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Square Kufic Calligraphy: Tiling, pt. III

In a previous post, we saw how a composition can be used as a single unit to tile it and create a larger composition. We said that a composition can be easily tiled when it’s a square or a rectangle with a simple ratio. There are times when, at first glance, the composition doesn’t look like it can be used as a tile, but with a few adjustments, it can be turned into one. This takes some creativity, and—quite literally—thinking outside the box.


When I first made this design, I didn’t anticipate that I would be able to tile it. But one day I opened the image to see if there’s anything I could do with it, and I realized that I can turn it into a square by adding two units to its width.



The composition is 11 units wide by 13 units high.


Taking into account that there needs to be as much negative space (i.e. empty space) as positive space (i.e. filled-in space), this meant that I only had to add one more line of positive space.


I quickly realized that the easiest way to do this is by extending the ا on the right-hand side and turning it sideways:



I now had a square and could easily tile it. I duplicated the image and flipped it horizontally:



I then duplicated this whole new composition and flipped it vertically:



This creates a square, with the extended ا framing the entire design.


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