QuickDraw Challenge

After I joined the community of ambigrammists in the now non-extant ambigram.net, I was asked by then moderator(?) Nikita if I’d like to take on a challenge that would be featured on one of the recurring segments of the website called QuickDraw.

It usually feature two ambigrammists taking on a soon to be revealed word, and would have a week or two to come up with a solution and a short description of the process. The other artist I was paired with (or against) was Bill Sterigoudis, who arrived with, interestingly enough, a similar solution.

Daunting to a noob who wanted to leave a good impression – especially after debuting a 1st runner-up piece to a then recently concluded contest – I agreed!

Below are both the pieces and the narrative it came with. Re-reading the text, I don’t know what on Earth I was talking about – which could (or not) be attributed to an evolution of sort of my ambigram making process.


Since this is my first QD Challenge, I was surprised to get a fairly simple word… NOT.

This turned out to be very challenging since I wanted to veer off from my usual font-styling.

However, in my experience a word or phrase and its letter correlation pretty much dictate the font style.

After deciding to do a rotational ambigram, I first did my letter correlation to see which letter match with which.

Then come in the sketches. I’m a very rough sketcher which tends to be a problem when digitally tracing the lines, but i’m used to it.

I set out to try and do an ambigram with intertwining letter parts, but if it’s not doable – I have in mind a simpler design.

The challenge here, I found, was the “a” and the “g-t” correlation. although “a” is simple enough, finding an accurate letterform to match the entire font style was tricky. solving the “g-t” problem took me longer than I expected.

I tried using the “r”‘s leg and even styling the “i” dot for the “g”‘s outer bowl. all in all this process yeilded me two font styles: one semi-gothic and the other scriptic.

I usually just do half the ambigram (for convenience, mostly). so i scanned the sketches and imported them to a vector based program for tracing and node editing. after fully re-creating the half-ambigram,

I line it up to see the whole image. then I tweak the ambigram basically to try and improve legibility and/or aesthetics.

After a half-a-dozen semi-gothic design varieties, editing the ambigram with either or both with CorelDraw and/or Photoshop as may be required, commences. I decided to go with a simple design with the Argentine flag as inspiration.

finishing the scriptic style, however, demanded more attention so it would not read “Vargentina” rather a double stemmed capital “a”.

I don’t know if I’d do it the same way were I to try and have a go with it today… probably yes, because looking at it with a “not-a-noob-anymore” eyes, I see a couple of places where I might make it less busy; where I probably overthought it.

Now, since this is basically a “re-upload” (and almost a cheat) I feel compelled to post another ambigram piece. If so, it will be the first time in a while since I posted more than once in a month! I kinda like it. And I think I have a cool piece for it (it’s just that I don’t have a narrative to go with it, hehe). So maybe I will do that by next week, yeah, for sure by next week so be sure to be here then, and thanks for dropping by.

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