NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

Member of International Council of Design ico-D

English | فارسی

Neshan 46/47

Autumn 2019 – Winter 2020

Design And Literature

With contributions of Majid Abbasi, Ali Bakhtiari, Foad Farahani, Steven Heller, Sepideh Honarmand, Borna Izadpanah, Ayşegül Izer, Yourik Karimmasihi, Aria Kasaei, Roshanak Keyghobadi, Alireza Mostafazadeh Ebrahimi, Jens Müller, Vanina Pinter, Olga Severina, Mohammad Hasan Shahsavari and Sarah Snaith.


And What Was In Its Own Possession*

Alireza Mostafazadeh Ebrahimi

For sure, in Iran no medium as much as poetry could ever bear the task of transferring social, cultural, religious, political and ethical concepts through Iran’s tumultuous history from one generation to another. No other forms of art, whether it be visual arts or any other art, could occupy such status among the people. Poetry is so much interwoven into the fabric of Iranian society that is deemed to be inseparable from other forms of arts such as music, calligraphy, and handicraft. Poetry is ever-present in the lives of us Iranians until we ... > more

Opinion - I

Five Main Forms of Design in Narrative Storytelling

Mohammad Hasan Shahsavari

There are many definitions for narrative, but I prefer this one: “narrative consists of a set of events which are experienced by characters in a specific time and place”. This definition determines four main concepts in every narrative which altogether are the five forms of design in a narrative in films, plays, novels, and short stories and alike. Before starting the main discussion, I’d like to emphasize that every form of design is not devoid of other elements of the narrative. For instance, it cannot be true that in plot-based design, the... > more

Opinion - II

Shape of Imagination; An Interaction between Image and Imagination

Yourik Karimmasihi

Undoubtedly, everyone images and imagines to the extent of his language abilities. Since “language is home to being”1 and everything is contained in the language (and is understood within a language) —all the things that we can imagine outside language would also be understood in the realm of language and lingual competence. When it comes to things we don’t understand, we understand our ignorance through language. And Wittgenstein accurately quotes that our understanding of reality is lingual, even though “the way we interpret the ‘reality’ is... > more

Opinion - III

Inside a Poem

Roshanak Keyghobadi

While a graduate student at Indiana University at Bloomington, I discovered 'Concrete Poetry' by chance. A book entitled “Concrete Poetry: A World View” edited by Mary Ellen Solt (1920–2007) was on sale at the library. I was immediately drawn into the pages of poems — with letters and words moving in every direction creating lines, patterns, textures and sounds. As a graphic design student, I have been experimenting with typography and typesetting; “Concrete Poetry” introduced me to new possibilities in re-thinking the relationship between vi... > more


Book as a Blank Canvas

Ali Bakhtiari

“I believe artist handbooks are getting more and more important. Nowadays, information is more short-lived than ever”. – Franz König This essay discussed how artist handbooks came to existence in Iran and it is not a report about the present time. n practice, artist handbooks as a modern art medium become what they are now after book production was industrialized. In Iran, books were mass-produced from lithography and movable type era, and the tradition of bookmaking and Muraqqa was for the court and nobles, however, this tradition cannot be... > more

Design Today

The Not-So-Subtle Art Of Book Cover Design

Sarah Snaith

Jon Gray and Jamie Keenan are two of Britain’s most renowned book cover designers. They shared a studio space for several years and are regularly invited to give public talks and lectures as a double act – one of which is titled ‘The 20 irrefutable theories of book cover design’ that consistently leaves audiences in stitches of laughter. Together they also run a competition called The Academy of British Cover Design (ABCD), held annually in April, which showcases the work of fellow cover designers and brings the local design community together... > more

Face To Face - I

Broken Promises; Face To Face With Jennifer Sterling

Majid Abbasi

Jennifer Sterling (an AGI member since 2000) founded Jennifer Sterling Design in 1998. She is a designer, artist, typographer, illustrator, writer and educator. Her work has been included in the permanent collections of The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Library of Congress, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Museum Fur Kunst Und Gewerbe, Hamburg and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art hosted a three-month solo show entitled "Jennifer Sterling: Selections from the Permanent Collection of Arc... > more

Face To Face - II

Literature, Performance And Design; Face To Face With Warren Lehrer

Steven Heller

Warren Lehrer, a Queens, New York, based designer, writer and artist, is a pioneer of design authorship and type as literature. He started his studio EarSay originally in 1983 as a small press then in again 1999. With his wife, the performance artist Judith Sloan, Lehrer used the name again for their non-profit artist-based organization. EarSay is a made-up conjunction that connotes going out into the world with an open ear collecting stories and voices, then channeling those voices and stories through their creative process with the result be... > more

