Presentation details
Fusion of East and West

Avant-garde of Iranian graphic design

Pouya Jahanshahi

Sunday 16 September | 14:00 – 14:30
Location: Dance Studio Room 225

Presentation | Theme: Cultures | Duration: 30 minutes

Technological change and progress in graphic design has affected the world of visual communication since the advent of the Apple Macintosh computer in 1984. Many graphic design communities around the world succeed in maintaining national identity, while implementing technological change into industries, hence joining the global world of graphic design.

Due to various political, social and technological circumstances the Iranian graphic design arena has been left un-inhabited for more than two decades. However, during the last five years, a new generation of Iranian graphic designers has emerged, keen to redefine their lost identity. By reaching to their past calligraphic heritage, this new breed of designer continues to make giant leaps toward joining the global visual communication arena, via typographic posters as a primary format.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the roots of contemporary Iranian graphic design posters and their typographic influences. The use of this typography is divided into two categories: formal usage of ancient Persian calligraphic scripts (e.g. Nast’aliq) and functional usage of modern Arabic fonts (e.g. Naskhe). Additionally, the writer also explores the synthesis, influences of western design as well as software and technological shortcomings pertaining to Iranian and Arabic graphic design.

A unique synergy of past and present technology and east and west history results in the final typographic posters, which are unique to this generation and redefine the lost identity of contemporary Iranian graphic design.

Speaker details

Pouya Jahanshahi Grad Student / Graphic Designer CalArts | United States

Pouya Jahanshahi is currently studying towards his MFA in Graphic design and Integrated Media, while a Teachers Assistant position at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). His focus is currently fusion of Farsi forms and typography within a western context, as well other multi-lingual typographic issues. He received his M.A. in Graphic Design from California State University in 2004, where he explored the semiotics of imagery in his “ Anatomy of a visual message” project, while presenting his thesis research on “Title sequence design”.

Mr. Jahanshahi previously taught as assistant professor of graphic design at Chapman University (Orange, California), as well as numerous colleges and universities such as The Art Institute, Platt College, University of California Irvine, Long Beach City College and California State University Fullerton, amongst others.

While being the past AIGA - Orange County’s Educational Chair, Mr. Jahanshahi is also a member of IGDS (Iranian Graphic Design Society), staying active in issues involving design on both sides of the globe.

In addition, Mr. Jahanshahi is the principal owner of Source One Design, acting as a freelance Art director.

His past and present clients include National Semi Conductors (NSC), AquaTek Inc., Stanley Electric and Chanteh Interior Designs to name a few. While volunteering at local non-profit organization such as the Laguna The Laguna Greenbelt and MTO Printing, his hobbies and activities include Persian calligraphy, silkscreening and concrete poetry.

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