Classical ordersThe Classical orders are ancient styles of building design distinguished by the type of column and entablature (architrave, frieze and cornice) used. There are five recognized orders - doric, ionic and corinthian are Greek; tuscan and composite are Roman.
Doric - Originated on the mainland and western Greece. It is the oldest and simplest of the orders, characterized by short, faceted, heavy columns with plain, round capitalss (tops) and no base. Above the capital is a square abacus connecting the capital to the entablature. The Entablature is divided into two horizontal registers, the lower part of which is either smooth or divided by horizontal lines. The upper half of the doric entablature is divided into triglyphs and metopes.
Ionic - Came from eastern Greece. Distinguished by slender, fluted pillars with a large base and two opposed volutes in the capital. Also marked by a entasis, a little bulge in the columns.
Corinthian - The most ornate of the Greek orders, characterized by a slender fluted column having an ornate capital decorated with leaves. Designed by Callimachus, a Greek sculptor of the 5th century BC.
Composite - A mixed order, combining the volutes of the Ionic with the leaves of the Corinthian order.
Tuscan - A very plain design, with a plain shaft, and a simple capital, base, and frieze.