Monday, June 02, 2008

NAC March 2008 NastyBasty (Mirror Mirror On The Wall)

The much-awaited compilation of the submitted entries is finally here. We, co-organizers - nagfa and NastyBasty - apologize for the nail-biting and finger-drumming long wait. This has got to be one of the most diversed compilations we have received so far, and it was a respected feat in itself by NastyBasty to go through them and give his comments.

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Without further pre-ambles, we present NastyBasty, in his own words:
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'First of all, I have to apologize for the extremely long delay. Work kept me very busy and a bad case of flu struck me down for almost ten days. And I definitely underestimated the amount of time it would take to evaluate all these wonderful entries...
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So, here are my two-cents:
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I don't know why but I always had a fascination for reflective ambigrams. The idea that just a look in the mirror could change the meaning of or reveal a hidden truth in a word always captured me. Therefore, I picked the theme 'Mirror, mirror on the wall', implying that the theme could be interpreted both as a formal (reflective design) as well as a themed challenge (fairy tales).
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First, here's my own contribution to this NAC:
'snow.white' by nastybasty (germany)

And now let's step through the looking glass and take a look at the impressive works the ambigram wonderland has in store for us!

Most importantly, let's begin with the winner: 'Mirror, mirror on the wall' by Daniel Dostal (Poland). It's legible, stylish, incredibly attractive and covers every aspect of the challenge - title, theme and format. The smoky embellishments and the image of the evil queen combine in a mysterious atmosphere radiating from the image. Congrats, Daniel, you are the next Guest Challenger!

'mirror-mirror-on-the-wall' by daniel dostal (poland)
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Nagfa's 'Big Bad Wolf' comes in second place, sporting a similar image/ambigram combination. The W/lf combination is quite tricky!
'big-bad-wolf' by nagfa (singapore)
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On to the further entries (in no specific order):
Both Ed Xander's 'Geroge/Dragon' as well as his 'Beauty and the Beast' ambigrams are a feast for the eyes and offer some very creative solutions.
'george-dragon' by ed xander (uk)

'beauty.and.the.beast' by ed xander (uk)
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The most ambitious entry by far is Robert Maitland's 'Mirror, mirror on the wall/who is fairest of them all?' reflection, showing that there's no need to be afraid of the big bad sentence ;-)
'mirror.mirror.on.the.wall-who.is.fairest.of.them.all?' by robert maitland (canada)
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Serpiente's 'Alice through the...' design is one of a few entries that relate to 'Alice in Wonderland' and wonderful to look at. Dropping the 'looking glass' adds a clever twist to the design.
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'alice.through.the(looking.glass)' by serpiente (mexico)
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'Peace for Tibet' by Alessandro shows a deep understanding of style as well as scalpod's 'reverse' chain, that looks so beautifully clean that it could be easily used as a logo. Even the mirrored 'R' doesn't bother...
'peace-for-tibet' by alessandro (italy)

'reverse' by scalpod (usa)
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Tom Banwell's 'Ambigram 3D in mirror' transcends the usual categories used to describe ambigrams in an incredibly creative way.
'ambigram 3D in mirror' by tom banwell (usa)
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On to those who stayed with the 'fairy tale' theme:
Jennifer's intertwined Rs work perfectly making the ambigram legible and stylish.
'mirror mirror on the wall' by jen hill (usa)
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Parag Bamane's rotational solution suffers a little bit from the mixed use of upper and lower case letters.
'mirror mirror on the wall' by parag bamane (india)
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Darren Bent offers us a pretty wild 'Snow White/Evil Queen' solution.
'snow.white-evil.queen' by darren bent (new zealand)
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Nagfa demonstrates how important right positioning of words/letters is in a reflective design.
'3.little-pigs' by nagfa (singapore)
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And Ed Xander's 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' is one of only two totem ambigrams in the field. I thought there would be more solutions in that style...
'snow.white.and.the.seven.dwarfs' by ed xander (uk)
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And he still has more to offer with his 'Aladdin/Flying Carpet/Genie' and 'Pinocchio' 45-degrees reflections!!!
'aladdin-magic.carpet-genie' by ed xander (uk)

