Project Brief: Design an animated poster in the style of a famous graphic designer. I drew my influence from Iranian designer and Persian calligrapher Reza Abedini.
Step #1: Research: As part of my process, I wrote a short research paper on Reza Abedini's life and work process and compiled a moodboard of my favorite poster designs.
Reza Abedini poster inspiration
Step #2: Compositional studies: I then studied the composition of a few of these selected works using trace paper. This allowed me to get a sense of the compositional relationship he uses, and allowed me to study his hierarchical strategy.
Step #3: Mark-making experimentation: Before drafting my first poster designs, I wanted to experiment with mark making, ink, and brush. I learned during my research that Abedini often resorts to these traditional, organic ways of making. In order to replicate the style of a designer who is outspoken about his love of ink, I knew I had to incorporate these same traces within my own work. I dipped various objects in India ink, including cling wrap, steel wool, rug runners, and tissues.
Step #4: Ideation: "Graphic design is a kind of phoenix." I found this quote from one of Abedini's interviews. Immediately compelled by this beautiful metaphor, I knew I wanted to base my poster off of this sentiment. I also wanted to highlight Abedini's frequent use of texture, multilingual text, and Persian calligraphy.
The result? A fiery, phoenix poster blazing with traces of Persian calligraphy.
Deciphering the symbology: The splattered textures composing the bottom of the poster metaphorically speak to the ashes that birth the phoenix. The center textural quality (made from cling wrap) represents the burning wings of the phoenix. The vertical calligraphy (which translates to "phoenix") highlights the notion of the phoenix rising. And the layered text in the background (which is characteristic of Abedini's style) translates from Persian to "risen from the ashes."
Traces of other mythological creatures: I love the comment that the form made by the center of the wings resembles Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the gates of hell. (I welcome any layering to my mythological story.)
Step #5: Animation: I sought to create an animation that brought my phoenix to life. I focused my efforts on crafting an "ablaze" effect: a burning, flickering motion within a fiery composition.