Wednesday, January 31, 2007

reflection: flower
For Fa, the beautyfly,
...your wings have dried and are ready for flight
I'll be your firefly to lay your path at night...
marking yet another month of calm bliss together.
ambigram: ambigram-md.naguib


Monday, January 29, 2007

*Announcement: nagfa apologizes for the delay in the posting of NAC December 2006 theme. The recent earthquake in Taiwan has disrupted internet connections around this region. nagfa will post the submitted entries - and also the challenge for NAC January 2007 soon... Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

WARNING: The following paragraph may cause a sudden acceleration of the heartbeat and quicker blood-flow in the veins.. Please proceed reading with utmost caution..
nagfa will be presenting an exclusive instalment of nagfa ambigram challenge (NAC) this February. The guest challenger who will be providing the challenge - a word this time - is one of the world's most - if not THE most - prominent and established ambigram artists known by many. Who is that person? Well, you have to wait till 3rd February 2007 when we reveal the mystery guest challenger and the word. More information then..
nagfa: naguib & fadilah
ambigram: villain-victim
A simple concept - opposite pairing - with a more complex choice of words.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

ambigram: a.tadpole
Inspired by the ying-yang symbol. The two sides do look like tadpole, anyway. Another similar-themed ambigram: here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

ambigram: fuego-aire.tierra-agua
The Illuminati Diamond in Spanish: 'fuego' (fire), 'aire' (air), 'tierra' (earth) and 'agua' (water). See here for the Illmunati Diamond in Malay.
A nod to John Langdon.
ambigram: the.bushmen
The audacity of ambiguity: Bush's people or the desert tribe? The punk band or the reggae one? Go figure..
ambigram: anglophile
ambigram: gothic.lollitas
Gothic Lolitas (spelled gothic lollitas above: licentia poetica): where goth meets punk.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

ambigram: replay
ambigram: outline
reflection: bicycle

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ambigram: allahu-akbar
Allahu Akbar: 'Allah is Great'. Hidden within the design is also the word 'Allah' written in Arabic (within the a-l-l-a). A closer look:

Other examples of hidden forms within an ambigram:
ambigram: dyslexia
After the previous Foxtrot ambigram which has an 'x', we remembered about this ambigram.
Old design, inspired when Fa - tongue-in-cheek - accused Nag of suffering from dyslexia, and therefore, a natural ability to see words and letters from various angles and viewpoints.
*Nag likes this word: it is also an anagram for 'sexy dila'..

Monday, January 15, 2007

ambigram: foxtrot

a foxtrot comic hinting at the ambiguity of ambigrams
reflection: east-view

Saturday, January 13, 2007

ambigram: george.w.-bush
ambigram: orang-minyak
A mythical creature from the Malay Folklores who slips under the veil of darkness, intrudes a peaceful village and rapes its peoples' dignity (somewhat similar to the Western Incubus. *The female is known as a Succubus). Attempts in capturing this elusive creature proved difficult due to its oily ('minyak') - hence slippery - body.
Literal meaning: Oil ('Minyak') Man ('Orang').
An observer will see the link.
reflection: prison-break
The popular series from US, but just a spruced-up, testosterone-pumped, masculine, and alpha-male version of soap drama Gaby (interestingly, very popular in Latin and Central America, the Philippines, Indonesia and err.. Singapore!)
In the process of catching the whole Season 1 (Prison Break, not Gaby!) on DVD.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A reflection and a palindrome.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

ambigram: hitler
Is the swastika an extension of Hitler, or is Hitler an extension of the swastika?
reflection: greg.garcia
Greg Garcia. Writer, producer and director to one of TV land's most loved comedy series: My Name is Earl.
ambigram: the.anthem
ambigram: is.tony.blair-adolf.hitler?
A provocative design. The swastika was intended to be either an 'o' in 'Tony', or a 't' in 'Hitler'. Two more provocative ambigrams: George W. Bush and Sir Stamford Raffles.
ambigram: posb-dbs
Call it Fate, Destiny, Kizmet or Ka, something weird happened in Singapore on 16th November 1998. POSBank (actual logo above), Singapore's favourite family-bank, merged with DBS and by the look of the logo above, it was a match made in heaven..