'pinocchio' by ed xander (uk)
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The small cross-bars in Txescu's 'Fairy Tales' design fits the style, but makes the 't' difficult to read.
'fairy-tales' by txescu (catalunia)
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Jose Perez takes us to his Magic Castle. The use of the sword-shaped 't' and the chosen font underlines the fancy aspect of the design but legibility could be better.
'castillo-magico (magic castle)' by jose perez (spain)
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The next category would be those who chose to concentrate on the theme of 'Reflection':
Kryzstof Sliwa's 'Reflection' works wonderfully, shifting the 'r' and 'n' from upper to lower case.
'reflection' by krzystof sliwa (poland)
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Tom Banwell's solution is way more straightforward. Maybe it would be hard to identify the letters 'R' and 'f' if they were viewed on their own, but in this context they work fine.
'reflection' by tom banwell (usa)
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Serpiente's 'Letrero/reflejo' solutions are perfectly legible even though I prefer the 'shadow' version.
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'letrero-reflejo (banner-reflection)' by serpiente (mexico)
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Paavo Pirinen's 'Mirror' reflection irritated me at first because it's not symmetric, making it hard to realize the ambigrammatical characteristics of the design.
'mirror' by paavo pirinen (finland)
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While his second entry is clearly symmetrical, it suffers a little bit from problems with letter spacings.
'mirror' by paavo pirinen (finland)
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Arturo comes up with a reflective ambigram of the word 'axis' but I think the 'i' is a little hard to read.
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'axis' by arturo (chile)
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Tomas lets us look into the magic mirror.
'espejito-magico (magical mirror)' by tomas (spain)
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And last but not least, there are those who chose to stray from the theme, and stay only with the formal aspects of this NAC.
Here's a very elaborate piece from Alessandro, a solid solution and beautifully arranged in the picture. Onward, ambigrammists! ;-)
'are we not drawn onward to new era?' by alessandro (italy)
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Diego's 'Dr. Jekill / Mr. Hyde' looks gorgeous, but doesn't it supposed to be 'Jekyll'...? But I love the flame effect!
'dr.jekill-mr.hyde' by diego colombo (italy)
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I did try on a reflective 'Angel / Devil' ambigram myself but failed to find a working solution. Ruel shows us how it is done! He has also submitted a nice solution for a 'Black / White' reflection.
'angel-devil' by ruel (philippines)

'black-white' by ruel (philippines)
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Carmela's 'El cielo / El agua' ambigram works very well. The imagery supports the legibility by adding a watery effect to the words 'El agua'.
'el cielo-el agua (sky-water)' by carmela (spain)
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Let's keep it Spanish! Tomas' 'Sol-Tierra-Luna' works very well. And his reflection of the name 'Salamanca' is even easier to read. Even though the word is an almost natural ambigram, the shift from the lower to upper-case 'S' is a clever solution.
'salamanca (vantage point)' by tomas (spain)

'sol-tierra-luna (sun-earth-moon)' by tomas (spain)
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Cy Reb Jr. broke the mirror! I hope he won't really suffer from seven years of bad luck like his ambigram suggests...
'seven years - bad luck' by cy reb jr (usa)
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Scalpod submitted loads of ambigram!
Let's start with his 'Cash' in 'Hand' reflection: Easy to read and the design underlines the quality simplicity of his works.
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'cash in hand' by scalpod
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Welcome to the House of Fun! This ambigram once again shows us how well scalpod has mastered the art of chained ambigrams.
'funhouse' by scalpod (usa)
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I think the 'Hallway' reflection is the weakest in his batch because the center bar makes it read as 'Halliway'.
'(mirrored) hallway' by scalpod (usa)
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Tom Banwell was very busy creating ambigrams for this NAC as well, using words that reflected naturally. His 'N/h' conversion (in 'hidden') is very clever.
'I decided' by tom banwell (usa)

'hidden' by tom banwell (usa)


'god (is everywhere)' by tom banwell (usa)

'canoe' by tom banwell (usa)

'(splitting the) atom' by tom banwell (usa)
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(unquote)
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We nagfa would like to thank NastyBasty for putting aside chunks of his time and energy in carrying out his role as the Guest Challenger with patience and passion. We would also like to thank ALL participants who had contributed to this NAC in one way or another. NACs would never be significant without your support and sharings of creative designs.
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Not forgetting, a big congratulation to Danial Dostal of Poland for being the artist with the most favoured ambigram solution. We will email you soon regarding the matter of being the next Guest Challenger.
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Meanwhile, the special NAC will be posted within this week. Do stay tuned, and have a good rest. Til we meet again, then. Thank you!
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Salam (peace)
nagfa: naguib and fadilah
singapore

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2 Comments:

Blogger Tomás said...

Enhorabuena al ganador.
Y ehnorabuena a todos por ésos magníficos diseños.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous unduk said...

Awesome! It really made my day. Thank you.

10:54 AM  

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