Introduction to Square Kufic Calligraphy
Square Kufic, also known as Chessboard Kufic, is one of the geometric Kufic scripts. This style is characterized by its strict verticality and right angles, and its geometric foundation. The origins of Square Kufic are not well-documented, but it is thought to have been inspired by the use of different-colored bricks in Iraq and Iran, known as “hazaar baf”. This technique involves arranging bricks of different colors in vertical and horizontal patterns to create an infinite variety of geometric and calligraphic forms.
Square Kufic has few rules, and it is often used for decorative purposes. Many calligraphers write it without dots, which can make it difficult to read. However, the basic unit of measurement is the ratio of white space to black space, which can be used to create a variety of effects.
In this blog post, we will explore the basics of Square Kufic calligraphy. We will learn about the tools and materials needed, the basic rules, and how to write the letters of the alphabet.
Learn Square Kufic Calligraphy
Tools and Materials:
The first step is to gather the tools and materials you will need. If you are working by hand, you will need graph paper, a pencil, and a ruler. If you are working digitally, you can use any vector graphics software. In this tutorial, we will be using Adobe Illustrator.
Once you have your tools and materials, you can set up your workspace. In Illustrator, you can do this by opening a new document and setting the following preferences:
- Units: Millimeters
- Grid: 10 mm
- Snap to Grid: On
There are few rules in Square Kufic, but there are some basic principles that will help you create successful designs. The most important rule is that the ratio of white space to black space should be equal. This means that the width of the letters should be the same as the width of the spaces between them.
In the example below, there are three different ways to write the word “Muhammad.” All three are correct, but the second example shows three common errors.
Errors in Square Kufic
- The white spaces are smaller than the unit of measurement.
- The shape of the letters is incorrect.
- The letters are not spaced properly.
Letters of Square Kufic
Letters from A to R
This is not an exhaustive list of all the possible shapes for each letter, but it will give you a good starting point.
Letters from S to L
This is the second group of letters.
Letters from M to Y and Lam Alif
This is the third and final group of letters.