Since I've been getting a few questions about my avatar, I thought I'd answer them here, so I can link to it if necessary.
That thing is so cool!
That isn't a question, but thanks!
Do those spinny words have a real name?
They're called ambigrams.
How did I make the avatar?
The designing is done through trial and error, and finding others' work and getting inspiration from it – seeing what sort of possibilities there are. Luckily the word "magic" was pretty easy to do. The hardest part was the G.
In terms of me making the actual avatar, it starts out with me scrawling out ideas on paper. Eventually when I came up with an ambigram that looked like it said what it was supposed to, I drew it out relatively neatly in pencil.
Next I scanned it into the computer, where I opened it up in Illustrator. I traced my pencil outlines using the pen tool (luckily I only have to go half way, and then duplicate and flip it to get the whole thing).
Then I import it into Flash, where I added the other text and animated the whole thing. The hardest part was then finding the right settings that make it look good but keeping it under 24KB.
Can I learn how to make an ambigram?
As I say, most if it is down to seeing what others have done and try to apply some of their tricks they've used to your own words. Here are some links to ambigram sites:
Also, check out the books "Wordplay" by John Langdon (the main inspiration for my avatar) and "Inversions" by Scott Kim.