Essay: Ambigram tattoo

Have you ever met a pair of identical twins and see how much they do look alike? It is like the one is the other’s mirror reflection. They look so much like each other and yet they are totally different people. What do you say if you could have that with a simple tattoo?
The tattoo fan club has heard about the ambigram tattoo. Nowadays is very popular. What is an ambigram? An ambigram is a method of reading a word from one perspective and a completely different one from the other perspective. This is a unique way of having a tattoo with multiple meanings. What I am trying to say is that you have two words in one. I have seen this done with the words ‘Devil’ and ‘Angel’ and the guy explained to me that I all comes down to his childhood, when he used to feel a little bit devil-ish because he would just run around and knock things off. The ‘Angel’ part was a link to his grandmother that had died and used to call him ‘angel’. Up to this day he still believes his grandmother is in Heaven. Therefor the tattoo has multiple meanings.
The ambigram tattoo can be inked under the form of a script or a graphic figure that can be flipped, inverted, mirrored and still read the same thing. Most people see it as an optical illusion and get truly fascinated with this type of tattoo. The ambigram tattoo is a form of art indeed. It can read one or two more words. The ambigram idea dates back to the 1890s. In that period, Peter Newell, known for its books for children, published 2 books about ambigram. One in 1893 and the other one in 1902.
Ambigram are popular among the graphic artists, but they do require skills and a lot of patience. Some ambigrams can turn out to be really difficult to read or comprehend, but some are really easy. It all adds up to the font used. While we are at this chapter, let’s analyze a little bit the fonts. Some people want hand written, elegant fonts, such as the Script. This is a particular font that looks like an 80’s writing and sometimes can make the ambigram harder to decipher. If you are not into that family font, you can choose a more narrow or straight looking font, maybe a graffiti, that will make your tattoo easy to read. For one word tattoos, mostly all fonts can work out, just don’t be dull. Choose something that will impress you too when you get it done.
Ambigram tattoos can consist in one word, two, three or even more. The more words, the harder to do. It will also take more time and become more pricey. It will also be harder to decode all of it at a glance.
If you are a looking for a tattoo to represent your undying love for your family, a great idea is to get a tattoo that spells ‘Family’ and when looked at from the other side to spell ‘Forever’.

Most common words used in ambigram tattoos are:
‘ Faith, Hope, Love
‘ Always N Forever
‘ One Love
‘ Love, Truth, Honor
‘ Trust In Few
‘ Only God Can Judge Me
‘ I Am What I Am
‘ No Regrets
‘ Live/Life
‘ Respect/Loyalty
‘ Beautiful/Disaster
‘ Lost/Soul
‘ Hope/Faith
‘ Family/Forever
‘ Karma
‘ Faith
‘ Love
‘ Strength
‘ Honor
‘ Respect
‘ Fearless
‘ Devotion
‘ Integrity
‘ Courage
Did you know that Paul McCartney had an ambigram at least on one of its albums? These types of writing are really popular among artists.
Ambigrams usually fall into one of several categories:
A design that presents several words can be rotated through a fixed angle. This is usually 180 degrees, but there are rotational ambigrams with other angels too, for example 90 or 45 degrees. The word spelled out from the alternative direction is often the same, but may be a different word to the initially presented form. A simple example is the lower-case abbreviation for “Down”, dn, which looks like the lower-case word up when rotated 180 degrees.

A design that can be read the same when reflected in the mirror. Ambigrams that form different words when viewed in the mirror are also known as glass door ambigrams, because they can be printed on a glass door to be read differently when entering or exiting. Open and Closed is the case here.
When designed, the spaces between the letters of the words form another word.
A design where a word (or sometimes words) are interlinked, forming a repeating chain. Letters are usually overlapped meaning that a word will start somewhere in the middle of another word. Sometimes chain ambigrams are presented in the form of a circle.
An ambigram design meant to fill the space, where the tiled word branches from itself and then shrinks in a similar manner, forming a fractal.
A design where an object is presented that will appear to read several letters or words when viewed from different angles. Such designs can be generated using constructive solid geometry.
Perceptual shift
A design that has no symmetry, but can be read as two different words depending on how it is interpreted or from which angle you look at it.
A natural ambigram is a word that possesses one or more of the above symmetries when written in its natural state, requiring no typographic styling.
An Ambigram that, when rotated 180 degrees, can be read as a different word to the original.
Best places to get this tattoo
Regarding places to have this tattoo inked, people often choose the forearm area because it is accessible, both for the ‘owner’, but for the viewers too. I have seen these tattoos placed on the entire arm, even hands, on the back, on legs or just the foot.
When looking for a combination of words or just one word make sure you do your research properly and don’t rush into anything. You want something that will represent you even after 20 years have passed, not something you look down on and frown upon. A Life/ live kind of tattoo is a good idea that will be useful later too. From my perspective, a tattoo is like any other life commitment. You want to be proud of who you are, not ashamed and consider it a mistake. Might be a little over the top, but best to keep that in mind. Choose wisely.

Source: Essay UK -

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