Reza Abedini: graphic artist, Iran (b. 1967, Tehran) Reza Abedini is a ground-breaking exponent of contemporary graphic design who lives and works in Iran. Using a strong and sophisticated style incorporating Islamic calligraphy in a free, innovative and striking manner, he creates beautiful images that carry a powerful cultural message. His passion for graphic design, in particular Persian type and typography, has lead him into linking literature and aesthetics, searching for a unique visual dialect that reflects Persian poetic sensibilities. Professor of graphic design and visual culture at Tehran University, Abedini bridges generations. He emphasises the relationship between visual tradition and modern identity, encourages research in the rich history of Persian art and nurtures talent in the younger generations. His recent publication, ‘New Visual Culture of Modern Iran’, draws attention to developments in the field of design and highlights the work of young artists. He works with challenging authors to create unique artistic works in which literary content and design complement each other to perfection (including a collaborative work with 2005 Prince Claus laureate, the satirist Ebrahim Nabavi). This award celebrates Reza Abedini’s superb graphic design and his individual skill in adapting collective knowledge, making it new and compelling today. The award draws attention to the rich diversity of Iranian culture – both historic and contemporary, recognises the impact of graphic design as a powerful global medium of communication, and highlights the tradition and role of radical graphic design both in the laureate’s own country and across the world.