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Square Kufic Calligraphy: Using Different Proportions

In all the previous posts, we created designs with negative space that’s the same size as the positive space. But it’s possible in Square Kufic calligraphy to change the proportions of the positive and negative space. For example, you can use a unit of 2x2 for the positive space and leave the unit of the negative space as 1x1. You can also adjust the size of the negative space, such as by using a unit of 3x3 for the positive space and a unit of 2x2 for the negative space. The important thing is to maintain the same proportions throughout the design, to create the harmony between positive and negative space that’s essential to Square Kufic calligraphy.


We’re now going to construct the word محمد with a positive space to negative space ratio of 2x2 to 1x1.


Be aware that when the units of the positive and the negative space are not the same size, the unit of the positive space isn’t always a square. To understand why this is, look at the image below:



When all the positive space units are 2x2, they create negative space between them that’s also 2x2.


To solve this problem, we need to reduce the size of the units that run along the width of the negative space. The units need to have the same width as the size of the negative space. In other words, each unit along the width of the negative space needs to be 1x2:



This gives us the square of the م, and we’re going to expand on it to design the rest of the word.


This word is very simple to construct, as all letters are in their standard shape.



Notice that we used units of 1x2 for the positive space to create the width of the negative space:



We can make the same design but with different proportions.


5x5 to 1x1:



10x10 to 1x1:



10x10 to 3x3:



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