Exploring braille ambigrams

Last week I posted “Use the best avail­able braille” as an intro to an online braille gen­er­a­tor I wrote.  This sparked off a con­ver­sa­tion with a friend about the pos­si­bil­ity of inter­pret­ing braille upside-down.  Writing an ambi­gram in braille sounded like such a neat idea I wrote a note to myself to explore it later.  Well, today is later, so I set out to see whether it could be done.

This inter­pre­ta­tion is a very rigid inter­pre­ta­tion of the dot pat­terns.  Right-side-up and upside-down are per­fect 180° rota­tions from one another.  A dot in the top right cor­ner ends up in the bot­tom left cor­ner.  Unfortunately, the results are pretty bad, yield­ing some hor­ri­ble let­ters.


Or, if we trim it down to just the rel­e­vant let­ters:


One realm I have not yet explored is let­ters that are imper­fect grid matches.  If we were to be a lit­tle more loose about our let­ter base­lines, there are a few let­ters that are shape-wise rota­tions of one another, but the rota­tion would not not end up on a line that tech­ni­cally counts as a let­ter.  For instance with this imper­fect match­ing, you can see that G is a rota­tion of itself, H and D are rota­tions from one another, J and F are rota­tions, E and I are rota­tions.  You could maybe get away with say­ing B, K, and L are each rota­tions of them­selves.  This let­ter col­lec­tion is less awful and opens up some let­ter oppor­tu­ni­ties that I may explore at a later time.

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

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