Reza Abedini is a notable contemporary Iranian graphic designer. He also teaches graphic design and visual culture at the American University of Beirut. He is not only recognized for his graphic designs but also Persian typography. While keeping a modern thematic pattern he dexterously blended the traditional themes in his works as well, hence maintained a unique style.
Born on 1967, Reza Abedini was raised in Tehran, Iran. Growing up, Abedini’s teacher saw potential in him to embrace art and guided him. He was requested to write a short story and upon favorable response his teacher took him under his wing. Henceforth, he assisted his teacher on several creative art projects. The journey expanded his vision of art and creative thinking. The continuous exploration of creative art filled Abedini with the self-confidence and curiosity which culminated in him picking up the brush and paint. Once during his schooling he found the opportunity of illustrating the set for the play they organized. His effort was met by his teacher introducing him to eminent graphic designer and creative artists of the time, who held the key to understanding the creative universe and Iranian and Persian cultural history.
Eventually Abedini realized that he belonged to the world of art and received his formal art education from the school of Fine Arts, graduating in 1985. He then majored in Painting from Tehran Art University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1992. While studying at TAU, he was still not certain which avenue he ultimately wanted to travel down. However, his bewilderment was answered by his growing popularity as his commissioned artwork was publicized and lauded by many. In fact, he received request by his clients to avail his painting expertise in some of the graphic design projects. The field of graphic design stood out to be a rational choice of profession for him.
Abedini began his professional career as a graphic designer in the late 1980s. Notwithstanding his lack of formal graphic design education, he designed meticulously relying solely on his own methods of creative expression. He ultimately blended the self expression of the art world, print making, lettering and typography. His love of Persian calligraphy and typography grew in his youth when certain powerful political and religious figures restricted the public from exploring the outside world and its culture. Utilizing the art he learned in his youth Abedini’s style of graphic design evolved as he employed intricate shapes, minimalistic use of colours on the textures of aged paper. Similar to Islamic architecture, his work feature the same floral patterns, shapes and elements. The distinguishing characteristic of his work is his manipulation of multifarious elements, fonts and languages.
In addition to that, Abedini’s work is inspired by artists such as Aleksander Rodchenko, Mirza Gholam-Reza Esfahani, Sani’ol Molk Ghafari and many others. His contribution to graphic design was honored with dozens of national and international design accolades. In 2006, he was presented the Principal Prince Claus Award. Currently, he holds the membership of the prestigious Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and Iranian Graphic Designers Society (IGDS). Meggs’ History of Graphic Design included his name in the list of the world’s outstanding post digital designers. Besides, he taught Graphic Design and Visual Communication at Visual Art School and Printing Making, Type and Image, Poster Design and Typography at Azad Art University and the University of Tehran. Moreover, he has published several books on design including Manzar Visual Book, A Tail of Dwarfs and Lankier, Print Making and New Visual Culture of Modern Iran.