Ambigram Challenge: Couples Ring

Jun 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: A.C.A.C., News

Win This Titanium Ring With Your Ambigram Design!

This Ambigram Ring for the Winner!
The winner receives this titanium ring containing their design!

You are going to love this challenge!

For this challenge, you get to create an ambigram of a couple you know (perhaps you and your partner, the names of your kids or some friends of yours), and if your design is the contest winner, you will get an actual aerospace-grade titanium ring created with your design deep-engraved and anodized directly into the metal (a $229 value!).  This is our most valuable prize yet.

Ed Ferguson of Cascadia Design Studio, a maker of titanium rings, has generously offered to create a ring containing the winning design for the next contest and to ship it to the winner!  All costs are paid.

Since this is a really nice prize, we want to make sure that the ground rules for the contest are clear.


  1. The ambigram needs to be a different name in each orientation (a “symbiotogram”).  It could be you and your partner, two of your kids, the names of a special bride and groom to be (wow, what a great gift!), etc.
  2. Please don’t waste the prize: Make sure that you actually know 2 people with these names so the ring will have a good home (OK, we can’t actually verify this, so you will be on the honor system here)
  3. Please submit no more than your 1 or 2 best entries, and make sure that they are “finalized” before emailing them.  We are getting swamped with some participants sending entire collections of designs, or they make frequent revisions and expect us to keep track of it all.
  4. In fact, to better track the designs, please name your submissions as follows:[NAME]-[DESIGN].jpg

    For example, “Worhol-CampbellsSoup.jpg

    Otherwise, it can be easy to lose track of which design belongs to which artist, especially if we get a lot of submissions.

  5. Please submit a ring size with your submission, in case you win.  This should be the ring size for the intended recipient, of course.  So, think about who would be getting the ring if you win, and send us their gender and ring size with your submission.  Yes, we will ideally need this up front.  If that is absolutely not possible for you, you MUST get the ring size to us on the very day the contest ends.
  6. For this particular challenge, stick to good old black-and-white.  There is no benefit to having a background, decorations or other embellishments.  The design will be going on a ring, so it’s only the design that matters.

Design Guidelines

Your artwork will be cut with a tiny rotary ring cutter directly into a solid piece of high quality titanium.  This is not some cheap surface etching, but a deep engraving, so you need to think about the intended use as you create your design.  The rotary cutter can not produce thin lines, textures, double-lines, etc. so when you create your design think “marker pen” and not “fine lead pencil”.  Designs with small loops, fine script or closely spaced lines won’t reproduce well.

This graphic of an ambigram that says “Sheri / Tony” illustrates the “widening effect” that the cutting process adds to the design in the finished ambigram ring:

Think "Marker Pen", not "Fine Lead Pencil"

Think "Marker Pen", not "Fine Lead Pencil"


We will have a guest judge on the panel for this contest: Ed Ferguson from Cascadia Design Studio (the donor of the ambigram ring prize).  Ed will be scoring and ranking the design not just for artistic appeal, but also for how well the design will reproduce on a ring.


All artwork will need to be submitted by midnight on July 16th, 2010 to qualify. Email your designs to, and please name your attachment according to the rules above. The contest is open to everyone, whether or not you have participated in the past, so give it a shot.

The results will be published on August 6th, 2010 (along with an actual photo of the finished prize before it is shipped), and the next challenge will be announced at that time.

Please be sure to include a web site URL that we can link to if your design makes it into the top 5 list.  We will contact you for a shipping address if you are selected as the winner.


The results for this challenge have been posted, and are available here

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Leave a comment »

  1. Hey there,
    I just wanted to make sure I understand, we are not using the Glyphusion to create our designs? That would remove all creativity from the competition. I know Mr. Ferguson uses it on his site, that is awesome for simple everyday customers to his site, but on this site, it is all about the artist.

    I guess I am just asking, if we create something unique, will his equipment be able to copy the design (within reason) and put it on a ring? JPG is not a Vector.

    Hope this is not too confusing.

    Thanks, I can’t wait to see the designs.


  2. Hi Elwin,

    You are correct that Ed sells ambigram rings today, but using an ambigram generator to create the design will probably not produce a contest winner.

    If you win the contest, you will need to be able to supply the vector design for the ring.

    I hope that helps.


  3. Yes – our rotary engraving machine will follow any vector path, and will automatically scale the height to fit the width of the ring. We can convert hand-drawn bitmap images to vector, but if your design is created in vector format, that is ideal.

    The primary consideration in design is the diameter of the cutting tool which is about 1/16 the height of the design. So if you set a canvas height of 6” on your computer, use a round drawing tool of 0.375” diameter.

    Because the engraving tool makes your lines thicker, watch out for small loops or closely spaced lines that may merge. The before/after graphic on the contest page illustrates the result after engraving.

    Ed Ferguson

  4. Question – can it be an ambigram in the format of “Name&Name”? The two names I’m working with are significantly different in length, but I’ve come up with a solution that works well if I put an ampersand in between the two.

  5. Hi Imriaylde,

    That is fine, as long as the submission is a single design (for example, “Name” inverting to “&Name”).


  6. can the design be printed around the whole ring, or only on a small section on the front?

  7. …you got a couple of REALLY long names to work with then Kai? :^D

  8. no, I just thought it would be cool to have some sort of design working around the edge as well :p

  9. Is this contest open to 180° rotational ambigrams only or are 90° rotational, reflective, and figure-ground ambigrams also allowed?

  10. Kai and Erik,

    You can really submit whatever you think will work well on a ring.

    Just keep in mind that the designs are ranked from 1-10 from each judge, and this time one of the criteria will be how well the design works on a ring.

    For example, I can’t see how a 90° rotational ambigram would work in the very small vertical confines of a ring… but perhaps you have something unique in mind and will surprise us all!

    In general, I would guess that you would have the best chance of winning by submitting something very close to the original recommendations (a 180° rotational ambigram of 2 names).



  11. Kai – A name ambigram should typically go about 20% to 40% of the way around the ring, as a rough guideline.

    It would be very tricky to get a seemless “circle” ambigram correct without knowing the exact dimensions of everything ahead of time (which would be very cool, but probably more work that we want to put into this contest… feel free to contact me off-line if you want something like that outside of this contest).



  12. I submitted a comment earlier regarding how usable *.DWG/*.DXF (AutoCAD) files were to you, or if I needed to convert those to a different vector format file. AutoCAD allows an export to an *.EPS file. Could that work? Let me know.

    I hope I finish by Friday.

    Clayton Mabey

  13. Hi everyone, how come the resullts aren’t out yet? its past the deadline, also a day ago, google marked this site as “harmful’, I dont have a screenshot but, what’s up?

  14. Dear,

    Please let us know who won the ring challenge. The suspense is killing me. When one of my best employees said he needed sometime off work to enter this prestigious contest, I could do not but encourage his participation. His designs are amazing and if it were possible to market his talented ambigram abilities, I know our company would be just that much more profitable. Please post the results as promised.

    Thank you.

  15. Hi Silver,

    Yes, the site was compromised (“hacked”) which set us back a couple of days on the schedule. All should be fixed now.


(page contents are not an accurate historical record. Many pages were modified in 2012)
If you liked this page, you may also be interested in creating your own ambigrams or ambigram tattoos.