Tuesday, May 10, 2005


When I was in High School, my father brought a book home for me that he got on one of his business trips: Inversions by Scott Kim.

It took me a day or two to "get it", but then I was hooked. The idea is to write something that can be read both right-side-up and upside-down. Or read in a mirror as well as read facing you. Or read sideways as well as frontwards. These words that can be read two ways are called ambigrams, or inversions.

Since then I have made a handful of inversions, as time and inspiration strike.

This one says "daniel / kelly" (reads the same upside-down.)

This one I made for Karin and Michael (reads the same in a mirror.)

Sadly, not all names or words work well for ambigrams. I've had some friends ask me to make their names into ambigrams. While some have worked beautifully, most have worked only marginally, and others haven't worked at all. (For example, no matter how hard you try, you can't turn an M into an O and have it look good. Sometimes you can work around it, sometimes you can't.)

Scott Kim's page, though it hasn't been updated in awhile, is a good introduction to ambigrams. The back of his book has a good tutorial for how to make your own ambigrams.

My own mostly-complete gallery of ambigrams is on my website.


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