Friday, January 05, 2007

ambigram: puma
ambigram: puma
ambigram: home-away
The first concept for ambigram designing was to highlight duality, sometimes pairings, most times opposites. Some examples of endearing, 'evergreen' opposite ambigrams include 'black-white', 'angel-devil', etc. So, to go back to the roots of ambigram designing, nagfa's own 'home-away'.
Some other non-English opposite ambigrams designed by nagfa:
- suay-heng (Hokkien)
- dunia&-akhirat (Arabic)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

ambigram: fila

Been noticing this formula for some time now. A similar ambigram type as the well-known sun microsystems logo.
ambigram: quiksilver-surf.stink
A rediscovered old design, when we were into brand names parody-pun. Two other ambigrams from the same series: Levi's and Coca-Cola. Another Quiksilver ambigram: here.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

reflection: quiksilver
Always wanted to try something with this brand. A rotational ambigram is kind of unachievable... at least for now! Incorporated is also the brand's logo. Another quiksilver-inspired design: here and here.
reflection: stargate
Stargate SG1. The sci-fi show starring Richard Dean Anderson (richardeanderson for short, RDA for shorter). Also the same guy playing MacGyver: here.
Anecdote time: When nagfa were first going out, the now defunct Channel i used to play MacGyver every weekday at 3 p.m.(!). Due to our rabid liking to this show (*okay okay, only Nag), our dates would revolve around this show. Needless to say: the shutting down of Channel i is a bitter sweet moment.
Do also check out this stunning finger-licking good sound of the MacGyver theme played on the piano: here.

ambigrams: ryan.alexander.tan
Design for bookmarks and stickers to one of Nag's student. The phrases 'genggam bara api biar sampai jadi arang' and 'berakit-rakit ke hulu, berenang-renang ke tepian, bersakit-sakit dahulu, bersenang-senang kemudian' are Malay Peribahasa (literally 'language adornments', idioms).
'Genggam bara api biar sampai jadi arang':
Grip tight ('genggam') to a burning ember ('bara api') until it turns into ('jadi') charcoal ('arang').
Meaning: 'To do something with true grit and conviction until the end'
'Berakit-rakit ke hulu, berenang-renang ke tepian, bersakit-sakit dahulu, bersenang-senang kemudian':
Take a raft ('berakit-rakit') upstream ('ke hulu'), then swim ('berenang-renang') dowstream ('ke tepian'), the struggling / pain ('bersakit-sakit')comes first (dahulu), the comfort ('bersenang-senang') comes later ('kemudian').
Meaning: 'To reach comfort, you have to first struggle'. A similar imagery would be 'first, paddle uphill, then feel the breeze downhill'.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

