Real World Ambigrams: Rondo’s Restaurant

Jun 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Interviews, Real World Ambigrams & More! is happy to bring you another Real World Ambigram, and a great interview to go along with it! Today, we are speaking with Andy Stracuzzi, President & Creative Director at Zed+Zed+Eye Design. It is great to see a beautiful ambigram in a real world application. So without further adieu, we present Andy Stracuzzi and Rondo’s Restaurant. When was the first time you encountered ambigrams?

Andy Stracuzzi When I was a kid, I remember seeing those pictures of people’s faces that you can flip upside down (the ones where it is an old man and a young girl) and being awe struck. In design school I saw an ambigram and thought that it was so cool that you could do that with typography. It’s amazing how perspective can have such an influence over reality, and it can change in 180 degrees. Before the logo for Rondo’s restaurant, have you tried to create any ambigrams?

Andy Stracuzzi I experimented with peoples names a little. I quickly discovered that it was harder than it looks to create a good, readable ambigram but I enjoyed the mental challenge.

Ambigram.comWhile you were developing concepts for the restaurant, was an ambigram concept in the forefront or did it come about later in the process?

Andy Stracuzzi Rondo’s actually went through several conceptual changes. The owner of the restaurant initially played with the idea that the theme of the restaurant would be a cigar bar. After exploring several options for the logo, We decided that the logo would be in a font style seen on cuban cigar boxes and cigar bands. While hand drawing the logo type, I noticed that the letters would actually lend their way into being an ambigram.






 What was the reaction of the client to the ambigram logo, and why did they decide to go with it?

Andy Stracuzzi The client was impressed. He thought it was a very clever solution. If marketed well, it would help his restaurant stand apart from the competition. We started to concept solutions on how the logo could be used within the branding material. Unfortunately, mid project, the theme of the restaurant changed to a Rock & Roll and this logo never saw the light of day.







 An ambigram is challenging enough to perfect if it is a personal project, but it will be observed even closer (and perhaps with more scrutiny) if it is an actual commissioned piece that will be displayed in the ‘real world.’ What were your biggest challenges in perfecting the ambigram for Rondo’s?

Andy Stracuzzi The biggest challenge in using an ambigram for a logo is essentially knowing whether an ambigram is conceptually appropriate or not. Sure, they can be clever, witty, and playful… but is that appropriate for the client? Once we decided that it would be a solution that would work, we tackled issues such as style and readability. Would the name “Rondo’s” be easily legible? We knew that the cleverness of the mark should not overwhelm the basic utilitarianism of the logo. What, to you, is the most unique aspect of an ambigram as Rondo’s logo?

Andy Stracuzzi I agree that an ambigram can be a hard sell to the consumer, so it had to be done with precision. We needed the mental process to work like this; First and most importantly is that the consumer reads “Rondo’s”. Second, they realize that there is something “more” to the logo and they discover that the logo can be flipped and read the same. On a basic level, it was really a bonus if they saw the ambigram but if they did, it is a home run. Once someone discovers something about a logo that others might not see, they feel like they are “in on it”. The consumer will tend to take ownership of the brand and are loyal to it. Can you show us one of the ways the logo was used?

Andy Stracuzzi Sure, check out these glasses with the logo. Would you use an ambigram for another logo/identity, or would you have any reservations about it?

Andy Stracuzzi Technically, this concept never made it’s way to final logo, so I am still looking to create an ambigram logo for a client. ┬áIf the company’s logo called for a fun and entertaining solution, I would not hesitate to propose the idea. I guess you just know when you feel it.

Andy, thank you very much for showcasing your work and giving us some insight into your ambigram design process.

Leave a comment »

  1. Clever! Although I read just Rondos, without the apostrophe, it is well deisgned for sure!

    In the company’s site there is a better version with a little background attached to it. It is something like yellow flames, check that out.

  2. That’s awesome. We switched from an ambigram logo to text for our festival business just because it’s important to reach everybody and some people have a problem reading them sometimes. But that is such a legible clean ambigram! Nice work. I’m jealous :)

If you liked this page, you may also be interested in creating your own ambigrams or ambigram tattoos.