I was commissioned last April by Stian Pedersen who saw most of my work at DeviantArt, for an ambigram that will be used a tattoo design. We had to clarify the details first and pretty soon, we decided to work on his nickname "Stian" which will be read as "Aries", his zodiac sign among many options. Here are my initial sketches:
As can be seen, the solution for the ambigram is quite tricky. Luckily, the "S" and the "I" in Aries and Stian already coincide so it leaves me with the "A-N", "R-A" and the "E-T" combinations. This required several versions, trying out capital and lower-case versions of each of the letters, modifying as necessary.
Since Stian seems keen in featuring his zodiac sign, I wanted to integrate it within the ambigram design. Using additional loops on some letters, I configured the design in a triangular form, thus when it is viewed as "ARIES", it would look like an inverted triangle – to suggest the shape of a ram's head. I avoided using too much embellishments to give more focus on the text component of the design (Also, as the client already possesses a graphic tattoo of a ram).
Finally, the final design shown in its two configurations: