Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ambigram Project: One Love One Blood

I've been recently commissioned to develop an ambigram for Robert Renling, a fellow deviantArtist. He wanted an ambigram for a tattoo on his forearm, and he needed the words "One Love" and "One Blood." So, this is essentially two ambigrams… two projects. Seeing my other works, he liked the particular style (the Gothic font) I used for the ambigrams, so he wanted that style retained in his tattoo. As for the embellishment, he wanted it to look like this:

With all the preferences set, I set out to the drawing boards. Usually, I start with pencil sketches in determining possible "solutions" for the ambigrams. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, a word or words that will be set as an ambigram is like a "problem". The task of the artist is to look for the solutions to that problem. Naturally, there will be several solutions to a problem, but the best solution is one that is easily readable and beautiful at the same time. The goal in the pencil sketches is to figure out the optimum configurations of the letters (not so much about how the letters should look like) in the ambigram. This would require constant experimentation, lots of paper flips to make sure the letters work inverted until I am satisfied. Here are the sketches:

I work in an iterative design process, that is, I work closely with the client, asking for feedback in every stage of the ambigram's development. The design after all will be immortalized on his skin, so I better be sure the client is highly satisfied with it. As soon as I received approval and am ready, the solution is digitized in a vector drawing program. Appropriate fonts are selected and almost all the time, the fonts are drastically modified to the required configuration of the ambigram.

At this point of the development, I realized how the word could be combined to one ambigram, and suggested to the client to have both combined, so that in one configuration, it would read "One Blood One Love" and in another "One Love One Blood". I already integrated minor embellishments to get a glimpse of how the final design would look like.

The client agreed to the proposal, and eventually I was working on the embellishments. I wanted it to look aggressive but at the same time dramatic, giving focus and attention to the words. Here is the final design.

Only thing to wait for are the pictures of the design tattooed eternally on Rob's forearm. I also set the design in a flash animation, so that each configuration of the ambigram can be read without having the readers of this blog twist their heads in front of their monitors.

For those interested, I accept commission works. E-mail me for more information at


Anonymous said...

Lol, you work free for that fat ass bastard?

Anonymous said...

hi, i also make ambigrams. you do very good ambigrams. keep up the good work? may u share something though, wat d'you use to digitize the drawn art? is it adobe photoshop?

- u can respond here, thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

what a creative person..salute!

Rev Cruz said...

Thanks guys! I don't use raster programs like Adobe Photoshop for my ambigrams. Best way to go would be to use vector programs like CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator.