Holy Shasterisk {Ambigrams}

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brian jaramillo's picture
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Holy Shasterisk {Ambigrams}
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Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Hey! Cool! I hadn’t seen the scottkim site before. I have John’s book, his stuff does make you think.

brian jaramillo's picture
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rereading this, the words didn’t come out quite right ;;;

What I meant was the word ‘typophile’ looks to be
more difficult than a word like this
because of the particular letter pairings.

granted, this solution is pedestrian…


bj

Mark Simonson's picture
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I just got around to taking a good look at Kim’s site. His
work has gotten better since he wrote Inversions. I
especially like some of the animated pieces. (I think maybe
he needs to pay some attention to his site, though. Nearly
all the links on his “links” page are dead.)

If you can find a copy Inversions, it has lots of tips
and strategy advice for doing ambigrams, although you can
gleen quite a bit just by analyzing existing ones.

Kenn Munk's picture
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holeee….

Tiffany, does the Langdon book have tips and tricks?

This is like Hunter S. Thompson typography,
gonzo type…

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Kenn — I am embarassed to say, that I don’t recall. It has been a while since I last looked through it. However, I will look at it tonight when I get home. Mr. Langdon is a very nice person. Extremely so. If you have questions, I’m sure he would answer them.

Unlike most of you, I don’t have the luxury of working from home. I work in an office that is separate from my home. Not completely different from Dilbert. :^\

Mark — Nice!!! :-)

Dyana Weissman's picture
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Aww hell! I was going to post something about this on Typographi.ca. You totally scooped me. THANKS A LOT.

I’ve owned the Langdon book for several years, and I count it as one of the many things that steered me into being a type designer. It’s awesome.

brian jaramillo's picture
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» Aww hell! I was going to post something about this on Typographi.ca.

Dyana, please, post something at t’graphica! Totally.
Share this work with as many people as possible.

btw, I can’t be credited with a scoop, I first saw it at YH*,
as mentioned in the first post.

And you guys all have John’s book! :-)

bj

*YH is www.yayhooray.com

Dyana Weissman's picture
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I will. Soon. When I have time. I have a jpeg and some stories to share myself. I just need to finish it…. someday.

Laurence Penney's picture
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That was great, Mark!

Joachim Müller-Lanc

Mark Simonson's picture
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Thanks!

Is there anywhere Joachim’s creation can be seen online?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Joachim is especially talented in combining positive/negative forms — must be part of his Japanese leanings.

hhp

Eric Pitcock's picture
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Where can I find a John Langdon book?

Laurence Penney's picture
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Mark — I just asked Joachim if he’d like to post links to any of his.

Andrew R. Baker's picture
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John’s the main reason I stayed at Drexel, and am fascinated by type.

Eric P., e-mail John for a copy of his book.

brian jaramillo's picture
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brian jaramillo's picture
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I’d like to get an ambigram tattoo I decided.

The eps file above…if anyone would like
to mess with this…a few combinations are
problematic. Collaboration appreciated.

brian jaramillo's picture
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I haven’t had time to follow all the links on the
Scott Kim site, but googling ambigram and typography
revealed this.

http://cerulean.st/ambigram/typography.html

Mark Simonson's picture
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Hey, that’s not bad! The o/a works better in the first one, I think. I don’t know what you can do with the p/p. I like the t/y in the second one better.

The cerulean “typography” ambigram is good, but it looks like Greek to me. Probably because of the t/y and the p/p forms. The funny thing about yours was that I immediately read it as “typography” but I had difficulty picking out individual letters.

Tim Daly's picture
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Picking out letters seems to be a problem I did a straw poll with some of these ambigrams and a couple I did myself, the quick glance allows people to read it but does not give the impression that it can rotate, blackletter seems to be the more effective, so here’s one that I was playing with
ambigram.jpeg

brian jaramillo's picture
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Tim, truly beautiful swashbuckling, mate.
Get a frame around it immediately!

here’s where I was going with mine…
still a work in progress….

Mark Simonson's picture
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Those are both great!

Tim, your ty/hy-ligature solution is very clever!

brian jaramillo's picture
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Mark, “pretty absorbing” eh?

I think Tim and I are experiencing what you did
20-some years ago.

the Typophile ambigram was really bothering.

typo p hile
t=e
y=l
p=i
o=h
and flip the p.

blackletter and conventional, struck out.

I sketched out some cursive letters and
thought of suburban from emigre, with the
lowercase l and y being the same glyph flipped.

That made me decide that a script skeleton would work,
but I’d have to fudge a bit on the problematic h/o
combination…

the bottom one is a half-finished take on
word balloon, forum banter, etc.





Tim (or Mark), do either of you want to take this and do
some of your cool blackletter…while maintaining a script
skeleton…i don’t know if it’d work.

Tim, I like your ‘typography’ as a late entry for the Tee contest
or an early favorite in the Typophile Tattoo contest.

bj

ps, this is not experimental!

:P

Mark Simonson's picture
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I got the Scott Kim book when it was published in 1981 and tried doing some of that stuff myself for a short while. It’s not easy, but it can be fun. I find it interesting but ultimately kind of a novelty.

Did you know Scott Kim designed the original Adobe logo? Not only that, some of the illustrations in his book were done using a predecessor of PostScript called JaM. The book was published in 1981 by Byte magazine and has a “backword” by Jef Raskin, the guy who started the Macintosh project at Apple.

Kim’s stuff is more interesting intellectually, but Langdon’s stuff is more aesthetically pleasing.

Tim Daly's picture
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I have been struggling with typophile — at the moment I don’t see an answer, especially the HO combination I think your script answer is close (as per John Langdon’s City of Brotherly = Philadelphia) — I’ll carry on fettling, “absorbing” doesn’t really cover it though.
Tim

Mark Simonson's picture
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Here’s an alternate strategy:

typophileag2

I intentionally put in breaks in the y/l in hopes that it would
make the o/h trick less obvious. (My theory is that it helps
to give the unambiguous characters a bit of ambiguity to
make the unavoidably ambiguous ones blend in better.)

brian jaramillo's picture
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Mark, i like where this solution is going,
especially the t/e…

the wide O seems to overpower…Typopoile?

not sure myself, but how would this geometric o/h fit in?
maybe the o is to y-like…

bj


Rodolfo Capeto's picture
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Kenn asked:

does the Langdon book have tips and tricks?

He has a chapter explaining the development of one of his
ambigrams,

Mark Simonson's picture
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…Typopoile?

Well, you know, it was just off the top of my head. These thing tend to get a little hairy. :-)

I’ve got another idea I’ll try to post later.

Mark Simonson's picture
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How about this:

typophileambi3

brian jaramillo's picture
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Mark, very inspiring! Especially the swirly p doing double-duty stems. :-)

it’s just right as-is, imo, but the curious bones in my body
are forcing my fingers to type: What if it had a Suburban-style y-h?

aargh, sorry.

quoting from the Godfather,
“Just when I think I’m out, they keep pulling me back in.”

bj

William Berkson's picture
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And the winner of the typophile T contest is…

Mark Simonson's picture
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Nah. To much like last year’s. :-) Anyway, I’m one of the
judges this year. If Jared and Joe want to use it on the site,
it’s okay with me, though.

Here’s a loopier version:

typoambi3b

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Mark, this is great stuff!

hhp

John Butler's picture
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Ahhh, ambigrams. I believe some of these can be found in Douglas Hofstadter’s Metamagical Themas.

Kenn Munk's picture
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Mark, brilliant!

Rodolfo, thanks, I’ve ordered the book anyway…

Mark Simonson's picture
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Thanks!

I had the basic idea for the last two last week, but it was
coming out all ugly. I couldn’t get the o-p-h to work.
Forgetting about it for a while helped.

William Berkson's picture
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If Jared & Joseph open up the option of voting for this as ‘people’s’ choice, it will win hands down.

Tim Daly's picture
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Far prefer the non loopy version, italicising it seems to add to the legibility.
The only way I could get past all the loops in the middle was this — still not a genuine solution as I cheated the e.typophile_small.jpg

Mark Simonson's picture
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It’s an interesting strategy to use all those swashes and
loops. They slip back and forth between being parts of
characters or decorative elements depending on how you
look at it. The tail on the y that becomes a dot on the i is
great.

brian jaramillo's picture
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Golden!

Joe Pemberton's picture
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:: kicks self ::

How did I miss this entire thread?!

Yves Peters's picture
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Because it initially just said HOLY SH*T instead of
something like KICK-A$$ AMBIGRAMS. :-)

Jared Benson's picture
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Brilliant guys! This is really great stuff.

jared

Anonymous's picture
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Wow, Mark’s ambigramm is amazing. I did somthing similar for the tee-contest, but unfortunately not of that excellence.

Mark Simonson's picture
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There is also a Kim/Hofstadter connection: Hofstadter wrote the foreword to Kim’s book, and Kim shows up frequently in Hofstadter’s book.

Cheshire Dave's picture
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Brilliant, inspirational work in this thread.

killer's picture
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myoung's ambigram is by far the most legible... nice work

Mark Simonson's picture
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Martin,

That’s pretty good! I haven’t seen many ambigrams done
with an existing typeface (Poetica).

Kenn Munk's picture
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I’ll get my ‘Wordplay’ book within few days! Wohoo!
Can’t wait…

Andrew R. Baker's picture
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You might want to pick up Dan Drown’s book Angels and Demon’s.

That has Langdon ambigrams in it as well.