Multiple beam interference lithography is an efficient method to produce very small periodic surface-relief structures over large surfaces. For a recording wavelength of 413nm, the period of these structures ranges from a few hundreds nanometer to a few micrometers. Applications of these structures range from antireflective surfaces, when the gratings have sub-wavelength periods, to various types of diffractive optical elements. Using a single exposure with two-beam interference, the profile of the obtained structures is sinusoidal. Superimposing, however, several such exposures with increasing spatial frequencies, also non-sinusoidal structures can be obtained. By decomposing the desired profile in its Fourier components, it is possible to obtain virtually any profile of structure, depending only on the number of Fourier components that the optical setup can produce. Various kinds of periodic structures are shown, starting with simple one-dimensional gratings up to more complex two-dimensional structures, such as an array of micro pyramids. Therefore, we gave a demonstration of the great potential of this method for realizing optical components. The advantages of the method are the simultaneous fabrication of relatively large arrays in a quick and simple manner and the accurate control of the periodicity of the structure.