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The Tugra is a fantastic calligraphic device. It was invented by Uthmani calligraphers to represent the seal of the Uthmani Sultan. However, it is now used for various sorts of calligraphic representations such as Quranic script, signatures, and logos.

In an article on the Tugra, I demonstrate how non-Arabs have contributed to the Arabic script, particularly in the refinement of the Thuluth calligraphic style and the invention of the Tugra by the Uthmani Turks. I also try to show the origins of the shape of the Turga and analyze its visual characteristics. Finally, I show the impact of the Tugra on the design of modern logos such as that used by Al-Jazerra and by Bahrain TV.

I try to include some goodies with my blog entries, and this article includes a vector-based drawing of a Tugra in Adobe Illustrator format and an example of its usage with Arabic type in a PDF file. Both files are freely available for download and experimentation.


Hello Khalid, I have been trying to trace this Tugra and cannot see that it belongs to any of the Turkish sultans. Do you know whose Tugra it is? Thank you very much!


You know, I just saw your comment now after more than a year. Yikes!

I am so sorry. I take pride in being responsive and it makes me feel sad that I have not replied to this request in time.

This site has to take some of the responsibility, though. For some reason it has blocked my blog contributions on the site. I sent for their clarification, but none bothered to respond. If it was because I'm using this site with too many references to my own blog, promoting my personal blog in a sense, at least they could have openly told me. All this has turned me away and I rarely visit this site anymore. (Once in a few years as you can see.)

My second apology about this long text, but I do feel I owe you an explanation.

Finally, what tugra are you referring to? If it's the one I posted, it is no sultan's tugra. It is a calligraphic representation of the Qur'anic aya: "بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم", the first aya in the mushaf. The name of the calligraphist is Mustafa Hamid.

Best regards,