Saturday, August 02, 2008

NAC June 2008 Theme 2: Beijing Olympic 2008

May peace be upon you! After a brief interlude, we bring you the compiled entries for the June Nagfa Ambigram Challenge (NAC). More of that here. The theme was Beijing Olympic Games. In this post, we'll try to highlight features and details from each design entry which we find aesthetically pleasant and outstanding. We will also reveal our favourite design, and the artist who will be invited as a Guest Challenger for a future NAC.
Firstly, our own solution:
nagfa (singapore)
This lake-reflection design (supposed to) read(s) beijing-peace 08 with the rings formed by the 'g' and the '08' also forming the unmistakable iconic five rings representing the Olympic Games. The 'peace' is a general and holistic sentiment for a united world through sports rather than any political comment on any particular conflict.
Now, we reveal the wonderful submitted entries, arranged according to countries of the artists:
fraga (brazil)
Fraga's entry is among some which uses totem-reflection; though the usage of a rotational ambigram for the word 'olympic' exudes a witty aloofness (disregard? anarchy?) of doing away with conventionality. The effort (and considerable success) of potraying three words - '2008', 'Beijing' and 'Olympic' - is appreciated.

txescu (catalunia)
Txescu's entry proves that the solution for the word 'Beijing' could be interpreted in many ways. In his design, he opted for an astonishing - and prominent - J-G reflective solution. This choice thus brought two segments: the BEI (which works very well) and IN (which is slightly difficult to read). The double-thickness is necessary due to the 'IJ' in 'BEIJ'.

dave (england)
Dave's design entry incorporates several visual plays. We see three different rotational ambigrams for 'Beijing', '2008' and 'olympics'. A point to note is that the chosen word 'olympics' (instead of 'olympic') provides a more challenging solution. The most striking feature of Dave's entry has got to be his very successful Escher-like figure-ground background of torch-carriers. That in itself is a masterpiece!
nastybasty (germany)
NastyBasty's pieces have always been about legibility and stylish solutions. This entry is no different: succinctly precise with minimal manipulation. This is one of our favourite for this NAC, simplicity wise. The B-S and G-G solutions are superb, with that subtle 'sharpened' end for B-S the cherry on the cake for distinguishing the B from the S.
alessandro (italy)
What else can we say? The most original entry we received, with an easy fuss-free font, good readability, and a very witty - sceptical / ironic - 'comeback'. This type of ambigram - the 'symbiotogram' - would always be more challenging to come up with, especially in conjuring up a phrase which is relevant, and with a similar length. Not only that, there are many wonderful solutions in this design: the dual-level B-Pe/8-et (!!!), n/r and g/fo. Other details include the j/T and the dots for 'iji' becoming the Olympic rings. As for the flip-phrase 'Peace for Tibet', it is as apt as could be, very relevant, poignant and with a not-so-subtle take on the B-Side - if you may - of this year's Games. Simply breath-taking. For this, we choose this design as the winner for this NAC theme. Alessandro will be invited as a Guest Challenger for a future NAC. Congratulations!
diego colombo (italy)
Diego's designs have always exude a sense of calmness and refined composure, the type which could only come from years of observations and practise. This design is a good example. It is masterly crafted with a very consistent style (notice the Ms). The Y-P, and (especially the awesome!) G-S solutions thrill us. But another solution which caught our imagination was the 'aME'. Notice how the extended line from the 'M' also acts as the topmost arm for the uppercase 'E'. Also, we see this design as something that could be used every leap year; as it does not refer to ANY particular Olympic Games!
ruel masacayan (philippines)
A tough phrase to tackle, playing with this year's Games slogan: OneWorld, OneDream, Ruel had managed to successfully come up with a competent solution. The shared line between O and N hints of in-depth knowledge in ambigram designing, while the smooth flow of ORLD-ONED reminds one of seeing a child runs at the edge of a cliff, always expecting him to slip and fall, but just at the moment he slips, he soars off into the proverbial sunset. The only awkward stroke would be the extra one between R and a (to accommodate the N). The colours used reflect those on the Olympic rings.
azahary arif (singapore)
A rather straightforward design, taking on the word 'Beijing'. This word provides almost a natural ambigram (b-g, i-i with j as the pivot). The e-n, on the other hand, when not correctly proportioned could be awkward to read. The incorporations of the map and the Olympic rings in this design help in the reading of the word.
azahary arif (singapore)
Nice configuration here. The one-level-per-word arrangement makes this totem reflection very easy to read. The placement of the rings in the centre adds to the Olympic theme. The e-n provides the least cooperation (the B-G was dealt with stunningly!) while that three dots above 'iji' could be depicted as flame from the torch.
ed xander (uk)
An ingenius entry: a perceptual shift! The design could be read both as 'Beijing' or '(Olympic rings) 2008'. It takes a good eye (or two!) for coming up with perceptual shifts. The decision of using two rings as the 'B' is clever one indeed, as a '2-e' works easily as a 'starting point'. The '8-g' cooperates well, too. The 'iJ-0' works better than the 'in-0' but concept-wise, this a clever idea to even attempt, so hats off to you, Ed!
jen hill (usa)
One of the most complex designs we have witnessed thus far: the interlocking rings must have taken tries to get such precision. The rings represent land mass which read 'americas', 'africa', 'europe', 'oceanea' and 'asia'. Not only that, Jen had also included ambigrams for 'Beijing' and '2008' to complete the design. Really like the 'B-g' with the smooth tail.
Our sincerest thank you to all designers wh0 had contributed a big part to this NAC. And congratulations again to Alessandro. We'll be contacting you soon.
nagfa: naguib & fadilah (singapore)

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Blogger Aenvie said...

Aw man, my colors got all wonky! That's really odd, it's almost like the negative or something. The original's here. Great entries this month!


9:20 PM  
Blogger nagfa said...

Hi, Jen.. We've changed the pictures.Thanks for the feedback.

salam, nagfa

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Fraga said...

My congratulations for Nagfa and all ambigrammists!

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Fascinating (as expected) to see how we all tackled it differently! Kudos to Alessandro for that clever symbiotogram.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Don said...


May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,


3:07 PM  

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