December 13, 2006

Iranian Typography

I may not like the theocrats who are ruling Iran but the Persian culture is a very old and artistic one. PingMag has a nice article on current Iranian Typography:
Iranian Typography Now
The past few years have been quite exciting for Iranian graphic designers. As Iran’s design gains more international attention, the graphic designers face new challenges and rewards. In winter 2002 a poster exhibition by Iranian graphic designers called “Un Cri Persan” (A Persian Cry) was held in the city of Echirolles as a part of the Month of Graphic Design in France. The exhibition exposed a wealth of works that somehow escaped the spotlight for almost two decades. Ever since then Iranian graphic designers, many of them already internationally known, have been sharing more of their magic with the rest of the world.

One of the qualities that makes current Iranian graphic design unique is its typography. The country has a rich history of visual arts and moreover the better part of this heritage consists of calligraphy. Throughout the times calligraphy has been inventing and reinventing itself and has influenced other forms of art. The incorporation of calligraphy into Islamic architecture is a fine example of this union. In recent times these treasures of beauty and harmony have inspired painters, sculptors, and in particular: graphic designers.

In comparison to Europe and North America calligraphy is a far more popular and practiced form of art in Iran and in most other countries around this area. You can spot at least one piece of calligraphy hung on the walls of most Iranian households.

Perhaps these are all reasons why it is not so easy to draw the line where calligraphy ends and typography starts. Some of the masterpieces of Iranian design are often the results of a collaboration between a designer and a calligrapher. One of the classic examples of such collaborations is the logotype of the Reza Abbasi Museum. The late Morteza Momayez (1936-2005) used the brilliant calligraphy of Iranian master calligrapher Mohamad Ehsaei to create this logotype in 1976.


Gorgeous stuff... Posted by DaveH at December 13, 2006 9:55 PM