Quatrefoil 101

Mosaic recently rebranded in celebration of our milestone 15th year in business. Many design decisions were made as we created new look and feel of our brand. One of our favorite choices was to use a modified quatrefoil as an anchor design element. This is seen in our primary logo as the relief portion of the “O”, as well as the  icons and patterns within our style guide.

With strong symbolic roots in history and many different cultures, a quatrefoil is also relevant and prominent in current design; an ancient symbol of good luck and harmony, it has stood the test of time.  The word quatrefoil means “four leaves” from Latin quattor – four and folium – leaf. In Native American culture it symbolizes the four ends of the earth radiating from a central core, much like the points on a compass. In Mesoamerica, cultures such as the Olmec and Mayan frequently portrayed  this shape as early as 850 BC, often times associated with water rituals, agricultural fertility and rainfall.  The barbed quatrefoil can be first traced back to Europe, and can be seen on the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, and Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Sacrifice of Isaac in Florence.


Photo credits (from left): Sacrifice of Isaac, Notre Dame Window, Croyland Abbey


From peak popularity during the Mayan, Gothic and Renaissance eras, to the world of décor today, images of quatrefoils remain a strong design element.  Used in architectural detail, furniture, fabric applications and artwork, this motif can be seen in designs ranging from ultra – modern to Moroccan, used by interior designers and architects all over the world.  The prevalence of the quatrefoil in design today keeps it relevant and chic.


Photo credits (from left): Quatrefoil Pool , Quatrefoil Chair , Quatrefoil Painting


Beyond the world of interior design, the quatrefoil can be seen in special events taking place throughout the world.  At Mosaic, we love quatrefoils in our fabrics. We use this motif in tablecloths for events that have a crisp clean aesthetic as  well as those founded in classic tradition.


Product featured: Slate Penrose Burnout (above), Turquoise Rockland (below)


After researching the history of the quatrefoil, and it’s usage in design today, Mosaic found it to be a good fit for our company. We work on events throughout the year filled with history and those that are cutting edge. This design motif was the perfect element to incorporate into our logo!




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