Visual wordplay with Anand and Fritz

8/22/2003 – "Ambigrams" are words which can be read in more than one way. They remain the same after rotation or reflection. This form of wordplay is the speciality of Punya Mishra, Assistant Professor at the Michigan State University. Prof. Mishra has done some interesting work on Anand and Fritz.

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Visual Wordplay Gallery

Punya Mishra, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor for Learning, Technology, & Culture at the Michigan State University. His research has focused on the cognitive, aesthetic, and social aspects related to the design and use of computer based learning environments. His other interests include online learning, cognitive psychology of science, visual literacy, and creativity.

He also specialises in verbal and visual gallimaufry. And in this capacity he maintains a gallery of "ambigrams" – a type of visual wordplay in which words are written such that they can be read in more than one way. Some of his examples, while visually attractive, are not immediately recognizable. Others are quite remarkable. Take for example the generic "wordplay":

The above rendition is easily read. Astonishingly it can be rotated by 180 degrees and remains exactly the same.

This is another example, in which a word, "White", changes into its opposite, "Black", when it is turned upside down.

In the above example, the name "Anand" can be turned upside down without changing it.

Punya Mishra hails from India and obviously has an affinity for national chess hero Vishy Anand. The second example is left-right symmetrical.


One of our contributors, Ram Prasad, asked Punya to do something with our software programs. The above mirror-symmetrical logo was the result.

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