Open main menu


The stylized signature of Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire was written in an expressive calligraphy. It reads Mahmud Khan son of Abdulhamid is forever victorious.


From French calligramme.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkælɪɡɹæm/
  • (file)
  • (file)


calligram (plural calligrams)

  1. A word, phrase or longer text in which the typeface or the layout has some special significance.
    Synonyms: carmen figuratum, figure poem
    • 1993, Willard Bohn, Apollinaire, Visual Poetry, and Art Criticism, Bucknell University Press (→ISBN), page 99:
      The next calligram, which depicts a horse, presents several interesting problems. Among other things, the figure is juxtaposed with seven lines of poetry arranged in traditional fashion.
    • 2000, Daniel Albright, Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts, University of Chicago Press (→ISBN), page 263:
      A calligram has ambitions beyond those of an ideogram: an ideogram is a picture of meaning, but a calligram intends to provide a picture of experience as it impinges on the whole sensorium. An ideogram is centripetal, convergent, a focusing []
  2. A signature made from interwoven Arabic words, or interwoven Arabic words in the shape of the thing described.


See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit