Tag Archive | lettering

one flashy ambigram

Because the previous issue was practically just a reprint of an old write-up, I’m putting up this second post for this month. And it’s one flashy ambigram.

This one is has been gathering digital dust for over a year now. I cannot recall which came first, this one or my “Big Bang” piece, but you can see that I have similarly utilized the B/G flip. Just as much, I don’t remember what inspired me to create this, or what was the lead up to it, but I recall being excited after having figured out out the LI/N solution more than the B/G.

I love how whimsical this ambigram look, beginning with the letterform right down to the inlaid mesh – which took me a damn long time to get just the way I like it!

Unfortunately, that’s all I have to say about the piece… I love it, I damn like looking at it but other than that I got nothing!

So see you next issue, then!

komiks 3: zuma

Created by Jim Fernandez in the ’70s, this demigod is the spawn of the Aztec serpent god Kukulkan. This bald, green hulk of a monster’s most prominent features are the two constrictors protruding (about a couple of feet) from either side of his shoulders.

Regarded more as a villain, he enjoyed a considerably extensive publication that has spun off a couple of series in its heyday, was adapted into films, and had its revival in print a few years back.

When I first featured the “Darna/Narda” symbiotogram, I never thought I’d get to make a follow-up issue, much more a third! I’m glad that should this be the last Filipino comic character I ambigrammize – (hopefully not), at least I capped it off with a sort-of-trilogy (XD). To think while “Panday” was published first, “Zuma” was conceived earlier – only that I was not satisfied with the first iteration, so it got pushed further back.

This piece was finished last year after a lot of tinkering with the main glyphs and the final image itself, about the same time another ambigram piece (based on a more internationally well known literary classic which will definitely be featured here sometime soon) was done.

Unlike the two previous “Komiks” feature’s isolated overlaid rendering, I decided to set the ambigram as a stone relief, emulating those artifacts found in the famed 16th century Mesoamerican sites.

But, it wouldn’t be much of a series if I don’t set this image on the “Komiks” page background… so here it is.

zuma ambigram by danadonajr 2019

I’ve also included the progress sketches and final line art, so you could get an idea on how the design evolved from a possible mirror ambigram solution to its current rotational interpretation.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge a couple of creators whose work I used to enhance mine. Although Pixabay says no attribution is required, yet it’s the least I could do when they’re absolutely free – even for commercial use!

The stone background image is by Peter H while the torn paper is by Sarah Richter, both from Pixabay. Hope the links work.

time flees

Yes, it has been a while.

To make up for the long absence (or at least try to), this feature is a special one. It is called Tempus Fugit.

Finalized in a stylized Blackletter Type, this is not my first remake of an previously created ambigram. But this get to be the first to be showcased. The first iteration of this design, created about five or six years back, was more Script in form, though similarly a chain-type ambigram.

While I was very much happy with my first take on the phrase, it was pretty obvious (to me) that I could improve on it – didn’t know how or what, but I was positive a better version could be done.

After a whole lot of sketches over time, I thought I made a breakthrough last year and fired off my CorelDraw. Took maybe four days shuffling back and forth with Draw and Photoshop to get to what I consider to be the final ambigram.

However I might take the ambigram further by incorporating it with a steampunk sculpture I have been meaning to do – soon as I find a way to punch it out of a metal sheet.

But in the mean time, we’ll just have to make do with a vector file.

Along with a photograph of the original ambigram in a real world application made in 2014, please be amused by my #taketwo on Tempus Fugit.

Tempus Fugit Ambigram by danadonajr
Tempus Fugit. Ambigram Redux
Tempus Fugit , 2014 iteration

r+l=j …or meanwhile in Westeros

While I like the television series very much, I do not consider myself that big of a Game of Thrones fan or A Song of Fire and Ice for that matter, having yet to read any of the books, but I know enough to get me through the mythologies and politics per season – I think. Up until season 3, I mixed up who’s who, mistakenly renamed and mispronounced a lot of the places and characters in the show – except probably the main ones and Hodor, I always get Hodor right.

Going through Youtube season 6 trailer reactions a couple of weeks back, I began scribbling what I thought to be an easy flip – Lannister. From a simple monotype sketch, I began constructing from previously created Blackletter characters on my PC the first iteration of the ambigram, which was finished just as soon as started with it.

After that, came Stark, which was also easy. I would have left it at that if – I thought – Baratheon turns out to be a hard flip using the same glyphs. But it wasn’t that bad… so I pushed on.

Main concerns that I had to think around with were making enough distinction between capital and lowercase T and the varying nuances of the Ls and the Rs with respect to their correlating flips. As much as possible I don’t like mixing up caps and lows but with Baratheon I had to let it slide, because using a lowercase r will force me to use a lowercase T with the crossbar at the center or a lower case T glyph with crossbars at both end, which to me did not look good either way.

ambigrams by danadonajr

At the last minute I changed up the e/a flip of Lannister as well as the a/r combo of Stark to retain a streamlined face where all the characters look fairly the same throughout the set of ambigrams. All in all I thought the hardest one to pull off was the u/ll flip of Tully, but I thought I made enough compromise to make it work within the “constraints” I set in place.

And with that I present my Game of Thrones ambigram set.

arryn ambigram by danadonajr 2016
baratheon ambigram by danadonajr 2016
lannister ambigram by danadonajr 2016

martell ambigram by danadonajr 2016
stark ambigram by danadonajr 2016
targaryen ambigram by danadonajr 2016
tully ambigram by danadonajr 2016
tyrell ambigram by danadonajr 2016

And lastly… you may find it interesting that the last piece created (and I had thought of making) was this Game of Thrones ambigram, below, seemingly counter intuitive since it’s the show’s title and would make a great capper. With most of the characters and glyphs done it was a fairly quick edit. The main puzzle to be solved were center characters but largely what to do with the capital T. Incorporating the fleur de lis was a clever (or at least I thought it was clever) solution which wouldn’t be too much out of place since it’s found in the other pieces that kind of ties it all nicely together.

game of thrones by danadonajr 2016