Studio Melli works at the dynamic intersection between art and design
Through their work for Baan, the team worked mainly on Persian translations of French, English or German books. However, at the end of 2021, Omid and Mahsa designed a book for the young Iranian author and artist, Ali Meer Azimi. His book Empty lipstick, includes “Azimi’s study of the final years of the Iran–Iraq War when new radar disruption technologies made it difficult to track the bombings”. For Azimi’s installation exhibition at Argo Factory, a contemporary art museum and cultural center in Tehran, the team produced an impactful book design with a striking red, white and black color scheme. Omid explains how he worked carefully with Mahsa to produce a design that would appropriately reflect some of the “most sensitive moments” in Azimi’s book, such as “the moment a bomb is fired from above and received from above.” ‘downstairs”.
One of Omid and Mahsa’s favorite projects came about when they won an open tender organized by the city of Shiraz. Studio Melli was commissioned to design a visual identity and a sign illustrating the city’s important literary heritage. Rather than look to traditional calligraphy for inspiration, the team went beyond audience expectations by taking a “completely different approach,” says Mahsa. “Through kinetic typography, we tried to simulate a view of the city landscape and gardens that was readable and could also create a sense of familiarity with space and shapes.”
Among Studio Melli’s vast body of work, one project is particularly close to their hearts. Through is one of Studio Melli’s “largest and most complex” multicultural identities. This is an experimental and “self-initiated” project that allowed the duo to test the limits of their graphic design practice. “Through is our playground for combining interdisciplinary experiences,” continues Omid. The project materialized through a range of paper-based products through which the team can experiment with their “favorite aspects of design and typography”.
Taking an overview of the graphic design scene in Tehran, Omid paints a vivid picture of the city: “It’s full of joy and excitement, and at the same time full of annoying noises, glitches and cultural, political, economic anomalies and social issues.” Over time, the team has developed strategies to deal with the “reality of our space”, even when the city is at its “peak of chaos and disorder”. , Mahsa explains, continuing, “Of course, there is always a struggle between the designer’s spirit and the atmosphere of this city, but we try to draw inspiration from this chaos as a creative resource.”