Graphic designers in modern Iran

April 2006 -

Posters by Reza Abedini, spread from New Visual Culture of Modern Iran

Around the year 1960, designer Morteza Momayez put Iranian modern graphic design on the map. After his death, at the end of 2005, the 39 year old Reza Abedini took up where he left off. This professor at the University of Teheran is also an independent art director and the driving force behind the Iranian Biennial for graphic design. New Visual Culture of Modern Iran
Abedini's encounter with Hans Wolbers, Dutch magazine designer and creative director of bureau Lava, led to the New Visual Culture of Modern Iran. This substantial tome contains an overview of contemporary posters, book covers and free-style graphic work of varying quality.

For security reasons, the book does not contain any political expressions, though it does contain a suggestive poster by the dean of these graphic artists, Momayez. A man is sitting with his head stuck in a layout grid. You can draw your own conclusions, but unfortunately the texts shown in beautifully calligraphy are not translated and are thus reduced to exotic decoration, while in reality they transcend it. For example, Abedini juxtaposes layer upon layer of calligraphy against human figures and film fragments. These are the most beautiful and most authentic film posters in the book.

Reza Albedini and Hans Wolbers, New Visual Culture of Modern Iran, BIS Publishers, Amsterdam, 2006