What Do Squares Symbolize? Uncovering the Meanings Behind This Simple Shape

Squares are everywhere you look. They could be found on a chessboard, in floor tiles, on stickers, or even in the shape of a phone. However, this shape goes beyond just being a simple geometric form. Squares have been used to symbolize a lot of things throughout history, from stability to the Earth itself.

The symbolism of squares is deeply ingrained in many cultures around the world. In ancient China, this shape was a symbol of the earth, and in medieval Europe, it was seen as a representation of order and stability. On the other hand, in some cultures, it was believed that squares were unlucky and represented confinement. Nevertheless, this iconic shape can be found in most cultures, and it often represents balance, completeness, and honesty. So, before you dismiss squares as just another geometric shape, it’s essential to recognize just how much they can symbolize.

From the tiles on our house to the games we play, squares are present in our everyday lives. Their symbolism, however, goes deeper than most of us realize. The power of squares to represent complex concepts and ideas is truly fascinating. Whether they represent order and stability or simply the Earth beneath our feet, squares have a way of grounding us and reminding us of what is most essential in life. So next time you see a square, take a moment to think about what it symbolizes and how it affects your life.

Square Symbolism in Art

The square is a powerful symbol in many cultures around the world and has long been used in the creation of art. In Western culture, the square is often associated with notions of balance, stability, and order. It is seen as a shape that represents the earth, as well as the human body, which is often depicted standing upright and extending out in four directions.

  • One of the first artists to use the square as a central symbol in their work was the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). He believed that the square represented the ultimate form of truth and beauty, and his paintings of intersecting squares and rectangles were meant to evoke a sense of harmony and balance in the viewer.
  • Another artist who made extensive use of the square was Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935), a Russian painter who was a pioneer of the avant-garde movement. He believed that the square was a symbol of infinity and the absolute, and his series of Suprematist paintings featured stark geometric shapes floating against a white background.
  • In Islamic art, the square is often used to create intricate geometric patterns that represent the infinite nature of God. These patterns, known as muqarnas, are often seen in decorative tilework, calligraphy, and textiles.

With its straight lines and right angles, the square is also closely associated with the concept of structure and order. In many works of art, the square is used not just as a visual element, but as a way of organizing the composition of the piece. For example, in Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, The Last Supper, the twelve apostles are arranged in four groups of three, each group forming a square.

Overall, the square is a powerful symbol that has been used in art to evoke a sense of harmony, structure, and balance. Whether used as a central element in a work of abstract art or as a way of organizing a realistic composition, the square remains a timeless and versatile symbol in the world of art.

Square Symbolism in Geometry

In geometry, the square is a fundamental shape that holds significant symbolism. The equal sides and angles of a square symbolize balance and stability. It represents order, structure, and symmetry. As a regular polygon, the square has four equal sides and four right angles, making it a symbol of perfection and completeness.

The Number 2

  • The square has two sets of parallel sides and two sets of perpendicular sides, representing the duality of life and death, dark and light, and heaven and earth.
  • The number 2 is significant in geometry as it takes two sides to create a polygon. The square, therefore, epitomizes the number 2 and its symbolism of duality and balance.
  • The square also represents the union of two complementary forces, such as the masculine and feminine, that come together to form a perfect union.

The Golden Ratio

The golden ratio is an important mathematical principle that has been used since ancient times in art, architecture, and design. It is a ratio of approximately 1.618:1, which is found in natural forms such as the spiral shapes of shells and sunflowers.

The square plays a significant role in the golden ratio as it is the only quadrilateral that can be used to create a perfect golden rectangle. The golden rectangle is a rectangle whose sides are in the golden ratio, and it is believed to be aesthetically pleasing to the human eye.

Table of Square Symbolism

Square SymbolismMeaning
BalanceEqual sides and angles represent a state of balance and stability.
OrderThe symmetry and regularity of the square represent order and structure.
PerfectionThe square is a symbol of perfection and completeness due to its equal sides and angles.
DualityThe square has two sets of parallel and perpendicular sides, representing the duality of life and death, dark and light, and heaven and earth.
Balance of OppositesThe square represents the union of two complementary forces, such as the masculine and feminine, that come together to form a perfect union.

The square is a powerful symbol in geometry that represents balance, order, perfection, duality, and the balance of opposites. Its importance in the golden ratio and its ability to create a perfect golden rectangle further demonstrate its significance in mathematics and design.

Square Symbolism in Religion

Throughout history, the square has possessed a profound symbolism in religious traditions around the world. The square is a shape with four equal sides and four corners, making it a symbol of symmetry, stability, and foundation. In religion, the square is often associated with the physical world and the material universe.

