NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

Member of International Council of Design ico-D

English | فارسی

Neshan 42

Winter 2018

Design and Culture

With contributions of Majid Abbasi, Ali Bakhtiari, Amir Berbić, Ebrahim Haghighi, Mehdi Haghshenas, Steven Heller, Sepideh Honarmand, Mirko Ilic, Sara Jamshidi, Damoon Khanjanzadeh, Hirbod Lotfian, Farshid Mesghali,  Alireza Mostafazadeh, Vanina Pinter, Olga Severina, Emily Verba Fischer

Design, Culture, and Us

Farshid Mesghali

Culture is a publicized strategy in a community, which meets any real or unrealistic need. Simply speaking, culture is what people are living with. Edward Taylor defines culture as a “complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (Wikipedia). While culture is our developed manifestation of norms, design is the practical approach to implementing these norms in everyday life.... > more

Iranian Contemporary Design

Excitement Management in the Years of Youth: A Review of the Works of MohammadReza Abdolali

Damoon Khanjanzadeh

A singular form or style can’t be defined to describe the forward movement of each generation of designers, but in the last two decades, the new set of young designers developed a spark caused by social, political, and cultural conditions. Their work consequently formed the graphic design profession we see today. This emerging phenomenon can be seen in all areas of design, but it is most obvious in posters, writing elements, and type design.... > more


The Type Chooses

Hirbod Lotfian

In recent years, only a handful of designers have been steadily shaping a profession, which hadn’t received much attention in years past. Most of the designers who were born in the sixties are finding their identity and their role in today’s design era in Iran. They are a generation that, due to the various changes in their society, has always found the answers to their questions on their own. Two leading examples of this generation are Omid Emamian and Reza Bakhtiarifarad. Over the past six years, they have gone through the process of trainin... > more


When Culture Occurs

Alireza Mostafazadeh Ebrahimi

Similar to blood running through the veins of arteries, culture has long been a considerable importance for graphic designers. In a country like Iran, where culture is mainly composed of traditions and strongly reflects its history, graphic designers find themselves wandering through the backstreets of history to find an answer to today’s challenges.... > more

Design Today

Lev Manovich’s “Selfie City” Project

Emily Verba Fischer

Even if one does not subscribe to the selfie (or selfie culture in general) — it doesn’t mean one can’t be fascinated with the hold selfies have on our visual culture across the world. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook have allowed image-making style patterns to be analyzed as large data sets. Do styles spread like wildfire or are there distinguishable differences between cultures?... > more


The Influence of Tadanori Yokoo in Europe

Mirko Ilic

Zagreb, Croatia, was the city where I grew up, and at that time, was part of communist Yugoslavia. The city had around one million citizens and only one foreign bookshop. That bookshop had a section devoted to art and design. Before I was old enough to travel (hitchhike) around Europe, that was my window into the art world. I spent hours in the bookshop flipping through books, partly because the foreign books were very expensive—five to ten times more than domesticly published books.... > more


The Times of a Modernist: A Review on Burton Kramer’s Works

Majid Abbasi

“For the bronx - born kramer modernism was a design fusion inspired by american boldness and swiss style restraint.” During Canada 150, Canadians celebrated the 150th anniversary of their Confederation: a country that was formed by immigrants of various cultures. The second largest country of the world, with the area of nearly ten million square kilometers and the population of more than 36 million, consists of indigenous people and immigrants from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Canada’s multiculturalism has become the fundamental i... > more


Vladimir Mayakovsky; The Herald of the New Era

Olga Severina

Vladimir Mayakovsky was perhaps the most prominent, innovative and influential figure of the entire Russian avant-garde movement. He was born on July 19th, 1893 in the village of Bagdadi, in the suburbs of Kutaisi, Georgia. At the age of seven, Mayakovsky was accepted to the Kutaisi boarding school, but just after four years, his family moved to Moscow and he was forced to drop out.... > more


Preserve, Activate Graphic Design: In French Institutions

Vanina Pinter

Near the end of the 19th century, as Parisians discovered the colorful pleasures of lithographed posters covering their city walls, Octave Uzanne, a writer, publisher, and journalist, observed the social phenomenon "affichomanie" (postermania). Posters were actively sought after from the beginning of their history; they immediately attracted collectors. In 2017, there were countless “mémoires” of DNSEP (documents written by graphic designers who question the notion of collection).... > more


Sahara: Branding a Refugee Camp

Amir Berbić

Stadium lights illuminate the ground. A flag flies the red cross from a tall flagpole at the center of the camp. A standard issue United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) field tent houses three Bosnian refugee families, and in the corner is a tiny, makeshift design studio. There, my father, Ismet Berbić, designed the visual identity for our refugee camp. The pyramidal graphic forms in his logo denoted our tapered tent dwellings.... > more


Wit and Humor—Not a Laughing Matter: On British Graphic Design

Sara Jamshidi

Wit and humor can be considered as a simple and effective approach in communication. It is a manner seen in most cultures in order to form a connection between two subjects, which might seem unrelated at first, to add a delicate charm to the conversation. One of the cultures most famous for its distinctive humor is British culture. Wit and humor is, in an essence, one of the most significant and unique characteristics of British culture, but its unique way of humor is very different from other countries.... > more


Memory of an Eclectic Modernist: Ivan Chermayeff

Steven Heller

Despite his aristocrat-Russian-émigré-sounding name, Ivan Chermayeff was neither an aristocrat nor émigré (although he was born in London). But as co-founder in 1957 with Tom Geismar of the design firm Chermayeff & Geismar, he was nonetheless among New York’s design aristocracy—and the quintessence of modern design itself. There are other Modernist-Bauhaus influenced studios and firms in New York, yet Chermayeff & Geismar has long been known for its impressive imprint on the city through logos, installations, exhibitions, and posters.... > more


Graphic Design and Ethnic Languages in Iran

‏Mehdi Haghshenas

Iran is a multicultural and multi-ethnic country with many diverse languages. The pervasiveness of these languages in contemporary graphic design is the result of the recent attempts to maintain this quality. This essay provides a three-part introduction to the discussion of this topic. Part one addresses the aforementioned presence as a new phenomenon. Part two expands the understanding of this subject matter and part three explains the development of design localization.... > more


Folk Culture and Graphic Design

Ali Bakhtiari

“Culture is Ordinary.”–Raymond Williams The word “culture” has always had a positive, yet complex connotation in the Persian language and, although anthropological and cultural studies have tried to push the boundaries of culture in their general interpretations, this word has always shouldered a heavy burden. Naturally, areas of graphic design that are associated with other sophisticated creative sectors such as art, music, cinema, and theater, have been considered the constituents of cultural design, but the influence of popular and prevale... > more