ambigram by daIt has taken me a while to finish this post as I wasn’t quite satisfied with the design prior to the one above. The idea popped into my head after I did Bian Lian* for Dan Chan a while back but the  inspiration for making this ambigram (series) came to me just a few months after Cirque performed in Manila which, as expected, I did not get to see it. 😦
*Bian Lian is a traditional Chinese face changing act Dan Chan incorporates in his magic show in San Francisco. A design challenge was held over at for a logo for the act (among others) and I sent in two designs for this category which merited both the second and third prizes.

In designing the poster I wanted the it to have a steampunk-ish feel.. dated… vintage. You will notice I used the same paper texture as with the 1521 ambigram design (see post). All the design element were traced, vectorized then imported to Photoshop for this final look.

A curious thing… while I was tracing the initial sketch, I found out that “circus” may possibly be flipped four ways (in one ambigram): rotational then reflective. A very different style to the one above. I have a very rough sketch and someday I might just get the inspiration I needed to solve the kinks I see in it.

ambigram by danadonajr

Next we have “karnabal”. I will admit, this version may be quite hard to read with all those curly lines at the midsection. But I love it! The font style and the curls remind me of the deformed grill bars the signages of local carnival rides. And yes, karnabal is Filipino for carnival or carnivale. This design is all vector.


Last but not the least, here’s Fiesta, all vector work. Actually there’s a blooper here. I was supposed to make “Perya”, Filipino for Fair (or carnival) as I was going for a set of words with similar denotation. But because the summer months of March, April, and May is fiesta season… that’s what my brain kept registering: Fiesta… Fiesta… Fiesta… so there. However, it’s usually during fiesta season that the karnabals and peryas come out (we don’t have a circus in the American and European context), so I think Fiesta still fall in the same breadth.

Filipinos love social occasions and gatherings even before the Spaniards came. This apparently was so obvious that they used it as a means to spread Catholicism. Yup! we love fiestas… an official excuse to binge on food, alcohol, gambling, and most specially: singing and partying!

Hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoyed doing them.  See you next week!

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2 responses to “circus…karnabal…fiesta”

  1. Vasileios Stergioudis says :

    Hi Dan, good to see your new ambigrams.

    Karnabal is quite difficult to read, but the style is good. This blue-purple transition is used usually in symbiotograms, but it’s good here anyway. 🙂

    Fiesta… I first read “Resta” I have to admit. I think a version of Fi-A, e-t would work better since there would be a central S. However, that looks good.. 🙂

    My favourite of the three: Circus. Man, you nailed it! The coulours… awesome! The style… awesome! The vintage steampunk look… awesome! The details (little stars, dots, texture, corner lines)… all awesome! Excellent my friend. I would but this image as a poster. 🙂

    Best regards,

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