Cool Ambigram Tattoo Design Ideas

Ambigram tattoos have become the most sought-after tattoo designs of the recent past. Their enigmatic, intriguing, and intricate designs make them popular amongst both tattoo enthusiasts and tattoo artists. Here's taking a look at five different concepts of ambigram tattoos that are cool enough to sport.
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Ambigram tattoo design idea
The universe is built on a plan the profound symmetry of which is somehow present in the inner structure of our intellect.
― Paul Valery
The symmetry of an ambigram tattoo can say much more in just a small space than what a conventional word tattoo does. This power of an ambigram has made it one of the most sought-after designs in the world of tattoos. Both enthusiasts and design artists have forever been intrigued by the complexity of this design and the magic it unveils.

Ambigrams are of several types. The more the number of types, the more intricate is their formation. The history of ambigram documents its discovery in 1893 by Peter Newell, who popularized it through his illustrations for classics written by Mark Twain and Lewis Carroll. However, the new-found love for ambigrams can be attributed to the illustration riddles that our very own Robert Langdon tries to solve in the Dan Brown books. However, the fact about ambigrams that truly appeals to the eyes is their perfect visual symmetry in a given space. If you are enamored by this very aspect, take a look at some of the cool ambigram tattoo design ideas to ink and own one!

One Word Tattoo

Travel ambigram tattoo

Rotational ambigrams are the most commonly seen ambigram tattoo designs. This design revolves around the concept of creating an optical illusion that when viewed upside down, it reads the same. Many tattoo artists use this design concept to create a tattoo for one word that reads the same despite a 180 degrees angle change. The above example is a way in which you can use this form of calligraphic symmetry to create a tattoo with just one word that touches your nerve far too deeply. In a fascinating way, the second word reaffirms the first one.

Two Word Tattoo

Dream and believe ambigram tattoo

Taking the same concept further is its variation that includes two words in the same tattoo. This design method uses the same base, but changes its rule while applying symmetry. Here the tattoo tries to incorporate two words, generally complimenting each other, in an ambigram. The number of letters used should be the same (maybe one less or more) to maintain the visual balance. In case the number of letters differ, abstraction is used to bring about the balance.

Phrase Tattoo

Carpe diem ambigram tattoo

No set of tattoo ideas can ever be complete without phrase tattoos. After all, these proverbs, quotes, or one-liners are especially important to many of us. An ambigramed phrase makes for an interesting tattoo design idea, as it reads the same after being inverted and uses a very special technique to etch out the same phrase in a reverse way. For many tattoo lovers, etching a phrase in this manner is reiterating their thought, belief, dreams, or maybe a special relationship bond. "Carpe Diem", or to live every moment of your life to the fullest, is one such example of this tattoo style.

Mirror Image

Serendipity ambigram tattoo

The most popular and famously seen versions of ambigram tattoos are the mirror image tattoos. Some of them are also inked to be palindromes. For example the famous Dan Brown 'Illuminati' or the 'Earth, Water, Fire' ambigrams are palindromes, which means they read the same backwards too. However, a mirror image ambigram is one in which the word is reflected exactly the same top to bottom. In simple words, it appears identical when reflected in a mirror.

Shift in Perception

Light is a wave or particle ambigram tattoo

This is a rather unconventional type of an ambigram tattoo. It does not use the methods of symmetry, but rather uses strokes of the letters in such a manner that they read differently when read from a different viewing angle. This is called shift in perception (of the strokes of the letters), rather than its orientation (direction). 'Wave' and 'particle' are some of the popular word pairings used in this type of design strategy.

Ambigram tattoos come with a rather emphatic meaning as compared to their other counterparts. Their ability to repeat the same words, or spell a complimentary word shows their power to emphasize a certain belief of the wearer. Thus, if you think twice before getting a regular tattoo, one needs to think twice more before getting an ambigram tattoo. After all, it is only fair.
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Published: May 28, 2014
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