Principles of Persian Calligraphy

Persian Calligraphy is based on 12 important principles:

1. Base-line (Khat-e-Korsee):  This is a virtual line that the words will be nested on. It is not necessarily a straight horizontal line. It may be curved of diagonal but in any case it has to follow certain rules

 2. Combination (Tarkib): This principle emphasizes on the harmony between the individual letters and words in relation with one another to make an appropriate graphical figure as a whole. It is also important to have a nice distribution of darkness and whiteness in the calligraphy piece as a whole.

 3. Proportion (Nesbat): This principle emphasizes on appropriate proportional size of the letters and words in comparison with each other.

 4. Strength (Qovvat) and 5. Slimness (Za’f)

The words “Strength” and “Slimness” represent sturdiness or slimness of the letters or movements whenever appropriate.  

 6. Flatness (Sath) and 7. Curvature (Dowr)

It shows importance of flatness or roundness of the stretched or curved letters or words whenever appropriate.  

 8. Descent (Nozoul) and 9. Ascent (So’oud)

These two principles determine where letters or words must be in a slightly move ascending or descending to look more appropriate.  

 Other principles are summarized as follows:

10. Basics (Ossoul)

11. Virtue (Safaa)

 12. Value (Sha’n)