Thinking backwards. And sometimes upside-down.

19 January 2010

This is an old post, so may include broken links and/or out-of-date information

I’m working on a project related to typography and patterns at the moment and, following a period of “Errr, where am I going to go with this?!”, I decided to link the two subjects by concentrating on palindromes.

Incase you’re not sure what palindromes are, they’re words or sentences – sometimes number sequences – in which letters (or numbers) appear in the same order when read forwards and backwards. Generally they ignore any punctuation marks, spaces and/or capitalisation.

The palindrome example that immediately jumped into my head (as it’s fairly logical too, making it extra-clever) is: A man, a plan, a canal – Panama. Neat.

Further research into wordy patterns also led me to look at ambigrams. The Wikipedia entry on which reads “An ambigram is a typographical design or artform that may be read as one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also from another viewpoint, direction, or orientation.” So, there you go.

I like the style of this example; and for some reason it really tickled me that it’s over a century old.

Early ambigram by Mitchell T. Lavin, published in The Strand, June 1908

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