The combination of discrete and Rugate filter design techniques can provide unique design advantages. Rugate filter deposition techniques can be applied to discrete, and square wave based designs as easily as they are applied to sine wave index profiles. Just as apodization reduces sidelobes about a Rugate stop-band, apodization reduces sidelobes of a square wave filter. This paper builds on these observations to present designs which superimpose sine and square wave profiles to produce a more efficient use of the design space. Techniques are presented for moving back and forth between discrete and Rugate designs to achieve reduced film thickness, more efficient use of index contrast, and harmonic suppression.© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.