nagfa's Ambigram Challenge January 2007

As the trashmen clear the discarded ticker tapes, confettis, beer cans and other paraphernalias from the city street parties, and more unused resolutions and broken beer bottles - and promises - got swept under the lush red carpets, another hangover looms over 2007 even before the sun sets in for the first time in the new year.
Here we are, nagfa, still hoping to churn out more ambigrams and such throughout the new year, for your viewing pleasure..
NAC in 2007 - starting with this month's - is a revamped version of the old one. Still with the philosophy of 'unity and harmony through ambigram art', we seek to focus on only one category for the new NAC.
This month's phrase: 'country living'
* During our window shopping sessions for new furniture, we've come across an assortment of home living styles, from the spartan zen to the kaleidoscopick explosions of the retro 70s. In this part of the world, the Bali-inspired home decor is still a popular - albeit cookie cutter - choice. One type of decor that caught our attention is the country-inspired furniture: the lush solid wood with stunning grains. After so much input, the best (read: diplomatic) 'solution' is: eclectic. We hope this month's challenge could inspire designs which capture the spirit of country living...
Note: As a new guideline to encourage the quality of the submitted designs, each designer is only allowed to submit ONE design.
Please submit design to: before the 22nd of the month. Please also include your name (pseudonyms allowed), country of origin, and links (if any).
nagfa - naguib & fadilah
The unofficial 'I love OAG!' T-shirt design. More on OAG: here. Let's rebahasaibundanize the language!
(Bhasa Merliou: sparuh singa sparuh ikan
sparuh nagaruda mematuk spherangkasa
Mari kita kill time dand masa weekend
sblum ditelankunyahludah lidah bhasa)
Thankasih, Princessuriku
Kerna wujud kau but paling impenting
Dalam menuju phasa tergenting
Penaka penaku perlukan inki
Kolour bilu, mered ortaupun pinki
Untuk mencoret si ganu plangi
Ortau orkid sebuke semerbak wangi… yahooray
Thankasih, Poetri e-mosiku
Kerna sujud kau towardap Illahi
Hanya but bikini kucup syukur di dahi
Kau penerang bak kandelistriku
Penyala segenap kamar minda mistriku
Kau yang bakal menjadi istriku
Smalam, skarang dand slalu gadistriku… yahooray
lirik kata by NAG inspired by lirik mata by FA
ambigram: i.believe-in.our-dreams
To Fadilah, who hears the voices in my head
She’s the missing shoe when I’ve got two left feet
Now we’re complete,
And dancing to the beat
Ooh.. Cinderella
She’s the strawberry morning, glass of sunbeam
Relive my sweet dream
Of Cookies and Cream
Ooh.. and vanilla
She’s the gloaming skies reveil the ball of fire
Shaped a stoned sapphire
Reveal newildesire
Ooh.. in the calla
She’s the wings of the brightest shooting stars
Light the heart of Mars
Might the part of Us
Ooh.. Dinda Dila
nagfa's patriotic (STB take note!) version of John Langdon's City of Brotherly Love Philadelphia.
Singapore has recently experienced her third highest rainfall since the early 1900s, and flash floods in the low-lying areas such as in Thomson have disrupted activities there. Resilient Singaporeans will do okay!
Wishing for a summer holiday (By Sir Cliff Richard). *one of nag's favourite all time artistes.

Monday, January 01, 2007

reflection: black.sabbath
Love the spray paint shadow effect. The black metal band.. yeah. Not interested in THAT, more in the word 'sabbath': generally used to mean 'a day in the week set aside for worship and observance of religious duties'. More interestingly, its context in the 'sky religions': Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (*Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism etc. are known as the 'terrestrial religions' as they are more human-made set of philosophies than 'divine preachings'.)
Notice how the world's stock exchange revolves around Judaism's Sabbath on Saturdays, and virtually all schhol and work schedule follows the Christian Sabbath on Sundays. The Muslim's Sabbath, by the way, is on Fridays when they go to mosques for sermon (mass) and prayers.
ambigram: komunikasi
Malay for 'communication'. ("Sad, another loan word in the Malay Kamus(dictionary)," sighed the language purists..)
One of the most - if not THE most - essential tenet of marriage. Much-discussed on during nagfa's 'Kursus Persiapan Rumahtangga' ('Marriage Preparation Course'), an obligatory course for soon-to-be Muslim couples in Singapore.
reflection: om!-'Allah' in Arabic
Juxtaposing 2 'dzikir' (prayer utterances) of 2 big religions: 'om' in Buddhism and 'Allah' in Islam.
reflection: bed
reflection: table-chair
Two concept pieces using reflection and letters to form a contextual picture. Thus the letters 'b', 'e' & 'd' form an image of a bed; and the letters in 'table-chair' form an image of two chairs flanking a table.