know I've seen a few. The logos for h2g2.com and xpedx are the two that come to mind. (I honestly have no idea what xpedx does, but I passed their sign on the side of the road in Tempe very frequently when I lived there. A cursory glance at their web page is not enlightening. There are pictures of server racks, circuit boards, airport hallways, floor waxers, and shoe stores.)

Anyone else have any examples of corporate ambigrams? Or personally created ambigrams that you'd like to share?

Erik
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Postby TheConfessor » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:46 pm

Pardon my trivial example, but I reckon the Dos Equis beer logo is an ambigram.
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Postby Banana » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:19 pm

It's been awhile since I read it, and I borrowed it from a friend so I can't check it without heading to a bookstore, but weren't the symbols in Angels and Demons ambigrams? I remember there was some trick about either reading the same backwards as forwards or upside down...
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Postby econgator » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:53 pm

Banana wrote:It's been awhile since I read it, and I borrowed it from a friend so I can't check it without heading to a bookstore, but weren't the symbols in Angels and Demons ambigrams? I remember there was some trick about either reading the same backwards as forwards or upside down...


Yeah, the whole Illuminati thing was.
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Postby Craig S. Cottingham » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:27 pm

econgator wrote:
Banana wrote:It's been awhile since I read it, and I borrowed it from a friend so I can't check it without heading to a bookstore, but weren't the symbols in Angels and Demons ambigrams? I remember there was some trick about either reading the same backwards as forwards or upside down...


Yeah, the whole Illuminati thing was.

Oh, don't get me started on Angels and Demons. "The Illuminati had a special symbol, so intricate that people have been trying for centuries to recreate it! Unsuccessfully! With computers even! And here it is, reproduced in this mass-market paperback!"
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Postby styxman » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:35 pm

Paul McCartney's "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" CD had an ambigram of his name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Chao ... sleeve.jpg
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Postby fertanish » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:46 am

Clive Barker's Abarat book cover is one.
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Postby Paucle » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 am

I'm pretty sure the band "Angel" spelled their name ambigramously.

I learned about them from Scott Kim's column in Omni Magazine. Right around that time there was a contest for designing a t-shirt logo for our Dorm ( Van Housen). I decided to give it a shot. Uising all-lower-case and a flowing cursive type script, it came out pretty good, using the "upside down" method. The dorm itself had kind of an "L" layout, so I kind of book-ended the script with a tiny "floorplan" (outline only) at the NW and SE corners of the script.

The fun part-- and it could not have gone better if I had choreographed it-- I didn't tell anyone it was an ambigram. At the meeting to vote on the winning design, all the art is displayed up front, allowing people a close look before the vote. I saw a few pausing at mine, admiring the "flow" of the lettering, but most of the attention was lavished on several designs by the same person, who'd created various pix using the letters in the dorm name. Quite lovely, actually. My favorite was an eagle coming in to land.

Time for the vote: the Dorm director is holding each design up to the crowd, giving a verbal description in case it required any. (That one guy with the pix, it was tough to discern where the various letters in the drm were, sometimes)

So, he's holding them facing out, and occasionally glancing down at them. As he's holding up mine for a few seconds, explaining what the little corner things were (someone azctually asked- had no idea what our dorm looked like birds-eye!), he glances down...

"Jeez! How come nobody told me I was holding it upside down?" And he flips it.

A girl in the crowd actually exclaimed "Oh my god- do that again!"

Ah yes... an artist's life has so few rewards.

I lost in the vote, badly, to the skiiers bloc. Yes, artist dude had made one of a skier. Nice design, but it was really just a skier. Couldn't tell what the dorm name was unless you knew what to look for.
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Postby mavman » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:18 am

There's a dude somewhere who made a design for a glass door which read "pull" on one side and "push" on the other. Has anyone seen this?
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Postby econgator » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:42 am

mavman wrote:There's a dude somewhere who made a design for a glass door which read "pull" on one side and "push" on the other. Has anyone seen this?


Not that one, but I have seen a French Ouvre/Ferme (Open/Closed) sign that pulled it off.
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Postby rockgolf » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:27 am

I too first became aware of ambigrams with the Omni article/contest. The winning entry, if memory serves, was the word "numbers" formed from the consecutive digits 1 thru 8.

Aerosmith's recent Greatest Hits package has an ambigram on the cover


Image
but the logo seems to have been redesigned (without the ambi-factor) for legibility in some printings

Image
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Re: Ambigrams

Postby cadams35 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:42 am

I find this all very amusing, because the last four books I read were GEB, Metamagical Themas, The Mind's I, and I Am A Strange Loop. Next up: Le Ton beau de Marot (which I would have read before IAASL, except for the fact that it hasn't come in yet).
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Postby mollysidera » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:19 am

It doesn't take any tricky art, but my initials - MSW - are an ambigram, and I've always rather enjoyed that fact.

