Ambigram tattoos are simply a typographic style, and do not necessarily have a specific symbolism all to themselves. What makes them special or meaningful to the wearer is what words or symbols they choose to put into this particular style. Most people like to have ambigram tattoos because they are simply a unique way to present an otherwise common tattoo theme.
Many people prefer to use the rotational style for their ambigram tattoos. What makes this such an interesting option is that the words are made to appear identical, and can be read both up and downwards. Another interesting take on this style is the asymmetric rotational ambigram (or the symbiotogram). In this style, two separate words are made to look the same when seen at one angle, and become obviously different when seen from an opposing angle. Symbiotograms are especially popular amongst those who like to express a duality in their natures. You may see words like, ‘angel’ and ‘devil,’ or even ‘love’ and ‘hate.’
Perceptual shift and reflected ambigram tattoos are also interesting styles. As opposed to the rotational theme, the perceptual shift mode requires a change in view, rather than orientation. With this style, you can create one word that – depending upon the view – can say one thing close up, and another from a distance. The reflected (or mirror-image) ambigram is unique in that it is the same word backwards and forwards, and can be seen the same way looking in and out of a mirrored reflection.
Although words are most commonly used for ambigram tattoos, symbols can also be utilized. Eyes, flowers and tribal patterns are used most frequently for this particular fashion. However, these are seen less frequently by themselves, and are generally used as borders for names, phrases, or even dates. If you’d prefer to use symbols rather than words in your ambigram piece, you might like to use the 3-dimensional ambigram, where the object is presented in such a way that it appears to change when viewed from different angles.
Ambigram tattoos also make for excellent armband pieces. The chain ambigram interlinks words, which causes them to repeat. You can use any word, or words that you like to create a chain around your upper arm or wrist. You might also like to try fractal or figure-ground ambigrams for an armband design.
Definitively speaking, an ambigram is simply a changeable symbol that is always the same no matter how you see it. That fact may — unto itself — be a great symbol for both the design, and the wearer to carry.