NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

Member of International Council of Design ico-D

English | فارسی

Neshan 26

Winter 2011

Design with Type Issue

With the contributions of Majid Abbasi, Pouya Ahmadi, Richard B. Doubleday, Behrouz Hariri, Steven Heller, Majid Kashani, Max Kisman, Kambiz Shafei, Setareh Shamdani, Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, Emily Verba, Rene Wanner.

We can make it.

Saed Meshki

The shortage of suitable Farsi fonts is the overriding concern and a big problem for most Iranian graphic designers. But who is responsible for making them? What barriers are there in the way of making novel fonts? Why have the fonts designed by non-Iranians been more successful and more appreciated than the Iranians'? Are the rules which govern Latin letter design applicable to Farsi letters? Is the background of Iranian calligraphy useful to design fonts with an Iranian specific identity? Is it necessary to know about calligraphy or to be... > more


An illustration with text is not an illustration

Max Kisman

Why would we use text in illustrations? Aren’t illustrations meant to work without text? A photographer friend told me once that a photograph with added text is a bad photograph. The effect is too easy. Text manipulates the interpretation of the image and weakens its visual impact. A photograph should tell the story with pictorial power only.  It took me a while to get his point, but it is ever since nested in my mind.  There is a conflict of interest between words and images. Words trigger mental images, you can compare this with the way... > more

Iranian Contemporary Design

The Other Half of the World

Rene Wanner

The conquest of the western world by Iranian graphic designers, carefully planned and executed by Morteza Momayez and his chiefs of staff, started quietly in the spring of 2001 with an exhibition in Tehran of “Self-promotional Posters of Iranian Graphic Designers” at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. It was, as Momayez explained in the preface of the catalogue, a question of “To be or not to be”, also a stock taking, and in retrospect, a roll calls before the attack, to stay with the military metaphor. The catalogue includes a work of... > more

Project - 1

And they may not pull out their knives except for sharing …

Majid Kashani

Without the intention to judge the behavior of “Vije” font, I consider the advent of such a font in Farsi a forerunner of hope. I say hope because in the contemporary drama (show off)-centered society of Iranian visual arts an artist has to take the bull by the horn where the light at the end of the tunnel, if not fading, is too far. Because of the present historical ignorance, the designer of Farsi font has been just as unsung as the font itself while the source of many current graphic design events and the daily activities of art activists... > more


The Typographic Matchmaking Projects

Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès

The Typographic Matchmaking projects were initiated by the Khatt Foundation as a means to bring about cultural dialogue through collaborative design projects. The goal was to investigate alternatives to the Arabic fonts available on the market and to propose through specific themes new design solutions.The projects have proven to be highly inspirational for the participating designers; they brought together designers from different cultural and professional backgrounds to intensely collaborate on creating coherent products with groundbreaking ... > more

Design Today - 1

Non-Format: The Plain Fun

Emily Verba Fischer

Meet Non-Format, the refreshing and enthusiastic designer duo based in both Norway and the US. The principles Jon Forss and Kjell Ekhorn have been in business for over ten years. Not surprisingly, they both come from artistic upbringings, as Jon’s father was a sculptor and furniture-maker and Kjell’s an architect. Since 2001, Jon and Kjell have managed to consistently create fresh work, always searching for new inspirations and different methods of design output. The title Non-Format has its roots in an article from Emigre, the celebrated yet... > more

Design Today - 2

A Duet for Design ; A look into the works of R2 Design

Majid Abbasi

Porto, the second biggest city in Portugal, is one of the oldest European cities. It lies in the north of Portugal on the coast of the Pacific and is halved by the Douro River. The art and architecture of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism of the 19th and 20th centuries have made it one of the most scenic landscapes in the world. However, it has also been touched by modern art and architecture. Lizá Ramalho & Artur Rebelo founded R2 design studio in this city. This city is the symbol of the contingence between the last two centuries and today. The... > more

Face to Face

Gerard Unger: Timeless Typefaces

Kambiz Shafei

Where does your fascination for type design come from? My fascination for type design stems from my father’s bookcase and his interest in graphic design. Working for a large Dutch firm, he was in charge of publicity. At that, he had an interest in literature and well made books. So, I grew up with typography and letterforms around me. As my father travelled often to France and brought home publications, in the 50’s, French typography from that period also coloured my experience. What does it mean for you to live and work in the Netherlands... > more


Herb Lubalin: Rule Basher

Steven Heller

Herb Lubalin was a basher. He bashed type. For a while it was his stock in trade. Sure he respected the integrity of letterforms, but he realized that there was more to type than purity. Like the Sixties itself, type was ready to explode off the page and into the popular culture. Through bashing, Lubalin smashed the taboos and shibboleths of type design and gave it personality. Like the rock-and-rollers of the day, he turned up the volume on letters, making them speak—and sometimes sing. It’s difficult to imagine what graphic design would be... > more


Jan Tschichold’s Typographische Gestaltung; A reference manual for modernist design

Richard B. Doubleday

By the time he arrived in Switzerland in 1933, Jan Tschichold (1902-1974) had established himself as the chief spokesman for the New Typography. He had already expounded on asymmetric layout, sans serif typography, and constructivist typographic methods in his 1925 article Elementare Typographie (Elemental Typography) and in Die neue Typographie (The New Typography), published in 1928. In 1935, two years after his arrival in Switzerland, Tschichold published Typographische Gestaltung (Typographic Design), a definitive writing on... > more


Laika: A Dynamic Typeface

Pouya Ahmadi

Type has been always a static element; a tool for conveying concepts. Over time its appearance conclusively influenced by the vision of typesetters, type-designers and typographers alike; a lucid cycle between author, designer and reader. However, since the introduction of electronic devices this cycle was begun to be interrupted. The ability of electronic devices to allow users to manipulate content in increasingly more intuitive and direct methods opens many windows of opportunities for digital type design. instant need of users has greatly... > more