Western Font Design Meets Persian Calligraphy in the Work of Reza Abedini

More

"The invention of movable type is based on value and the spirit of writing systems in the west -- which is individual letters," Reza Abedini explains. The printing press posed a problem for the interconnected forms of traditional calligraphy:

When the printing system came to Lebanon, Iran, and those countries, they found out the writing system doesn't work with this machine because the words here are completely different [than the] Roman system ... They forced the Arabic and Farsi writing system to be closer, as much as possible, to the Roman writing system ... even digital type, it's based on this system.

The award-winning graphic designer has spent his career blending the rich visual culture of Iran with principles of modern graphic design, including tackling basic problems like the "useless distance between letters" prevalent in digital fonts. Full of examples of gorgeous visual art and typography, Abedini's interview with publisher Gestalten covers the evolution of design in Iran and the value of cultural cross-pollination.

This video was produced by Ole Wagner, Astrid Gleichmann, Andrea Cadorin, and Constantin Falk, to promote the release of a book from Gestalten, Arabesque 2: Graphic Design and Typography Graphic Design from the Arab World and Persia.

Watch more videos by Gestalten on the Atlantic Video channel

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

'Stop Telling Women to Smile'

An artist's campaign to end sexual harassment on the streets of NYC.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

Just In