What is an ambigram? Simply put, it is a word that is creatively drawn so that it forms the same word when viewed from another angle. There are many variations of the ambigram, but the following ten examples represent its best use in custom logo designs.
1. Sun Microsystems Logo Design
This recognizable software logo design has the name of the company legible not just in two angles, but in four. This ambigram is in the shape of a diamond, connoting quality, strength, and value. The name of the company is written in a slanted font that counteracts the sharp edges of the image and gives a balanced overall logo. The light blue color is relaxing and clean, which is an excellent image for a computer-oriented company.
2. Blacksmith Records Logo Design
This recording label tries to project a tough image with their music logo design, with an Old English font that is most commonly seen in tattoos. The wavy shapes formed by some of the serifs give a feeling of forward movement that is particularly important in this industry. The all black color scheme is incredibly important considering the name. Most interestingly, if you turn this ambigram logo upside down, the image is identical.
3. Mosuki Logo Design
This popular website has an ultra modern logo design that is also an ambigram. The writing is stylized, of different thicknesses and with details that, upon examination, lend themselves to the ambigram effect. The juxtaposition of the ‘O’ and the ‘U’ is particularly interesting, as most people would never be able to invent an image in which these two very different letters are mirror images. The blue is serene and calming, which creates an interesting effect when combined with the modern lines that dominate this image.
4. Delorean Motor Company Logo Design
The ambigram may be simpler than the others, but it is nonetheless a powerful image. The rounded edges of the image give a slightly softer feeling to a motor logo design that is otherwise full of hard edges. This logo is not only the same upside down and right side up, it is the same when seen as a mirror image. This creates a highly symmetrical image that is both memorable and versatile enough to be used in a variety of contexts.
5. Nine Inch Nails Logo Design
What does an industrial metal band have in common with the rest of these logos? First, like the above example, it is identical from several different angles. The backward N adds visual interest, while the rectangular border on the logo design gives a feeling of solidity while attracting attention and giving an otherwise simple image a finished feeling. The simple black color scheme is appropriate for this genre of music, which is notoriously dark.
6. New Man Logo Design
This French clothing company shows a lot about their sense of style with this mature but still relevant clothing logo design. Not only are an M and a W drawn to be mirror images of each other, the ‘E’ and the ‘A’ are given similar treatment. The cleverness of this as well as the visual attractiveness and symmetry that is the result create a brand that is very positive for a clothing line. The black logo makes this logo versatile enough to work well through a variety of changes in the fashion industry.
7. NASA GOES Logo Design
This NASA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) logo, a government agency logo design has a creative touch that is remarkable in both government agencies and the field of science. The oval shape is not only an inclusive shape, but one associated with orbitals and satellites. The ambigram that is the central image of this logo is artistic and visually attractive, an unusual combination in this field. The impression is that this agency is just a little different from the others, which is a positive image indeed.
8. Tyrian Logo Design
This computer game logo pulls elements of fantasy into this attractive design. In the background, a fantasy battle plays out, which ties directly into the theme of the game. The wording, which is the ambigram, is created out of a similarly fanciful font that is printed in an eye catching metallic gold. The curling serifs not only help the computer logo design read the same way front and backward; they also add artistic details that give the game an even more positive image.
9. New X-Men Logo Design
The New X-Men have a superhero logo design with both words and image that can be read from two different angles. The hard edges give a feeling of uncompromising strength that is particularly relevant to this brand, while the rounded image in the center counteracts this. The way the circle is divided gives a sense of several pieces coming again to create a cohesive whole, which again relates directly to the New X-Men brand.
10. Excellence in Broadcasting (EIB) Logo Design
The EIB logo features three very plain letters that are arranged to read identically from several directions, adding a touch of detail to an otherwise austere image. However, whether intended or not, there is an image hidden in this media logo design: that of a butterfly formed by the way the outside letters are formed around the central letter. This image is reminiscent of freedom and beauty, so it just might be a purposeful design. The all black broadcasting logo allows this image to be used in a variety of contexts, making it a key part of the brand.
Ambigrams were made popular by John Langdon who created the ambigrams in the movie “Angels & Demons”. Before you run out to a logo designer asking for an ambigram logo, there are a few things to consider. One key disadvantage with ambigrams is that they dominate the image—that is, so much design effort must go into creating the ambigram itself that other aspects, such as style and symbolic meaning, fall to the wayside. Second, the artistic, creative image that these designs project is often not the most important value for your company to communicate. If you think an ambigram logo is right for you, ask an experienced logo designer today for advice and input into whether this is the right decision for you and your business.