NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

Member of International Council of Design ico-D

English | فارسی

Neshan 32

Iranian Contemporary Design

Many a subtlety, besides beauty; On Farzad Adibi and his Works

Majid Kashani

1. Farzad Adibi belongs to a generation of Iranian graphic designers whose career path was formed in the intersection of two important historical events: one was the improvement in social, political, and economic conditions in the mid-1990s; the other included unprecedented transformations in the technological arena.
During this period, Internet and computer programs along with new print industry facilities and digital instruments were transforming the field of art. Graphic design projects were accomplished faster than when almost everything had to be done with manual techniques. Virtual communications expanded via the Internet, and international designers entered Iran and influenced its graphic environment through biennials. New magazines and newspapers were born. Publishers introduced more books into the market. Theatres and cinemas flourished. Multimedia, websites, and blogs were considered as new media and commercial advertisements were enhanced as a result of economic prosperity.
Naturally these conditions resulted in new prospects for graphic designers, provided the profession with a new identity, and extended its boundaries. Therefore, many people turned to this profession. However, only a few of them were able to meaningfully develop their personal experiences through interaction with colleagues, clients, and audiences, and to immortalize their names in the face of competition with others. One of these people is Farzad Adibi.
2. Any designer’s upbringing, living environment, family history, and personality have undeniable effects on his or her work. This is more evident in Farzad Adibi than in any other designer. Those who are close to Farzad acknowledge his calm, sober and humorous character, his endless passion for literature, and his occasional tenacity regarding some of his ideas. He is perseverant and modest; these qualities can be clearly traced through his work. His work is calm and peaceful. Farzad does not cry anything out. Thrill and turbulence rarely make way into his work; there rather exists a depth that is congruent with his personality. He calmly expresses composition, color, graphic elements and text, even with highly thrilling subjects. Literature is also evident in his work and behavior. This interest might be the reason he is also concerned with writing in the graphic design field.

In most of his work, Farzad approaches the image world through literature. Metaphors, metonymy, amphibology, hyperbole, etc., are the figures of speech that form the basic structure of his works — along with a sense of humor, poetic voice, and sensitivity as constant themes. As a result, most of his friends and clients are literary publishers, writers, and poets who consider his works as appropriate visual interpretations of their own, due to his deep understanding of literature. 
A graphic designer’s injection of their personal taste into a wide range of subjects stems from their desire for “self”-exhibition, or could also be a method of hiding behind the flawed cover of a “personal language”! Coming up with an “idea” for each work is a process requiring a minimum level of talent and assiduity. Insistence on imposing a particular, predetermined visual format to a variety of subjects is one of the bitter jokes of our time that has even become prevalent among high school and university students who keep talking about discovering a personal language in their exercises in the primary steps, and are concerned with proving the “artist’s individuality”!
However, Farzad Adibi is one of the few contemporary designers who have distanced themselves from this group in practice. While “typography” and “Iranization” had occupied the minds of many of the designers of his time, he has followed his own way — away from fads of his time. The “idea” has become the indisputable element and main component of his work. His ideas have led to various methods and techniques for visual expression and construction. In his design process, Farzad sometimes illustrates with manual techniques and gravitates towards typography, volume setting, photography, and photomontage. Some of his works are infused with color and others are colorless. Farzad’s works are easily distinguished from the works of other designers; this is not created adamantly and deliberately but over the course of time and through experience. Farzad creates personal language that does not reduce the vast world of various subjects to the small framework of personal taste.
Farzad Adibi works uninterruptedly. He is curious and sensible. He has original ideas and sometimes utilizes hastiness in his performance with improvisation, which has become one of the features of his work! Most of his works are book covers and posters. He still designs and teaches. He has a good handwriting. He writes, reads, and is in search of new worlds within his favorite books and music. He is highly sensitive to the political, social, and art events around him. He is a constant figure of union and community activity. He spends time with literary and designer friends. He is rarely absent in the list of the participants of competitions, biennials, and exhibitions. He is calm and courtly and does not insist to show off. Farzad Adibi is a great friend for many of his colleagues!

Majid Kashani

was born in 1978. In 2006 he received his master's degree in graphic design from Tehran University. Besides teaching graphic design in university. He has published several books, articles and commentary in his field. Majid has been a key note speaker in several seminars, jury team member in dozens of festivals, and participated in numerous domestic and international exhibitions. In his studio called 'Daftar', he provides professional design services for cultural centers, publishers and galleries.

Intercultural Graphic Design

Saed Meshki

> more


The Migratory Path of Design Students

Steven Heller

> more


Iran: RPM/Iranian Record Sleeve Design

Ali Bakhtiari

> more

Design Today

Hola Grüetzi, Pablo Berger!

Emily Verba Fischer

> more

Face to Face

Culture is Everything: Jianping He

Majid Abbasi

> more


A Poster is an Idea / An Introduction on Roman Cieślewicz Graphic Design

David Crowley

> more


Fereydoun Ave: Designer

Aria Kasaei

> more


Daily Practice; A Review of Design Experiments by Renata Graw (Plural)

Pouya Ahmadi

> more