The Number Three

  • In Christianity, the square has a special meaning in relation to the Holy Trinity which consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The triangle formed by the three sides of the square symbolizes the Trinity and is known as the triquerta or the Christian Trinity knot.
  • In Hinduism, the square or chaturmukha represents the manifestation of the Hindu god Vishnu’s energy in the four cardinal directions. The square is also believed to represent stability and balance within the universe.
  • The number three is related to the square in Islam. In Islamic geometry, the most common motif is the star and square, which is created by overlapping two squares with their corners touching and then drawing a circle that passes through the four corners of the squares. This design symbolizes the three stages of creation – God’s idea, the process of creation, and the finished creation.

Symbolism of the Square in Other Religions

In addition to Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, the square holds special significance in various other religions.

In Buddhism, the square represents the earth and the four elements – earth, air, fire, and water. It is often used as a base for the construction of Buddhist monuments like stupas.

In Wicca, the square is considered a symbol of the four elements of nature and the four directions of the compass. It is also associated with the four seasons and the four phases of the moon.

Overall, the square has been used to symbolize different concepts and ideas across various religious traditions. It is a powerful symbol that represents balance, harmony, and stability, making it an important symbol in many religious and spiritual practices around the world.

ReligionMeaning of Square Symbolism
ChristianityRepresentation of the Holy Trinity
HinduismManifestation of energy in four cardinal directions
IslamRepresents three stages of creation
BuddhismSymbolizes earth and four elements
WiccaRepresents four elements of nature and four directions

The square continues to be an important religious symbol that embodies various ideas and concepts, and its significance remains deeply rooted in spiritual traditions across the world.

Squares as a Spatial Concept

When we think of squares, the first thing that often comes to mind is their geometric shape. However, squares play a significant role in our understanding of spatial concepts beyond just their shape.

The number 4

The number 4 is an essential aspect of squares, as all four sides are equal in length and the angles are all right angles. This property of squares makes them ideal for organizing and dividing space into equal proportions.

  • In architecture, squares are often used to create balance in design by dividing spaces evenly.
  • In graphic design, squares are frequently used to create grids that help align elements and create a sense of organization.
  • In mathematics, the concept of square numbers and squares’ properties are essential to geometry, algebra, and trigonometry.

The number 4 is also significant in many cultures and belief systems. In Chinese philosophy, the number four is associated with stability and completeness. In Christianity, there are four gospels and four evangelists. In Hinduism, there are four Vedas and four stages of life.

Furthermore, squares can represent stability, balance, order, and security. Psychologically speaking, the square symbolizes stability and security, which can provide a sense of comfort and reassurance. The square is also associated with the earth element, representing the grounding and stabilizing forces of nature.

The Golden Ratio

Another interesting aspect of squares is their relationship to the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio is a mathematical ratio found in nature and is often considered the most aesthetically pleasing proportion.

When a square is divided into a smaller square and a rectangle, the ratio of the smaller rectangle’s length to the larger one is the Golden Ratio. This same proportion can be observed in many natural forms, such as the spiral arrangement of leaves and the branching patterns of trees.

Square divided into a smaller square and a rectangleThe Golden Ratio
Square divided into a smaller square and a rectangleGolden Ratio

Overall, squares are more than just a simple geometric shape. They represent an essential concept in our understanding of space and have significant cultural and psychological associations. Understanding the significance of squares can provide insight into the role they play in our daily lives and the broader cultural context.

Squares in Architecture

Squares are one of the most simple and ubiquitous shapes found in architecture. They symbolize stability, balance, and order. Here are some examples:

The Number 5

  • The square has 4 sides, but when it’s rotated 45 degrees, it becomes a diamond shape with 8 sides (4 sides and 4 corners).
  • There are 5 platonic solids (shapes in which every face is the same regular polygon): tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. The cube, with its square faces, is essentially a 3D representation of the square.
  • 5 is the number of fingers on one hand. This makes it a natural number for counting and measuring. It’s also why we have a base-10 number system (10 fingers).

Squares in Modern Architecture

In modern architecture, squares are often used as a design element to create a clean and minimalist look. They can be used in a variety of ways, such as:

  • As building blocks to create a repeating pattern or texture
  • As windows or skylights to bring in natural light
  • As a framing element for a view or focal point

Squares in Traditional Architecture

In traditional architecture, squares have been used for centuries in a variety of ways. Some examples include:

  • As a basic building block for structures such as the Egyptian pyramids or the Great Wall of China
  • As a unit of measurement for laying out floor plans and facades
  • As a decorative element in intricate patterns or mosaics

Square Footage

In real estate, the square footage of a property is a key metric for determining value and use. It’s calculated by measuring the length and width of each room or area and multiplying them together. This results in a total square footage for the property.

