NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

Member of International Council of Design ico-D

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Neshan 28

Project - 1

Homa, The Bird of Fortune

Alireza Mostafazadeh Ebrahimi

Today’s young Iranian graphic designers are confronted by an important question; one that stays with them at all times and with every step, and becomes complicated when art is their other preoccupation. That is “What is my identity?”
What one can observe in Iranian graphic design almost immediately, is the continuous attempt to discover new ways of moving from its native culture and tradition to the visual aesthetics of the western world.
Homa Delvaray has successfully created a brilliant visual approach, through instinct and passion. She has retained the Iranian visual tradition, disguised in a modern appearance to closely communicate with her peers, while simultaneously winning the admiration of previous generations. By carefully examining her work, one discovers that her art is a cultural-visual reconciliation between the past and the present. 
We face a number of compelling issues that specifically appear in her posters:
The composition and visual structure of her works are inspired by Iranian paintings and book decorations. This is particularly recognizable in her constructed and deconstructed works. Also, tables that were used for book layout and decoration authenticate this idea.
Thoroughly engineered compositions have provoked a new manifestation of design in Persian paintings. 
In Homa’s posters, while iconic Iranian-Islamic geometrical and botanical patterns are utilised in their traditional form, they have been transformed with the application of new structures, making the work unique and recognizably modern.
Application of colour is consistent with the approach used in Persian paintings; spot colours, without gradations and highlights. In some instances, the background colour may blend into another hue, but in these situations, adding other elements, such as textures and patterns, decrease the intensity of the colour property. This is not to say that Homa is not courageous in using contrasting colours; rather she has an advanced understanding of form and space and applies colour only when necessary.
Illustrations, which are the basis of her works, are simple and intricate simultaneously. They’re inspired by Persian paintings in their detail and delicacy, which were made with extreme patience and dexterity. Her work, while inspired by these qualities, can stand on its own in its modernity.

Homa Delvaray belongs to a generation that has been raised with technology; their youth and childhood was spent with computer games, in virtual environments and with digital images. Despite the fact that she’s affectionate towards this technology, she is not dominated by it. Sometimes her works feature industry as an inseparable aspect of today’s life in the form of objects such as cogwheels, tubes, wires and straps.
She also brilliantly makes use of Kufi-Banaee (Geometric Kufic) script in three-dimensional forms, which gives a perfectly engineered look to the structure of the works.
In the compositions, the placement of shapes alongside patterns made of lines and strokes, creates an effect that causes continuous eye movement from surface to depth and vice versa. This treatment along with the hidden visual details make it difficult to tear one’s eyes away from the piece, should one discover elements that had previously gone unnoticed.
Homa makes use of all such approaches and proves that it is possible to modernize a noble tradition by combining visual styles, without spoiling, or naive imitation.
Her trend is comparable to Japanese graphic designers, who have been able to introduce their high cultural values to the world: graphic designers who were not fascinated passively by western culture and did not become entangled in ignorant prejudices.
Homa is now a fortune for the younger generations, and with her endless perseverance and rare talent, she has set Iran’s modern graphic design on her shoulders.

*Homa-ye sa’adat is a legendary bird, particularly associated with Persian mythology. This bird is said to be phoenix-like, consuming itself in fire every few hundred years, only to rise anew from the ashes. Homa’s shadow on a person’s head or shoulders was said to bestow kingship upon them.

Alireza Mostafazadeh Ebrahimi

graphic designer, art and creative director holds a master's degree in visual communication from the University of Tehran, Faculty of Fine Arts. He is a faculty member of Tehran University and a lecturer in Azad University and Vije Visual Communication Art School. He is also a member of Iranian Graphic Designers' Association from 1997 and is currently working as a creative director and marketing communication consultant. Have won prizes and have been published in international expert journals as well.

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