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Behind the Curtain | Iranian Graphic Designer Wins Prestigious Award


11 Jun 2012 09:24Comments

"Hamzad (Twin)," by Mehdi Mahdian: solo and in exhibition.

Arash Karami is a frequent Tehran Bureau contributor. Negar Mortazavi is an Iranian journalist based in Washington, D.C.
[ blog ] Iranian graphic designer Mehdi Mahdian has received the prestigious Icograda Excellence Award in Warsaw. Mahdian, a graduate of Tehran Art University, works and resides in Tehran. He received the award at the 23rd Warsaw International Poster Biennale for a poster he created for the play Hamzad (Twin), which was presented at his alma mater. The play is about a man who lives with his double, whom he thinks is his twin brother.

The Warsaw Biennale started in 1966 and has become one of the most important graphic design events in the world. "It is great to win such an important prize especially alongside such prominent graphic designers in the world," Mahdian, who recently won another award in Taiwan, told Behind the Curtain. "It will open new doors in my professional work."

Mahdian was not the only Iranian graphic designer competing for the Icograda Excellence Award. According to Ardalan Payvar, an Iranian American graphic designer who has done art work for Iranian musical acts such as Kiosk, Eendo, and Mohsen Namjoo, the recognition that Iranian graphic artists are receiving outside of the country is "not surprising at all." He continued, "In the areas of poster design and typography, especially, Iranian designers have been among the trend setters in the past decade or so."

Photo credit: Hamed Ghassemi

Copyright © 2012 Arash Karami and Negar Mortazavi

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