NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

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Neshan 33


Now is the Time for Change!

Hirbod Lotfian

Damoon Khanjanzadeh is a well-known typeface designer. He, whose dreams are even filled with letters, has created an admirable typeface and has named it after his newborn daughter, Diba. Diba is a display typeface with particular, unique functions. The profits of selling Diba are donated to cancer-stricken children supported by the MAHAK charity institute, in gratitude for Damoon’s precious little child. Now, the toddler Diba is rapidly growing and is on her way to bear fruit. 

Love at First Sight!    
A good design is like the display window of a shop — it is an opportunity to attract the passersby and encourage them to take a closer look. Now, imagine a shop that has had the same old showcases for several years and does not change, even if a new product is offered. The titles designed for graphical works seem to be in the same condition, to a great extent. Evidently, not all typefaces have enough capability, energy, and influence to be used for titles and in large sizes. Moreover, the typefaces suitable for titles are perhaps oldfashioned and dowdy. We have infinitely faced the question of what typeface to choose for designing the titles of posters, environmental graphics, books, etc. We have either inevitably used type that is essentially incapable of this purpose, or have tried every trick in the book to make something new out of the cast-off typefaces. We have trimmed them, filled them, cut them into pieces, and given them extra polish. It remains to be seen whether these typefaces have the capacity to be dealt with this way, or the performed operations have turned them into malformed creatures.
It appears that our display window is in need of something newer in order to become more attractive. This is where the lack of freshly designed type — particularly for titles — is felt. Display or title typefaces, which must not be mistaken for decorative or fancy typefaces, are designed for employment in big sizes ( generally bigger than 36 points ); different details are taken into consideration in designing them including positive and negative spaces, cuttings, stems, eyes, and ink traps. These typefaces carry the meaning of their content, and their conscious selection influences the reader and makes him / her visually ready to enter the comprehension phase. Display type can be sedate and dignified, modern, neutral, or even excited and insurgent!

Consciously Breaking the Rules!
The creation of Diba by Damoon has been unique. Different things have contributed to its birth. Diba is a typeface whose designer is considered the client himself; it is not designed through the common ordering process based on a certain client and his / her needs. The self - employed nature of its design provided Damoon with an opportunity to act freely throughout the process and also to acquire a particular view towards the meager field of display type design. Our world lacked Diba; this is clearly observed through the scope of its use. After a long time, a new type for displays and titles was added to the designers’ toolkit and, shortly after its creation, it was used in more than 40 posters by various designers and was displayed in a large scope, from cultural to commercial graphics.
At a short glance, Diba is a geometric typeface with lots of edges, but upon looking closer, it contains all of the intricacies of movement and angle. Sometimes the designer has ingeniously made transformations in the forms and has put his invisible signature into his work. The minimal angles in the outlines of the letters are replaced with lines that are exactly perpendicular to the base line, and the curves that had a small share in the letter outlines become flat. Therefore, in addition to becoming more firm and solid, the letters string along 
more harmoniously.
In Diba, Damoon has revolted against his calligraphic knowledge and in some parts he has disregarded the common behavior of script; he has moved in the opposite direction. However, he has maintained balance in order not to diverge from the viewers’ visual norms, since he believes that typefaces and graphic designers must ultimately accept one another’s logic so that a typeface can be put to use. Consciously breaking the rules is a principle that must be present in the spirit of a display typeface.

Tame but Skittish!
In some forms Diba has worked brilliantly and is in place for typography, taking advantage of negative spaces between the letters. Most of its letters fit well together, and its neatly - tailored angles are appealing.
Meanwhile, due to the rigidity of the forms, Diba tenaciously retains its identity. In the most challenging conditions a graphic designer might impose, it still makes its voice heard and is not frightened off by the designer. Even a glyph of Diba still reveals its identity, wherever it might be.
Every component of the typeface is essential. Diba’s symbols, logograms, and punctuation marks are taken into consideration. This provides the designer with special facilities, since Diba has accomplished part of a task is done before it even begins. This is why Diba cannot be considered a fully flexible typeface. It is rebellious and revolutionary. It clenches its fists and cries: “Now is the time for change!”

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