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Nikita Prokhorov’s Ambigram of the Month: A Chain Ambigram

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Nikita Prokhorov shows how you can take an ambigram and give another layer of meaning that represents it not only visually, but also conceptually.

Nikita Prokhorov’s Ambigram of the Month: A Chain Ambigram

An ambigram is a typographic illusion, and most times, it's nothing more and nothing less. It is a design that has a secondary layer of meaning that pulls us in and refuses to let go. But, as an artist, you can take an ambigram and give another layer of meaning that represents it not only visually, but also conceptually. You can take the word “rotate” and make a rotational ambigram out of it, or take the word “reflect” and make a reflective ambigram out of it, or...well, you get the picture, or in this case, the ambigram!

Initially, I wanted to create a simple rotating ambigram of the word “chain”, and after a few initial sketches I realized it wasn't a very complex ambigram to solve.

After analyzing it for a few minutes, I realized that a chain ambigram of the word ”chain” is possible! While examining the options of lowercase vs. uppercase, I realized that not only was a chain ambigram possible, but there were also at least two different solutions, if
not more.

Some further exploration revealed that there were two possible choices for a chain ambigram. After some closer examination, option 2 was more visually interesting and less predictable than option 1. From this point on, it was a matter of refining the sketch and experimenting with contrasts of thick/thin strokes, rather than just leaving it as mono weight letterforms that were part of the initial exploration in Sketch #2.

Once the final rough sketch was done, it was a matter of some vector work to finalize the ambigram in Adobe Illustrator.

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