Ambigram Tattoos

An ambigram is a perfectly symmetrical design that reads as the same word, two different words, when rotated. The design most often features the sweeping swirls of a calligraphy-style font, adding intricacy to the image. Because the design creates a word that can be read from dual perspectives, the symbol is one of eternity and fidelity. Any word or words can be used, even a short phrase “carpe diem”, “always in my heart”, etc.

Nearly any word can be transformed into an ambigram and emphasize the significance of that word. “Family” is a popular choice, reading the same when flipped, and emphasizing the bond between family members. “Dream” is another commonly seen ambigram because of its wistful appearance when rendered in swooping calligraphy. The connotations of the word are also appealing as it brings to mind desires, opportunities, and wonder.

Ambigrams can also be designed to read differently from each perspective. This way, two words are incorporated in the design and it becomes more meaningful. “Faith” and “Hope” create a duality of positive affirmations that may or may not have a religious context. “Faith” often refers to a belief in God, in many forms, and is enhanced by the idea of “Hope” if those beliefs. “Strength” and “Courage” are another powerful pairing, serving as a reminder of carrying the virtues throughout one’s daily life.

Other words are often used that create a duality and an opposition within the design. Word pairings like “Life” and “Death” or “Love” and “Hate” are commonly used because of the strong and confrontational element created. The opposition of the two words invokes the spectrum that exists between the terms, inviting ideas about their personal significance. “Love” and “Pain” illustrate heartbreak and the consequences of relationships but also the joy of the experience. “Saint” and “Sinner” are two that also illustrate the connection in the duality as well as the good and bad qualities that exist in humanity.

Some ambigrams are designed larger with multiple words, creating a square or diamond shape out of the terms. An ambigram that utilizes the four elements can make an attractive design that is more complex and intricate. “Loyalty”, “Honesty”, and “Respect” is another example of a larger ambigram that beautifully dictates one’s utmost personal values.