I traced my "Veritas" ambigram into a drawing program to make the curves smoother and the edges sharper. I am very pleased with the result. Once I learn how to use this software, I think I'll be able to make ambigrams more quickly. I've begun dashing off quick ambigrams for my friends (and their children!).
This morning the sun was shining, but it was still quite cold outside. Like the sidewalks in my neighborhood, the path from Kista up to the IBM office was covered with ice. As I carefully made my way up the hill, I listened to one of one of my favorite pieces of music on my iPod: an excellent performance by the Canadian Brass of J. S. Bach's "Little" Fugue in G.
As I walked and listened, it occured to designing ambigrams must be a bit like writing a fugue. In an ambigram, one glyph must play two different roles at different places in the overall composition, much as a phrase of music must be both melody and harmony, depending on its place in the fugue. To make this work, the characters often must be warped, stretched, and distorted beyond their normal shapes. The trick is to find a way to make these adjustments so that each character works well with its neighbors, and so that taken as a whole, the ambigram is instantly readable. To be more acurate, designing an ambigram must be similar to composing a mirror fugue.
I wonder if talent in the visual arts is correlated with talent in music.
Posted by Michael A. Lowry at 11:42