What is an ambigram?
You would be forgiven for not having heard of one until right now. An ambigram is a type of logo that, when turned upside down and viewed as a mirror image, still looks exactly the same. Clever eh?
It can also mean a logo that is mirrored from left to right, meaning that it reads the same front to back. Which, lets face it, is also pretty clever. They can also be referred to as ‘vertical palindromes’, inversions or flipscripts too if you ask Wikipedia.
This type of logo is not your usual brief for us designers, in fact there are some very skilled typographic logo designers out there who tend to specialise in ambigrams.
So do you want to see some examples? Of course you do.
You are probably familiar with this well-known ambigram designed in 1976 by Swedish artist and designer Rune Söderqvist. As well as reading both ways it also combines the first letter of every band member to create the name ABBA.
Söderqvist is said to have wanted the logo to reflect the 2 couples, which is why each letter B faces its respective partner.
And here is another band name you might recognise. This ambigram was designed by John Langdon using the existing Aerosmith logo to create a clever rotating ambigram.
“Created to be a gift from Dan Brown to Stephen Tyler. I was able to retain the look of Aerosmith’s long-standing logo, while turning it into a rotational ambigram.” www.johnlangdon.net
As you can see I’m getting all the music examples in there first… this elegant logo is another ambigram designed by John Langdon for the american singer John Mayer.
There are certain words that lend themselves to becoming ambigrams – the word Edge is one of them. This mirrored ambigram logo on the righthand side was designed by the very talented Canadian based designer Raja Sandhu. Designed for Edgepoint Wealth Management Inc.
The New Man logo was designed by the industrial designer Raymond Loewy in 1969. It is thought to be one of the first ambigrams, and is still in use today.
And finally, this fantastic mirrored Starship logo was created by John Langdon is 1974. Fancy creating one yourself? John Langdon has some useful tips on his website for creating your own – see the links below:
Here are some useful Ambigram links: