Local/Not Local is...
Works of visual communication that feature Arabic and Iranian typographic forms in the form of print, sculptural, textile, mediums. The concept of Local/Not Local is to showcase foreign or Non-Latin typography, by designers living in the United States paying homage to their cultural roots through their design practice. In this case Local/Not Local is an exhibition that showcases the works of Arabic and Iranian designers based in California. This connection is reflected in their work in the form of on-going client work from the Middle East, self-initiated art and design projects, or locally based client work. The point of this exhibit is to break the notion that Arabic and Iranian typography is only practiced in the Middle East. Locally based Middle Eastern designers reveal through their design practice that Arabic and Iranian typography has a place in California through community based projects, collaborations, and client work from abroad done locally.
Maece Seirafi is a graphic designer/art director focusing branding, typography, and illustration based in Los Angeles. Born in San Francisco, Maece grew up in Damascus, Syria where most of her love of letterforms, art, and calligraphy was cultivated. In 2005 she graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles with a BFA in Communication Arts. Arabic calligraphy and Latin letterforms were a strong central theme throughout her work at Otis. After an extensive Type Design class with the type designer Leah Hoffmitz, bilingual identities in typography furthered her interest to pursue her MFA at the Graphic Design program at the California Institute of the Arts in 2007. She studied under the guidance of several talented design visionaries such as Louise Sandhaus, Lorraine Wild, Ed Fella, Michael Worthington, and Jefferey Keedy. Maece continues to explore the nuances of latin and non-latin typography through her branding projects with clients. Her independent design practice focuses on bilingual branding, curating cultural experiences for educational institutions, commissioned calligraphic pieces, and various cultural projects.
Pouya Jahanshahi is currently Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University of Graphic Design at Oklahoma State University. He received his MFA in Graphic design and Integrated Media, from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where his research focused on the global development of what he calls "Hybrid Visual Cultures", where cross-pollination of cultures have resulted in the birth of new visual realms and typographic forms. His M.A. research “ Anatomy of a visual message” explored the realm of semiotics and the process of visual communication. He has presented on such related issues internationally including ATypI and IGDS (Iranian Graphic Design Society) amongst others. In addition to being awarded numerous awards and accolades, he currently holds the cross-cultural chair at the Orange County AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts. Mr.Jahanshahi is also a member of IGDS (Iranian Graphic Design Society), staying active in issues involving design and academia on both sides of the globe. While his clientele span the globe, as principal owner of XpatStudio (Irvine) Mr. Jahanshahi volunteers at the Braille Institute, in addition to pursuing his hobbies of Persian calligraphy, silk-screening and concrete poetry.