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Square Kufic Calligraphy: Tiling, pt. I

One of the ways we can expand our design is by tiling it. A design is easy to tile if it’s either a square or a rectangle with a simple ratio (such as 1:1, 1:2, 1:3).


We’re now going to do this with the words الحمد لله that we designed in this previous post.


Copy and paste the design onto a new document:



This design is easy to tile, because it has a ratio of 4:1. You can calculate this by adding the number of units in its width, and the number of units in its height, plus half a unit on each side. (The half units are added to create space the size of one unit between the positive space when you tile the design.)



The width of our design is 23 squares + half a square on either side. This gives us a width of 24 squares. The height is 5 squares + half a square on either side. This gives us a height of 6 squares. Therefore, our design has a ratio of 24:6, which is the same as 4:1. This means that by tiling four copies of our design, we get a square.


We can start by repeating the design once and flipping it vertically. This gives us a symmetrical look:



Next, we can duplicate the entire design we’ve just created. We now have four copies of our design. Because it has a ratio of 4:1, we can arrange the copies to create a square:



This square can now be treated as a single unit and repeated however we’d like.


Tiled without any adjustments:



Tiled and flipped horizontally:



Tiled with each tile rotated 90 degrees:



In the next post, we’re going to use the square tile we created as a single unit to make a larger design.


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