While many of the images for the Megillat Esther Josh and I are producing are based on Achaemenid artifacts (which would have, thus, been current at the time the story takes place), we also decided to make a number of more abstract illustrations, based on classic designs from Islamic manuscripts (designs that would NOT have been current in Esther’s time) that would, nonetheless, add some elegance to the manuscript. Indeed, the general page layout, with framing single lines of text in a large font at top and bottom and much finer text in between, often written at a 45 degree angle, is based on classic Islamic manuscripts from the 14th to 17th centuries.
Below is a little slideshow of one of the Islamic-inspired designs I recently completed. The show starts off with a page of text, so you can see what I was talking about, when I was describing the text layout, above. By the way, Josh does all the calligraphy, and is responsible for general design decisions. I just do the illustrations.