Resident Alien Type

Persian Type Presentation at TypeCon2016: Resound

27 Aug 2016

Can a typeface represent a persona in a context of narrative structure? How can a typeface visualize activist concepts? These are the questions we asked ourselves before our first collaborative project was born. Resident Alien/Alien Resident — the legal term for immigrants in the Untied States — is a project inspired by our lives as immigrant designers facing both challenges of design and immigration on a day to day basis.

DSC_0443+.jpg - Ligatures within a word. Pouya Ahmadi

We authored and designed a book on immigration incorporating a total of four custom Farsi and Latin typefaces to showcase the cultural, political, and social similarities and differences, while investigating the possibilities of making connotation stronger than denotation typographically. Our goal was to produce a piece where the interplay of both writing systems and their variations can reveal the underling significance of the subject matter rather than the syntax of the narrative. Our presentation will discuss the consequences of the designer as controller of meaning and examines the scope of the relationship between visual and verbal language within the contexts of content-driven type design.

Pouya and Pegah Ahmadi are Persian-bred, Swiss educated Chicago-based brother and sister. They serve as editorial board members for Neshan Magazine — a bilingual, graphic design quarterly based in Tehran. Pouya is a design director at Studio/lab and adjunct professor at UIC School of Design. Pegah is a visual and interaction designer at Morningstar Inc. They both graduated from The Basel School of Design.