ambigramma (It), ambigramme (Fr), ambigrama (Sp),
Ambigramm (Ger), амбиграмма (Ru), אמביגראמה (He).
An “Amphigram” is
a particular graphical word (or group
of words) that may be defined as an “amphibian” word
occupying at the same time two different reading planes
of a page. The distinctive feature of an Amphigram is that
it remains unchanged even when inverted, or reveals the
coexistence of a second word when either the page is reoriented
(by rotations or reflections) or when you simply change
your vantage point.
Amphigrams may, in many respects, be compared to the art genre Cubism
as you can see several sides of an object in just 2 dimensions...
names are a good starting point when beginning to make
Amphigrams, as once the work is completed, you can present
it to whosever name it is. Here are 2 bibles from which
you can draw inspiration: “Inversions” by
Scott Kim (Key Curriculum, 2007) and “Wordplay” by
John Langdon (Broadway; reprint edition, 2005).
Though I use the word “Amphigram” to
describe this kind of wordplay, there is another word: “Ambigram” which
is largely accepted, and resides in the company of at least 2 other words coined
to describe this type of wordplay: “Inversions” and “Designatures”.
However, I prefer the use of the word Amphigram as the word Ambigram is a linguistically
incorrect term with roots from two distinct languages (Latin ambi & Greek gram).
In fact, we don’t say unigram (Latin + Greek word), but monogram (2 Greek
words). Diagram, photogram, parallelogram also follow this rule.
were certainly known in the past... But one of the earliest
recorded example is the ‘Chump matchbox’ design
published in the magazine Strand within
the year 1908. Another intriguing example of historical
amphigram is the monogrammed signature of Eva Braun,
who was - for those who don't know it - Hitler's wife...
many companies feature amphigrams or include amphigram
designs in their corporate logos to make their brand more
intriguing or attractive, as shown below....
In this gallery you will find a sampling of original ambigrams/amphigrams/inversions/designatures.
New items will be added monthly!
Archimedes, Camilla, Apache, Sublime, Yin
Yang, Banana, Open, Aperto, Back, True, Ozone, Face/vase, More...
In a 180°-rotation amphigrams, the word spelled out from
the alternative direction is often the same, as shown below (Archimedes),
but may be a completely different word (see closed/open further
180°-rotation amphigrams: Camilla, apache, sublime, yin
read the same upside down.
flips to Ananas
(Ananas means "pineapple" in
Italian, French and Spanish)
A natural transmutation!
here a variant of 'open/closed' amphigram in Italian (aperto/chiuso)
Useful signs: 'open/closed' (+ translation
or mirror amphigram
Imagine you are driving and see the reflection of this car in
your mirror, can you decipher what is written on the car's hood?
You may read either 'Front' (if you look at the reflection in
your mirror) or 'Back' (if you look directly at the car).
True? False? Solve the puzzle!
An oscillating amphigram...
puzzling Ambigrams by G. Sarcone on Flickr and
exhaustive article on Ambigram in Archimedes
you like an amphigram of your name, favorite word, corporate
logo, made? Commission one! Our standard price for designing
an ambigram is US$150.00 for privates, and US$500.00 for companies.
Feel, free to email
me with questions.