And I'm fond of this doormat, which is similar to the open/closed, push/pull signs:

http://www.betterlivingthroughdesign.co ... ormat.html
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Postby cadams35 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:42 pm

Ooh! That's neat.

Speaking of ambigrams (and Hofstadter), this reminds me of something. One of the clues today on J! was about a Turing test, another of Hofstadter's favorites.

But the best clue of all: the one in the movie quotes category for two grand.
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Postby billiej » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:09 pm

cadams35 wrote:Ooh! That's neat.

Speaking of ambigrams (and Hofstadter), this reminds me of something. One of the clues today on J! was about a Turing test, another of Hofstadter's favorites.

But the best clue of all: the one in the movie quotes category for two grand.


My nose is still out of joint because our local station screwed up and replayed yesterday's J!. Happens once in awhile, among other things - this station seems to have constant technical glitches.
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Postby cadams35 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:45 pm

billiej wrote:
cadams35 wrote:Ooh! That's neat.

Speaking of ambigrams (and Hofstadter), this reminds me of something. One of the clues today on J! was about a Turing test, another of Hofstadter's favorites.

But the best clue of all: the one in the movie quotes category for two grand.


My nose is still out of joint because our local station screwed up and replayed yesterday's J!. Happens once in awhile, among other things - this station seems to have constant technical glitches.


Ouch. Here's the link to the J! Archives:

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=2225

Sadly, it only has the J! round up so far.
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Postby billiej » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:02 pm

cadams35 wrote:
billiej wrote:
cadams35 wrote:Ooh! That's neat.

Speaking of ambigrams (and Hofstadter), this reminds me of something. One of the clues today on J! was about a Turing test, another of Hofstadter's favorites.

But the best clue of all: the one in the movie quotes category for two grand.


My nose is still out of joint because our local station screwed up and replayed yesterday's J!. Happens once in awhile, among other things - this station seems to have constant technical glitches.


Ouch. Here's the link to the J! Archives:

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=2225

Sadly, it only has the J! round up so far.


Better than nothing - thanks!
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Postby cadams35 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:05 pm

billiej wrote:
cadams35 wrote:
billiej wrote:
cadams35 wrote:Ooh! That's neat.

Speaking of ambigrams (and Hofstadter), this reminds me of something. One of the clues today on J! was about a Turing test, another of Hofstadter's favorites.

But the best clue of all: the one in the movie quotes category for two grand.


My nose is still out of joint because our local station screwed up and replayed yesterday's J!. Happens once in awhile, among other things - this station seems to have constant technical glitches.


Ouch. Here's the link to the J! Archives:

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=2225

Sadly, it only has the J! round up so far.


Better than nothing - thanks!


You're welcome. Hopefully, someone here TiVoed it and can update it.
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Postby themanwho » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:21 pm

When written in (carefully printed) cursive, the word "chump" reads the same upside-down as right-side up.
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Postby cadams35 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:40 pm

http://www.ambigram.com/

Check it out! There's an ambigram generator. Here's my name:


ImageImageImageImageImage
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Postby econgator » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:10 pm

That's pushing it ...
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Postby Ken Jennings » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:30 pm

I assume that site just uses a character set of 26^2 symbols? The best ambigrams don't usually have a one-to-one correspondence between letters and upside-down letters, which you lose (among other things) via automation.
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Postby cadams35 » Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:10 am

Ken Jennings wrote:I assume that site just uses a character set of 26^2 symbols? The best ambigrams don't usually have a one-to-one correspondence between letters and upside-down letters, which you lose (among other things) via automation.


Yeah, so they're not really good, but they give you a template which you can mess with to create something better.

And, the best ones don't have one-to-one because they're easier to read without 1to1.
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Postby Dobie » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:29 pm

Craig S. Cottingham wrote:Oh, don't get me started on Angels and Demons. "The Illuminati had a special symbol, so intricate that people have been trying for centuries to recreate it! Unsuccessfully! With computers even! And here it is, reproduced in this mass-market paperback!"


Don't you get it? The entire book is really a coded message about how to locate the Illuminati today. (Hint: According to the acknowledgements, the ambigrams in the book were created by John Langdon, who coincidentally :wink: has the same last name as the hero of the book.
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Postby teapot37 » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:49 pm

There's a shipping company named Xpedx whose trucks I see every once in a while.

Image
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