Ambigrams animated: 3 new designs

Written by: Punya Mishra

Primary Source: Punya Mishra’s Web

I love creating ambigrams, words written in such a manner that they can be read from multiple perspective – rotated, reflected and so on. These designs are much easier to “grasp” when printed on paper since you can actually turn the paper around, hold it against a mirror or hold it against the light while looking at it from the other side. All that is harder to do on a webpage. So I have been thinking of ways of making the entire process a bit more interactive (sort of what John Langdon does so neatly on his site). So after poking around with css and javascript and WordPress I think I finally have a solution. So below are three designs (for the words “internet,” “Angel” and the word-pair “Praise-Blame” that you can actually rotate by 180 degrees and and reflect (in two different ways, along the x and y axes) to bring out the symmetry or the surprise inherent in the designs. Here they are below:


The first one is a design for the word “Internet” that is symmetric even when rotated by 180 degrees. Click the button above and see for yourself.


The second one is a design for the word “Angel” which is symmetric left-to-right i.e. the design will look the same when reflected in a mirror on the wall (something Hofstadter calls, quite naturally a “wall reflection”).


The third and final design is for the word “Praise” which when reflected horizontally (a “lake reflection”) becomes the word “Blame.”

Hope you like these three ambigrams and the ability to manipulate them to enjoy the beauty in the designs. Lots more to come…

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Punya Mishra is a professor of Educational Psychology & Educational Technology at the College of Education at Michigan State University. He also directs the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program. He recently co-chaired the SITE 2011 conference at Nashville after having chaired the Innovation & Technology Committee of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. The readers and editors of Technology and Learning journal recently named him as one of the ten most influential people in educational technology.

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