Reference - I

The Visual Lyrism Of Apollinaire

Vanina Pinter

Apollinaire is an “ignited” heart at the core of European modernity. A heart, since his romantic relationships structure his work and are infused into many of his poems. An echo of his first loves, he writes the poem La Chanson du mal-aimé (The Song of the Poorly Loved, 1909) — which has become a French classic. The end of his passionate relationship with artist Marie Laurencin is conveyed in Pont de Mirabeau (The Mirabeau Bridge, 1913). His animated relationship with Lou at the beginning of the war inspired exhilarating letters between these ... > more

Reference - II

Christian Chruxin: Master Of The Serial

Jens Mueller

Since the beginning of the 20th century, when in many countries books were introduced into the lives of the middle class and the working class, the medium of the serial became a reflection of society. Sooner or later, every topic and interest of the people was translated into non-fiction books and novels, from sophisticated scientific treatises to light entertainment. Apart from the visual spirit of the times, which always has had an unmistakable influence on graphic design, each sector of the book market has developed its own rules in terms o... > more

Reference - III

Across Disciplines: Literature And Graphic Design

Aysegül Izer

According to S. H. Steinberg, the author of Five Hundred Years of Printing, the invention of the printing press and movable type not only caused radical changes in political, religious, economic and social events, but also caused important changes in printing and education, language, literature and philosophy. Marshall McLuhan’s book on media theory, The Gutenberg Galaxy, has the subtitle The Making of Typographic Man. Marshall, with his distinctive approach, deals with the consequences of the printing revolution,which started with Gutenberg ... > more

Archive - I

The Book Of Books; The Many Fates And Faces Of Livre D’artiste.

Olga Severina

At the turn of the 20th century a Parisian merchant, art dealer, and collector Ambroise Vollard, took upon himself an unlikely task — without any prior knowledge of the industry he chose to become a publisher. He commissioned French post-impressionist painter Pierre Bonnard to illustrate a collection of poems by Paul Verlaine — a French author and one of the founders of literary impressionism and symbolism. The notion seemed eccentric or even ludicrous — a tome published by a merchant, oblivious to what the bookmaking is about, illustrated by... > more

Archive - II

Verbo-Visual Pyrotechnics! An Overview Of Concrete Poetry

Foad Farahani

“Concrete poetry” emerged as a specific approach to language during the 1950s and 1960s. The language was no longer used as a means of describing an event, a state or even a thought. However, it was itself the aim and theme of poetry. Concrete poetry doesn’t utilized reference-function, and its three-dimensional concept is interpreted as a phonetic, visual and vocal tool. Concrete poetry is the creation of a perceivable object with linguistic means — to the Nietzschean concept of the world as an “aesthetic phenomenon.” The term “concrete” in a... > more

Archive - III

Daily Practice; On the Virtue of Beholding

Yourik Karimmasihi

There are many words in Persian for the act of seeing literally or metaphorically, some with Persian and some with Arabic origins, such as looking, seeing, observing, noticing, watching, discerning, perceiving, and beholding. This indicates the importance of looking in the eyes of Iranians in the present and past. In the past daily life and pre-modern education, in which learning mainly was achieved through observation, the practice of observing was an important step in learning.... > more

Archive - IV

Scrap Paper Poetry

Aria Kasaei

Scrap Paper poetry is a collection of poetry notebooks which was published in two sizes (220*220mm and 115*165mm) on the print waste of Modern Art Gallery’s catalogs. “Ajagh & Wajagh” and “Ablagh” are two poetry notebooks in this collection by Jazeh Tabatabai published in the 1970s. 2. Modern Art The Modern Art Gallery opened in 1957 with a group exhibition of paintings and its last exhibition held in 1978 was auctioning of paintings and sculptures by Jazeh Tabatabai. The gallery has reopened in mid-eighties and exhibitions have been held th... > more


Haghighi’s Typefaces

Borna Izadpanah

On January 25th, 1962, Kayhan, one of the leading Tehran newspapers, announced on its front page that a new headline typeface called Horuf-e 84 siyah-e Kayhan [Kayhan 84 Black] had been designed for the newspaper. According to this report, the design and production of this type had been initiated one year earlier and in collaboration with the Elham type foundry in Tehran; however, there was no mention of the designer of this typeface. On January 23rd, 1962, Kayhan’s main headline was for the first time set in Kayhan 84.... > more


My House is Cloudy; Farshid Mesghali’s illustrations for Nima Yushij’s poems

Ali Bakhtiari

Nima is a collection of 20 images that were illustrated by Mesghali at the beginning of 1980 based on Nima Yushij’s poems and produced as an artist handbook in 2017 by ABBookness. Having illustrated some Persian contemporary poems in 1977 in a book called The Moonlight Passes Through, Farshid believed that Nima Yushij is one of the most important Iranian Modernists and illustrated this collection with an aesthetical interaction of contemporary painting and Persian miniatures.... > more