John Langdon Gallery
Award-winning logo designer and, along with Scott Kim, one of the originators of the ambigram art form, John Langdon is the creator and author of Wordplay, his book of, and about, his ambigrams. John created the iconic ambigrams in Dan Brown’s bestseller, Angels & Demons. His paintings of words have appeared in art galleries and museum exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe, and his ambigrams have been inked on bodies around the world. John’s most recent wordy project is a complete rewrite of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, featuring hundreds of embedded references to rock and roll history.
While John’s artwork has taken the form of corporate logos, ambigrams, paintings and constructions, there are a few themes that unite those several forms of expression. The primary commonality is ambiguity. “I experience the world as being open to interpretation, and I see that each person’s vantage point is valid and that his or her reality is unique. In my work I try to share with the viewer the excitement that comes from exploring multiple viewpoints.” Words and ideas are John’s inspiration and subject matter. Symmetry is almost always present in John’s work, in one form or another.
John’s genetic heritage bequeathed him almost equal portions of affinity for visual and verbal expression. As a result, the visual treatment of words comes naturally to him. Salvador Dali was his earliest significant inspiration. But the late 60s provided him with a number of powerful influences: the yin/yang symbol, M.C. Escher, psychedelic poster art and lettering, and Herb Lubalin’s highly creative use of conventional typography. John teaches Advanced Typography in the Graphic Design program at Drexel University.
All pictures © John Langdon, johnlangdon.net, used with permission.