Property TypeState AverageNational Average
Single-Family Home2,500 sq. ft.2,600 sq. ft.
Apartment1,000 sq. ft.1,000 sq. ft.
Office Building20,000 sq. ft.20,000 sq. ft.

The square footage can affect not only the value of the property, but also its functionality and potential uses. For example, a larger single-family home may be better suited for a family with children, while a smaller apartment may be ideal for a single person or couple.

Square Symbolism in Literature

Throughout literary history, the square has been a significant symbol, representing stability, balance, and order. The structure of the square allows for a sense of predictability and control, which is often contrasted with chaos or disorder in literature.

The Number 6

The number 6 is considered a perfect number in the realm of numerology, as it is both the sum and the product of its divisors, 1, 2, and 3. In literature, this number is often associated with harmony and balance, as it is divisible by an equal number of integer divisors on both sides.

  • In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the Earthly Paradise, which represents perfection and happiness, is described as being a forest of 6,000 trees, each of a different type.
  • In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the elves create a language with a base-6 counting system, emphasizing the idea of harmony and balance in their culture.
  • In William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the character Bottom is given the head of a donkey, which has 6 vertices, representing his foolish and unbalanced nature.

Square Structures in Literature

Squares are often used as a structural device in literature to convey order, stability, and predictability. One example is the use of the four-part structure, known as the square, in many traditional storytelling techniques around the world. This structure includes the exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution.

Squares are also used in physical settings in literature to convey a sense of order and stability. For example, in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the mansion of the character Tom Buchanan is described as a “cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay.” The square, symmetrical design of the mansion represents Tom’s desire for control and structure in his life.

Square Symbols in Literature

Finally, squares are often used as symbols in literature to represent order, stability, and predictability. One famous example is the checkerboard pattern used in Lewis Carroll’s novel Through the Looking-Glass. The square pattern represents the structure and order of society, while the chaotic world on the other side of the looking-glass represents the opposite.

SymbolismSquare Representation
BalanceA square divided into equal halves
OrderA square with symmetrical sides
PredictabilityA square with uniform sides

Squares continue to be a powerful symbol in literature, representing stability and order in contrast with chaos and disorder.

Square Symbolism in Politics

Throughout history, squares have been used as symbols in politics to represent important ideas and beliefs. Here are some notable examples:

The Number 7

The number 7 has significance in many cultures and belief systems, including politics. In many parts of the world, the seven-pointed star is a symbol of power and prosperity. In Chinese culture, the number 7 represents togetherness and unity. In Christianity, the number 7 is associated with perfection and completeness.

When it comes to politics, the number 7 has been used in a variety of ways as a symbol. For example:

  • The United States has 7 branches of government: the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, as well as the Library of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol.
  • In the United Kingdom, there are 7 parliamentary parties: the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn Féin, and Plaid Cymru.
  • Some political parties have used the number 7 in their names, such as the 7 Party in Egypt and the 7 Star Movement in Italy.

In addition to these specific examples, the number 7 is often used more broadly in political discourse to represent strength, unity, and completeness. For example, a political leader might say that they are seeking to unite the 7 continents of the world or to bring together the 7 largest economic powers.

CountrySymbolism of 7
United States7 branches of government
United Kingdom7 parliamentary parties
EgyptThe 7 Party
ItalyThe 7 Star Movement

Overall, the number 7 is one of many symbols used in politics to convey important ideas and beliefs. Whether it represents power, unity, or completeness, this number is often used to inspire and motivate people toward a particular political goal or ideal.

The Use of Squares in Board Games

Board games have been a popular pastime for centuries, and with their simple design, squares have been used as the basic element for many of these games. The placement and movement of squares on a board can represent various aspects of strategy and chance, making them a versatile symbol in games of all types.

The Number 8

One common use of squares in board games is to represent numerical values, and the number 8 is often associated with infinity or completeness. In games like chess and checkers, each player has eight pawns that move along the eight-by-eight board. Similarly, in tic-tac-toe, the goal is to create a row of three squares in a straight line, including one of the eight possible horizontal, vertical, or diagonal configurations.

  • Eight is also a significant number in games like Mahjong and Dominoes, as the tiles are often grouped into sets of eight and played in a series of hands or rounds.
  • Some games use the number 8 as a scoring system, as in the game of Othello where scoring is based on the number of black and white squares remaining on the board at the end of the game.
  • In other games like Chinese Checkers and Backgammon, eight is used to determine the number of pieces each player starts with, as well as the number of spaces on the board.

Overall, the number 8 is a significant symbol in board games as it represents completeness, balance, and infinite possibilities. From simple games like tic-tac-toe to complex strategy games like chess, squares continue to be a fundamental element for board game designers and enthusiasts alike.


