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Eye Twisters: the Magic World of Ambigrams
Transformation is a potential, it is a process that reveals what is already inside things. What is inside things, behind or in between them is sometimes more relevant than their immediate appearance. But while the first three are being hidden, it is the latter which reveals them. Things are more than what they seem, because the world is not static, in one way or another everything changes and this transformation is not always visible. The aim of any artist is to foster awareness of this hidden changing world and to prompt people to look beyond what seems obvious.
 
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.
 
Ambigrams 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.
Types of ambigrams
The 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.
Festival, rotational ambigram
G. Sarcone - Illusions, rotational ambigram
Camilla and the magic glass, rotational ambigram. When the image is rotated 180 degrees, the wine glass will be standing outside the dish, but the name on the card -- Camilla --, is still readable!
 
Another common type of ambigram is the reflected or “mirror ambigram” which can be symmetrical with respect to a horizontal (lake reflection) or vertical axis (wall reflection).
Imagine, mirror ambigram
The “figure-ground ambigram” is a particular kind of ambigram where both positive (figure) and negative (ground or interspace) space read as words.
Figure / GROUND, figure-ground ambigram
Power of Love, Figure/Ground ambigram
Eye Twisters: the Magic World of Ambigrams
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Gianni A. Sarcone

Eye Twisters: the Magic World of Ambigrams

Ambigrams: typographical puzzles and intellectual stimulation.
7
602
1
Published: