Wordplay: Ambigrams and Reflections on the Art of Ambigrams

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9780151984541: Wordplay: Ambigrams and Reflections on the Art of Ambigrams

Wordplay is a book of ambigrams words that can be read from more then one point of view. But these are not just any words. They are carefully chosen to communicate principles of western physics and eastern philosophy, with some language history and good old puns, just for fun. It adds up to an entertaining experience in the visual treatment of words visual poetry almost and a thorough, if indirect, education in the ancient Chinese philosophy Taoism.

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From the Inside Flap:

"It would be interesting to know," Martin Gardner writes in his foreword, "when it was discovered that certain words are unchanged when inverted or reflected... It is easy to see that WOW is MOM upside down, but who would have guessed that an enormous variety of words and phrases with no symmetry when printed could be shaped so that they were the same when inverted or reflected?"

In this book John Langdon shows us how we can expand our understanding of terms and concepts by looking at ambigrams words that were designed to read upside down, back to front, or in the mirror as well as left to right. (Turn the title upside down.) He not only presents the reader with a number of strikingly beautiful and arresting ambigrams but also shows how the very shape of the letters can change our idea of the word itself and its meaning. He even disarmingly demonstrates how one goes about making an ambigram. The reader should be warned, however, that it is not quite as easy as it looks.

About the Author:

John Langdon was born in Philadelphia in 1946. He attended the Epicopal Academy and Dickinson College where he earned a degree in English. He went on to educate himself in the specialized field of logo design, in which his work has won a number of local and national honors. Along the way he invented the esoteric art of ambigrams. He has taught graphic design at Moore College of Art and The College of Design Arts, Drexel University, both in Philadelphia. John writes design criticism for Critique magazine and paints words in surprising ways, as well.

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