The use of squares in board games has become a timeless tradition, providing a simple yet effective way to represent various elements of strategy and chance. From the number 8 to the intricate patterns on a chessboard, squares continue to captivate players of all ages and skill levels.

GameNumber of Squares on Board

No matter the game, squares are an essential part of board game design and will continue to be a staple symbol for years to come.

The Square as a Cultural Icon

As a simple geometric shape, the square has been used across cultures and throughout history in various ways and contexts. From architecture to art, the square has become a cultural icon that represents different things for different people.

Number 9: In numerology, the number 9 is often associated with completion and fulfillment. This is because it is the highest single-digit number and represents the end of a cycle. The square, with its four equal sides and right angles, is often used to symbolize the physical world. When combined with the number 9, the square could represent the completion and fulfillment of physical creation.

  • In Hinduism, the square is known as a mandala and is often used as a spiritual symbol for harmony and unity. The mandala is used in meditation to help focus the mind and achieve a state of peacefulness.
  • The square is a common shape in Western architecture, representing strength and stability. It is often used in the design of skyscrapers, government buildings, and other important structures.
  • In art, the square has been used by many artists and movements, including the Russian avant-garde movement known as Suprematism. The square was seen as a pure, essential form that could transcend reality and represent the purity of the human spirit.

Overall, the square as a cultural icon is a symbol of stability, completion, and harmony. Its shape and meaning have been used in various contexts and have become deeply ingrained in our culture and consciousness.


In conclusion, the square is a simple but powerful symbol that has been used across cultures and throughout history. Whether it represents completion, stability, or purity, it is a cultural icon that will continue to be used in various ways and contexts. Its versatility and timeless meaning make the square an enduring symbol in our world today.

Squares in Fashion and Design

Squares have become a popular design element in fashion and design in recent years. The symmetrical shape and balanced lines of the square convey a sense of stability and order. This design element goes beyond what meets the eye, and the number 10 is a significant aspect of its meaning.

  • Number 10: In numerology, the number 10 is seen as the embodiment of the divine order, indicating completeness and perfection. The four sides of the square represent stability and balance, while the ten points symbolize the completion of a cycle. This is why squares are often used in design to convey a sense of wholeness and unity.
  • Minimalism: The square’s clean lines and minimalistic design make it a popular choice in fashion. Minimalism has become a prevalent trend in recent years, and the square is an ideal representation of this design esthetic.
  • Geometric Patterns: Squares are used in geometric patterns that create a sense of depth and dimension in design. They are commonly used in textiles, such as rugs, pillowcases, and blankets, to add texture and interest to an interior space.

Squares represent balance, stability, and wholeness. The number 10, paired with the square in fashion and design, creates a sense of completion and perfection. The simplicity of the square’s design and its versatility make it a popular option in both modern and traditional design.

TextilesRugs, pillowcases, blankets
FashionMinimalist style, geometric patterns
Graphic DesignIcons, logos, packaging

The use of squares in fashion and design has become a prevalent trend in modern design. The versatile element can be used in various applications, including textiles, fashion, and graphic design. Squares represent wholeness and stability, making it a popular choice for minimalist design aesthetics.

What Do Squares Symbolize FAQs

Q1: What do squares symbolize in geometry?
A1: In geometry, squares symbolize stability, balance and perfection because of their equal sides and angles.

Q2: What do squares symbolize in art?
A2: In art, squares symbolize order, structure and rationality. The shape has been used in different art movements like Minimalism and Modernism.

Q3: What do squares symbolize in spirituality?
A3: In spirituality, squares symbolize grounding and stability. They are often used in sacred geometry as a symbol of earth and stability.

Q4: What do squares symbolize in psychology?
A4: In psychology, squares symbolize conformity and rigidity. The shape is often associated with rules, organization and predictability.

Q5: What do squares symbolize in fashion?
A5: In fashion, squares symbolize sophistication and elegance. The shape is often used in the classic patterns like checks and plaids.

Q6: What do squares symbolize in marketing?
A6: In marketing, squares symbolize stability, trustworthiness and reliability. The shape is often used in logos and branding to convey these values.

Q7: What do squares symbolize in society?
A7: In society, squares symbolize tradition, conservatism and conformity. The shape is often associated with the older generation and their values.

Closing Thoughts

Squares are more than just a shape, they have deep symbolism and meaning in different fields and contexts. They represent stability, balance, grounding, and sophistication, but also conformity and rigidity. From art to marketing, squares have been used in different ways to convey these values. We hope this article has helped you understand what do squares symbolize in different areas. Thank you for reading and we invite you to visit again for more interesting insights!