Islamic Geometric Design

Eric Broug

Combines wide-ranging research with the author’s artistic skills to reveal the techniques used to create the patterns adorning buildings in the Islamic world

Islamic geometric designs are admired worldwide for their beauty and marvelous intricacy, yet they are seldom understood. In this handsomely illustrated volume, Eric Broug analyzes and explains these complex designs in their historical and physical context.

Broug shows how, over the centuries, craftsmen were able to adorn buildings with wonderful geometric patterns using the simplest of tools and without recourse to mathematical calculations. Design elements created from straight lines and circles were placed in grids and then repeated and varied to generate seemingly limitless arrays of breathtaking patterns.

Chapters are devoted to each of the main families of geometric design—fourfold, fivefold, and sixfold—and to the complex combined patterns. Readers can follow the design processes by which these patterns were created and even learn to reproduce and invent geometric patterns for themselves. Broug’s original drawings accompany photographs of mosques, madrasas, palaces, and tombs from the Islamic world, ranging from North Africa to Iran and Uzbekistan, and from the eighth to the nineteenth centuries.


A rich collection.

— Islamic Horizons

An exemplary and detailed practitioner account of Islamic pattern design…the lush photographic images are accompanied by visualized formal analysis that gives the patterns conceptual depth…Highly recommended.

— Choice

An extremely effective and thorough work on the geometric designs found throughout Islamic art and architecture and the process by which these designs were created…Well written, well-thought-out, and extremely well-illustrated. Enthusiastically recommended.

— Library Journal

This visually stunning look conveys the beauty and complexity of Islamic patterns …

— Saudi Aramco World

A hybrid of coffee-table, informational, and how-to book.

— Protoview

Uniquely comprehensive…Clearly written so that a total understanding of the material is possible for specialist and novice alike.

— American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences


Eric Broug


Eric Broug is an educator and artist. He holds a master's degree in the history of Islamic art and architecture from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. In addition to leading workshops and giving lectures around the world, Broug runs his own school of Islamic geometric design and has worked on many projects in the Middle East and beyond. He is also the author of Islamic Geometric Patterns, Islamic Geometric Design, and the Islamic Design Workbook.