Ambigram GeneratorsApr 8th, 2009 - Updated 2013 | By Editor | Category: Ambigram Gallery
Welcome to the ambigram generator comparison page. Here we will compare all of the paid and free methods of creating an ambigram that exist today, look at their output, and consider the pros and cons of each.
Creating an ambigram generator is a huge task, which explains why not many organizations are jumping at the chance to build one. Doing the job “right” literally requires years and years of work to develop the logic to assemble the letter sequences, create the design and save the output. The instant output from an ambigram generator makes it look easy, but it is much more difficult than it seems.
In fact, there have only been two attempts at building a computerized tool to create ambigrams: the “Ambimatic”, and the “Ambigram Generator” offered through FlipScript.com. Any other software (especially a download) that claims to be able to create ambigrams is a scam, and is most likely a virus, a trojan or some other form of malware. Do not download any ambigram creator software, or programs that claim to be a download of an “ambigram generator”. We can assure you that if any new free ambigram creation software becomes available, Ambigram.com will know about it very quickly (and we will update this page if legitimate ambigram creation software becomes available). To be clear:
For the safety of your computer, only trust an ambigram generator that works “on-line”, over the Internet, with no software download required.
Ambigram Creator Comparison
This article will take a detailed look at the two ambigram creation tools that exist today, compare how they work, go into the pros and cons of each, and perform a test ambigram using the last name “Smith” to see how well they perform.
Also called the “Ambigram-matic”, the Ambimatic was the first ambigram generator, and was released right here at ambigram.com in 1996. It can still be found (and used) here: www.ambigram.com/matic.
How it works.
The Ambimatic relies on inverting one letter of the alphabet to another, so the two input words must be the same length (or be the same word). There are (26*26)/2 = 338 letter combinations available, so there are no holes or gaps in the letter set. Stated differently: there is an image for every letter inverting to every other letter. As a result, every two words of the same length can always> be made into an ambigram, and by extension, every word can be made into an ambigram of itself.
Although the Ambimatic will always always produce some result if a word is inverted to itself, the fact that most letters do not naturally invert well to other letters makes the output inconsistent (at best). Picture inverting an “i” to an “m” (which logically can not produce a convincing inversion) and you get the idea. You may get lucky and happen to choose a word that is close to a natural ambigram (like “suns”), but users have found that for much of the time the output from the ambimatic can be difficult to read. Either that, or they have been spoiled from the output from the newer FlipScript ambigram generator.
We put the Ambimatic through the last name “Smith” test case, and scaled the output to exactly 200 pixels wide.
Here is the result.
Ambimatic Pros and Cons
- Will always produce some sort of output from any two words of the same length (including the same word to itself)
- The only free ambigram generator
- Can not create ambigrams of two words of differing lengths
- In the best case scenario, the words may be readable, but not necessarily pleasing. In the worst case scenario, the output is completely illegible
The Ambigram Generator offered through FlipScript.com
The ambigram generator offered through FlipScript.com was released more than 12 years after the Ambimatic. This ambigram generator was developed over a span of several years starting in 2007 and continuing to the present day by software developer Mark Hunter.
How it Works
The ambigram generator offered through FlipScript.com uses software logic to create ambigrams as vector designs using sophisticated proprietary mathematics (some of which are patented), which allows the designs to scale perfectly and position much more cleanly than the Ambimatic. Interestingly, the ambigram generator from FlipScript will not always be able to create an ambigram of two words, even if they have the same length. Even if two words have the same length and an ambigram is produced, they will not necessarily line up letter-by-letter (as our test case shows)
Since the ambigram generator offered through FlipScript is very sophisticated about ambigram creation, it will not be able to produce an ambigram of any two arbitrary words (even if they have the same length). However, its probability for success of two words of a similar length is more than two sigma (very high), and the algorithms that it uses ensures that the ambigrams that it does create are usually superior to the results obtained from the Ambimatic.
We put the ambigram generator offered from FlipScript through the “SMITH” test case, and scaled the output to exactly 200 pixels wide.
Here is the result.
As you can see, letters are combined where the ambigram generator offered through FlipScript felt necessary to produce the most aesthetically pleasing output, which is far more complicated than a simple letter inversion tool.
FlipScript Pros and Cons
- Can create ambigrams of differing lengths (like “better” and “man”)
- The results are aesthetically pleasing, and in many cases legible to the point that you may not know that the design is an ambigram at first.
- May not produce a design at all if the generator does not feel that the output would be up to its quality standards
- Not a free ambigram generator
Many people come to this page looking for a free, high-quality ambigram generator. Unfortunately, there is no such thing at this point due to the amount of work involved to create a high-quality ambigram generator. Feel free to either use the results from our free Ambimatic ambigram generator, or pay for the commercial results from the FlipScript ambigram generator.
You can learn more about these two tools at their respective web sites:
Want to share your own experiences with either (or both) of these tools? Feel free to comment below.