Square Kufic (kufi mrabba’), sometimes known as bannâ’i (
masonry script) is a particular style of Kufic that is going to allow us to create composition using the basic structural forms of the letters. Indeed, Square Kufic (abbreviated SK) is the barest of all Arabic writing styles, and an interesting precursor to pixel art, although it was originally made up of bricks and tiles and used on a large scale in architecture.
This style is absolutely not concerned with legibility: it is understood that the message, the Word, is there, and gazing upon it is enough to receive its blessing. Literacy may have been limited in the past, but beauty was always accessible to all, and it is the beauty of the pattern that matters. In its simplest form, SK is austere, and derives its beauty from the purity of its austerity; but it lends itself to clever, even playful variations only limited by one’s creativity. More than any other calligraphic practice, creating in SK feels very much like solving a puzzle, giving it particular appeal for problem-solvers — via Tuts+