An ambigram is a unique type of word or design that retains its meaning or gives new meaning when viewed in different orientations and perspectives. This is different from a palindrome – a palindrome is a word that can be read from left to right and right to left the same way, but it loses meaning when the orientation or perspective is changed. Ambigrams do not naturally occur in language, and even if they do, there will be some kind of orientation change that would need to be forced onto the word, such as the word dollop. In this case, the Ls will make the upside version look odd and it can only be seen as sort of an ambigram when in lowercase.
An ambigram can hence be created using the interdisciplinary amalgamation of literature, art, calligraphy, and optical illusions. The word was first coined in 1983 by Douglas Hofstadter, an American scholar of cognitive science, who is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach.
Ambigrams are quite popular today because of their striking uniqueness and are most commonly used in company logos. Some famous ambigram logos include the logos of New Man, Sun Microsystems, Delorean Motor Company, etc. However, the popularity of ambigrams greatly increased mainly because of their use in Dan Brown’s book, Angels and Demons.
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