Pouya Ahmadi: Festival of Poets Theater


In graphic design it is often considered that the simplest designs is the hardest to complete. If this statement is true, Swiss, Chicago-based graphic designer Pouya Ahmadi makes a very difficult job for himself, creating clean cut designs time after time. His most recent project, a newspaper for the Festival of Poets Theater, sees the designer reducing his process even more, using only a black and white colour palette.

A collaboration with Chicago-based publishers, Green Lantern Press, art space Sector 2337 and Kenning Editions, the newspaper is mostly typographic, using various fonts, shapes and sizes to shift the text outside of its usual confined box. “The main idea behind the typography is to bridge the gap between poetry, performance and space,” Pouya tells It’s Nice That. “The type is organised based on the poets’ performance/movement on stage during the course of the festival, which resembled the arch shape that is used throughout the publication.”


The typefaces used in the Pouya’s design include Beirut by Luzitype, and Swiss Int’l by Swiss Typefaces, “both contemporary Swiss type foundries,” says the designer. “The contrast between the two, a sharp high contrast serif (Beirut), and a neo-grotesque low contrast (Swiss Int’l), illustrates the changing dynamism between the performing poets around the stage vs the viewers on the stage, considering that this is not a typical performance.”

The monochrome colour palette used, “is to put more focus on the composition and the performance of the characters,” displayed in the newspaper as typographic characters. “In a way, the typography becomes the theater/space/light in the arches, lines and solid shapes, the poets are shown as type and letters forms and the viewers as texts.”


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