October 13, 2021

Islamic calligraphy: the Kufic style

Islamic calligraphy: the Kufic style

As mentioned in the first post about Islamic calligraphy, various types of scripts are used to write the Arabic alphabet. The oldest one is the Kufic style which originated from Kufa, Iraq. This city was considered to be an intellectual center. The Kufic style can take different forms, such as floral, plaited, interlaced, and square Kufic.


Because of the absence of normalization of early Kufic, the style varies quite a lot between regions, going from square and inflexible structures to extravagant and flowery ones. However, there are still some common characteristics between them: the angular and linear shapes of the characters.


The Kufic script is engraved on materials, coins, lusterware... Coins were vital in the improvement of the Kufic script. For example, Kufic is commonly seen on early Ottoman coins.


Research sources: