An ambigram, also known as an inversion, is a graphical figure that spells out a word not only in its form as presented, but also in another direction or orientation. This is typically when viewed as a mirror-image or when rotated through 180 degrees. The word usually is not a palindrome, although it may be. Sometimes the word spelled out from the alternate direction may be a different one, but for mirror-image ambigrams the canonical form spells out the same word.


Ambigrams in their modern form are a conception of John Langdon who compiled his work in his 1992 book Wordplay.

However, ambigrams were made famous through Dan Brown’s novel Angels & Demons.

I first came across the following ambigram in a copy of Omni magazine in the early 1980s


Here is the same ambigram upside down:


and found them to be a great mental excercise. Langdon discusses his technique in his article “Typographic Dopplegangers”.

This is the most famous commercial ambigram in Canada:


Voice of Amercia also uses an ambigram for its logo:


Here is a hastily drawn ambigram of my first name:


The most awesome piece of name ambigram software is at’s Flipscript Designer

I also recommend a very good ambigram blog Ambigrams by Nagfa from one of my favorite countries, Singapore. Ambigram artists from all over the world contribute to this blog to share ideas and compete. I consider it the best of all the sites I have found.  Here is one they graciously did for me:

This is another artform Nagfa does:

An ambigram tutorial can be found at


Another ambigram site that has increased in popularity is Wow Tattoos.  This is the site of Mark Palmer who has made a career of ambigram tattoos such as the “singularity” tattoo above.

I came across this bilingual Chinese English ambigram at David Moser’s Chinese Ambigram Site


Here’s something really innovative by ambigram artist Amafirlian on flicker (available in many sizes) called “fire”:

I just found this elegant ambigram below by Tiffany Harvey who does custom work through her site

Here’s a nice example of the name “Karen” from Ambigraphix:

Karen Ambigram by Ambigrafix

“AS YOU WISH”, here’s an ambigram that will keep on giving to the ladies in your life (click on the image to go to, no catch):

And in closing I found this at The Roman Empire Blog:

(image:, via

I recommend playing with ambigrams yourself to increase your mental flexibility.

I also add to this collection every month or so.  Please drop in again sometime.


7 Responses to “Ambigrams”

  1. nagfa Says:

    Hi, Grant!

    we are nagfa from Singapore. thanks for mentioning our blogsite here.

    we have something for you. visit at

    salam (peace)

  2. unduk Says:

    Awesome story.! Much food for thought… It really made my day. Thank you.

  3. Mark Says:

    Hey! Thanks for mentioning FlipScript. I wanted to stop by to see what you wrote.

    By the way, if you want to try your “Relationary” ambigram over on the site, just click this link I made for you:

    In my opinion, it creates a design that is superior to what most humans could make.

    Mark Hunter (FlipScript President)

  4. grant czerepak Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the “relationary” ambigram page. Your designer is really amazing.

    I want everyone to know that I have more hits on my ambigram post than any other in my blog. I intend to continue to improve it as I discover more quality sites, blogs and books.

  5. Charles Cameron (hipbone) Says:

    Ni mention of Scott Kim, who drew his first inversion in 1975 and published his book *Inversions* in 1981?

    You’ll find some examples of his work in a series of links at:

    best, Charles

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