The present Iranian graphic designers have grown in special conditions and the beginning of their professional career has coincided with and exceptional period of time.
This group has all the provisions and achievements of their previous designers. These old designers founded the present graphic design in Iran and formed strong bases prior to the 1979 Islamic revolution. The works of that group were considered at the highest global level. Since the majority of them had studied and been educated in painting, their tendency toward illustration is crystal clear in their works, in such a way that their most important trophies and success were achieved in illustration and animation.
Three years after the 1979 revolution, the Iran-Iraq war broke out, and lasted for eight years. The restrictions during the war, the economic sanctions, the closure of the borders and lack of relations with other countries especially European countries and the United States had made an anonymous image of Iran and its cultural activities. The advertisements and propaganda of western media had enhanced this anonymity and nobody had a true image of what was going on in Iran. That is why the achievements of the previous designers fell into a state of oblivion and a profound rupture took place between graphic designing before and after the 1979 revolution. The development of graphic design, during the eight years war and ten years after revolution was restricted to the graphic design of the revolution and war. The present generation of Iranian graphic designers appeared at this jointure. The characteristics of this generation can be verified from two aspects:
The designers of the present generation are the ones who were teenagers or children during the revolution, turned into adults during the war and passed their military service during the war. They lost many of their friends and relatives in the war and put behind plenty of political ups and downs in Iran and they are in their middle-age at present. It is natural that such a generation has special characteristics.
Lots of experiences, political and social tensions, and continuous mental preoccupations have generated an audacious and resistant generation. Independence-seeking, up-to-dateness, far-sightedness and attempts for progress and improvement are obvious behavioral characteristics of this group. This generation wants to change lots a regulations and sometimes eradicate them but admires the graphic designers prior to themselves at the same time. The present generation adores his many thousand years of culture and art and has benefited a great deal from them. That is why, despite their differences which are sometimes major differences in point of view with previous designers, we can link their works to the previous generation as a kind of continuation after a bit of contemplation and attention.
It has been seventeen years since the present designers started working professionally and they have gained lots of achievements in international level in the last ten years.
The most outstanding characteristics of this generation is using Iranian type and typography.
The very good background of calligraphy in Iran has given them the opportunity to present new and different spaces which distinguishes it form European typography. The development of typography in the last few years has resulted in the hottest and most common debates in graphic design in Iran. Although it is too soon to give final and decisive opinions about the results of Iranian typography, it appears that the many present experiences can bear desirable results based on the Iranian calligraphic heritage.
The beginning of the professional career of the present generation coincided with the advent of computers to the graphic design arena. They welcomed this new commodity and started using it. However, since they have grown up with the development of digital and computer era, they have not overcome by it and they have utilized it as a mere tool.
The present generation is the most active part of graphic design in Iran and their presence can be obliviously witnessed in all areas. A generation which has appeared late but is not going to leave soon as if they want to make up for the fifteen years anonymity of graphic design in Iran.