I've got a bunch of sketches here of ambigrams exactly how I want them. There's a bit of trouble with digitizing them though. I scan them in, and no matter what, when I convert them to a vector image, it takes a good 10 minutes to load up all of the nodes. Should I go over them in marker, should I try to clean them up in microsoft paint first? What to do, what to do...

Letter Combinations

I think the biggest drawing power ambigrams have over me, even more so than seeing the finished ambigram, is watching how the letters all fit together. I was visiting with my dad last night, and we were takling about some of the ones I had created. My dad's a design engineer, so talking ambigrams with him is like talking to someone who's had years of experience with ambigrams. He paused for a moment in our conversation, thinking, and jumped out of his chair, down the steps. I heard him seconds later coming back up, and he had with him some old books. He handed them to me, and asked me if I'd like to look through them, possibly keep them. They were some of his old books that indexed fonts that they used for dry rubbings onto their products. Looking through those was amazing. The letter changes over the years, he had one that chronicled the fonts through the ages, and the detail that went into them all, by hand, from scratch. We both quickly agreed that the scribes were more-so artists than chroniclers. So I've been looking through these books, seeing some amazing typography and variations on letters. It got me remembering why I make ambigrams.

The best "thrill" I get is seeing 2 letters turn into one. Here are a few examples of my favorite lettering combinations where 1 letter turns into 2 (or vice versa):
Image hosted by LO/G One of the first ambigrams I created (Loading - featured on my site) I was amazed at how the O was still readable even though it had a pretty big gap, readable because the L eclipsed it.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis one I created as part of someone's name. The style was pretty standard "I want it to look like the ones in Angels & Demons", but again, I was amazed at the clarity it gave even with the extra flourishes that the top of the B and the prongs of the K.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis is part, As/ey, of a name, Ashley, that never got sent to the person who comissioned it, they didn't care for it. I've been racking my mind since for even an aquaintance by the name of Ashley who I could gift this one to. As a whole it makes a pretty good futuristic styled ambigram.

These next ones are personal favorites of mine for various reasons;
Image hosted by Photobucket.comJack because of the style it has even though the font is fairly plain...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDiana because of all of the combinations in it, especially the Di/na combination...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBelieve also has some great combinations, it all seems to grow out from the I in the middle...

And this last example is something I have to keep reminding myself when I'm making my ambigrams, even the most plain/simple of combinations deserve a little bit of style.Image hosted by

Trompe L'oeil - Take Two

trompe loeil ambigram

I think the basic plot and legibility is good now, but it still needs some tweaks (especially the center "e") to get the letter styles consistent. The "r" is too Roman, and the feet of the capital "T" and the "r" are too cursive.

I'd like to get it all into the somewhat more spontaneous and energetic hand-inked feeling of the "m" and "p". And the "o/e" is just plain wonky.

What do you use?

Here's one of the best ambigram's I've done so far. "Enlightened"
Image hosted by

I'm just curious, how do you all make your ambigrams. I noticed that someone who posted in this community sketches them, and I've noticed crisp lines on anothers, computer crisp that is. Personally I work out how to fit the lettering first, on a sketch pad, and then use an image program that can do vector images (open source version). I select a font I think would fit best, or since I make them on comission, a style the customer thinks would look best. The one above I made a few months back for myself, possibly for a tattoo someday.

I'm curious to hear all the little difference techniques you guys use to make your ambigrams. How do you choose a style? What are some of your favorite letter combinations you've created? Just about anything. I think this is a great community, and would love to see it pick up some speed.

This is my site, where I design and sell custom ambigrams. It has some more examples of my work.

More Sharpie


Not thrilled about the area around the R. And the A is still reading too much as a D, interrupting the flow.

It's amazing what a difference tiny little tweaks can make.