If there is a trend towards homogenization there is also a trend towards bringing out the essential native aesthetic through means developed in other cultures.

Typography has gone hand in hand with the technological developments that enabled it, required it and shaped it.

So are cultural latecomers now adapting to this new world? Adapting it’s tools and techniques to its own needs? Adapting or reinterpreting it – recreating it?


Typography as part of the Dialogue of Civilisations requested by Mohammad Khatami when he was Iran’s president.

The meta-dialogue of techniques of visual communication, a dialogue of written scripts and illustration.

at the Imam Ali Religious Art Museum Japanese calligraphy was placed alongside Iranian. noted calligraphers from both countries had been invited, they walked us through the tea ceremony step by step and dressed a woman up in clothes no one has worn in more than a thousand years.

I really didn’t notice any real dialogue between the two traditions apart from in the exhibition promotional material. Two styles cohabiting a single space but remaining tactfully distinct. While the embassy functionaries and invited artists shared the sensor space of dozens of digital cameras, the two distinguished artistic traditions eyed each other silently, respectfully, across an ocean.


it’s good to know that graphic artists in Europe have seen the positive side of the rise of Islam. Is Arabesque a great achievement in spite of the current tensions between Europe and the West? Or is it itself a product of it? positivity abounds in posters for Iftar parties in the Netherlands, Arabic inspired calligraphy-in-light from a French graphiste and graffiti in early-Kufic.



Tehran Spring.

It’s good to be outside again.









 if they're so tough why do they have to be in our faces so much?





stood politely side by side.


tacit acknowledgement of the gulf between the two.