Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ambigrams II

The main reason I'm posting again about ambigrams is so that I can show off the design I came up with for Lillian's name (since I've already done my name and Leann's name). But I decided that while I'm at it, I might as well share the others I've designed since my last ambigram post.[1]

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For Lillian's name I started with a font called Allegro BT.[2] I really like the way the font designer(s) played around with the placement of ovals to create unique letter forms. That doesn't really come into play with this ambigram since I replaced the dots above the is with Stargazer lilies and the only other letter which had such a dot (a) I replaced in order to make the ambigram work. However, this font is ripe with possibilities and I may revisit it for future ambigrams.

This next one I sketched out while watching General Conference last April.[3] One of the speakers said the word epitaph and I thought it was a word that would make an interesting ambigram. I'm not really sure why I picked here lies as the other way to read it, except that that is a common phrase on an epitaph. I started with a font called Trajan Pro.[4]

As with last time, there are a few ambigrams which relate to writing I've done in conjunction with the Book Club I was a member of when I lived in The Colony Apartments, in Provo, Utah. One of my friends (and the President of the Book Club), Jonathan, invented a fantasy world, called Krestir. He invited the rest of us to write stories that took place on this fictional world which was created from the corpse of a creature called the Earth Dragon. One of the stories that I wrote for the Legends of Krestir (the anthology of all our writings about the planet Krestir) was called Entheogen.[5] It was about a drug which helped people to be better people and the some of the implications of such a substance. Unlike most ambigrams, which have to be rotated 180° to be read, this one has two words written in the same direction: earthdragon and entheogen.

The other Book Club-related ambigram concerns a type of story called a Pedestrian. The rules are few and simple for writing a Pedestrian: 1. you have a set number of words (e.g. 30), 2. the story must follow one character only: the eponymous Pedestrian, 3. you may not kill the Pedestrian, 4. you may not give the Pedestrian a name. Invariably we always tried to break all of the rules. I often skirted rule #4 by implying that the Pedestrian was, in fact, one and the same as the President of the Book Club. As with the previous drawing, I used fading to distract the eye away from parts of a letter that are irregular, yet still maintain the illusion of both words being spelled in alternate directions. I started with a free font called Combustion.[6]


At one point I was struck with the idea that making an ambigram out of the word rolypoly would be fun, giving the implications of the term. Putting it into practice proved to be trickier than I'd initially expected. A strict ambigram required an o in one direction to look like an l in the other. I pulled it off, once, but with that schema I got stuck on making the p in one direction look like a y in the other. Eventually I realized that I would have to shift the two words out of frame from each other. At first I was disappointed that I had to do this, but then I had a stroke of genius: I could make the words wrap around on each other in a circle—like a rolypoly!

Latter-day Saints are encouraged to keep a journal [7], so I thought it would be neat to make an ambigram that could be put on the cover of a journal. I went back to a Fraktur typeface for this one. I recycled the a/n combo from the ambigram I made for Leann's name and lengthened it out for the m. I liked the curl so much that I incorporated it into the j/r combo and the y/n combo, as well as using it again at for the end of the m/l combo.


[1] You can see my first set of ambigrams here.

[2] You can view it and download it for free here.

[3] General Conference is a time when the prophets and apostles called by God to govern the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints come together in a conference center in Salt Lake City, Utah, to give guidance and instruction to the members of the Church. All are invited to hear their words. You can, too, if you so desire, by visiting this website.

[4] You can preview or purchase it here.

[5] I intend to post it here on the blog someday. But it's long enough that it would merit several installments. Since Lillian's early arrival, I've gotten a little behind in my posting. So it could be a while before you get a taste of Entheogen. But when you do, you'll see that combining the two words was quite appropriate.

[6] You can view it and download it for free here.

[7] To learn more about why the LDS Church puts an emphasis on keeping a personal journal, see here, here, and here. The first two links are lists of scriptures which deal with keeping records and personal histories. The second is a talk given by a prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, about the importance of keeping a journal.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! And I laughed to see my name in that one. :-)