Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wordplay, Puzzles and Ambigrams!

I just came across something truly amazing. I have read about Ambigrams before. To acknowledge the contribution - in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, although Brown's previous work of fiction, Angels and Demons, was more focussed on ambigrams and literally brought this art back to popular attention.

Ambigram is an art of writing words such that they can be read in more than one way.

In the above image, the word 'ambigram' can be read from left-to-right and then turn it upside-down and still you read the same word.

John Langdon is known as god of ambigram art. His work has been influential throughout the years. Another masters of this art include Scott Kim, Punya Mishra and numerous enthusiastic all around the world. :) John Langdon's work is world-famous and his credits include Angel and Demons novel itself. Not only that, it also influenced the director of The Da Vinci Code, Ron Howard so much that Langdon was requested to do title credits for the movie. He also designed quite a few symbols in the movie.

Well, ambigrams form a very small portion in the world of wordplay. In the world of puzzles, different forms of twisted and deformed wordplay is known as Flats. And there are many many types of Flats, some famous one's being Anagram, Antigram, Deletion, Enigma etc. You can read more about wordplay and Enigma puzzles at National Puzzlers' League's website.

The craze for ambigrams and wordplay puzzles is not new. Noted writers such as Shakespeare, James Joyce have used wordplay in their creations for long time. The new messiahs of the genre are making it more world-wide popular. The spread of internet also contributes to that. It does require lot of dedication and practice to become an ambigrammatist.

Here's a nice link where you can create simple ambigrams of any words of your choice. It can also mix 2 words so that it can read one word in one direction and 2nd in another - Ambigram Generator.

Punya Mishra's Home Page
John Langdon's Home Page
Scott Kim
Planet Perplex

Turbo Tagger

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zalak said...

Hey Tejas, This is an amazing art. I tried that Ambigram Generator website. It's quite interesting. Keep posting new and interesting stuff like this :-)

Tejas said...

Thanks for the nice words zee...