Pouya Ahmadi is a designer, artist, and educator. Educated in Iran and Switzerland, Ahmadi operates an international professional practice that focuses on identities, printed matter, and publications for cultural institutions and nonprofit organizations; at the same time, he leads an independent practice that explores alternatives to modernism in design, in particular its critical histories and contemporary prospects for more equitable futures. Ahmadi has presented at a wide range of independent and professional venues and schools, including Typographics NYC, TypeCon, Adobe Live, and Rhode Island School of Design, and his work has been recognized by AIGA Eye on Design, the Type Directors Club, Moscow Global Biennale of Graphic Design, Dubai Design Week, and East Sea International Art Biennale amongst others. Ahmadi serves on the editorial board of the Iranian graphic design journal Neshan, and is the designer and editor of Amalgam, an independent journal that released its third edition in summer 2021.



       EDUCATION
MA in Visual Communication and Image Research, FHNW/HGK—University of Applied Sciences and the Arts Northwestern Switzerland, 2011
MFA in Graphic Design, University of Illinois in Chicago, Chicago, United States, 2009
MAS in Graphic Design, FHNW/HGK—University of Applied Sciences and the Arts Northwestern Switzerland, 2009
BA in Visual Communication, University of Tehran, Department of Fine Arts, Tehran, Iran, 2007
       ACADEMIC POSITIONS
School of Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Chicago, United States, 2016–present
UIC/HGK MDes Basel Exchange Coordinator and Critic, Basel, Switzerland, 2016–present

School of Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Chicago, United States, 2015–16
       PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS
Studio Pouya Ahmadi, Founder and Creative Director, Chicago, United States, 2014–present
Studio/lab, Design Director, Chicago, United States, 2015–16

Programme, Principal and Co-Founder, Chicago, United States, 2014–15
Morningstar Inc., Senior Designer/Team Lead, Chicago, United States, 2011–15 
Neshan Magazine, Graphic Designer, Tehran, Iran, 2005–7
Didgraphics Inc., Graphic Designer, Tehran, Iran, 2004–6
       SCHOLARLY POSITIONS
Amalgam Journal, Editor and Designer, Chicago, United States, 2016–present
Neshan Magazine, Editorial Board Member and Contributing Writer, Tehran, Iran, 2010–present
       SELECT AWARDS AND HONORS
Dean’s Research Prize, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, United States, 2022
AIGA Chicago Labor of Love Grant, Chicago, United States, 2019

Golden Bee Award, Category (A) Fresh Wind (cultural posters) Golden Bee Global Design Biennial, Poster Exhibition, 2018
Dean’s Research Prize, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, United States, 2018
Dean’s Research Prize, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, United States, 2016
Chicago Design Archive 15, Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago, United States, 2015
Award of Excellence for Typography, Communication Arts Design Annual, United States, 2014
Certificate of Typographic Excellence, Type Directors Club, New York, United States, 2012
1st prize, Second International Biennial of Poster, Tehran, Iran, 2007
3rd prize, Poster competition ‘To Greet World Expo Shanghai 2010’, Shanghai, China, 2006
       SELECT PROJECTS AND PUBLICATIONS
Editor, Amalgam Op.III, 2021
Designer, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, United States, 2020
Designer, Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society, Experimental Film Society, Dublin, Ireland, 2020
Designer, MSA 2021 Conference, The Modernist Studies Association, Chicago, MSA 2021 log and posters, 2020
Designer, 45 Library, The 45 Library Collective: Andy Campbell, Igor Siddiqui, Juliette Cezzar, and Brendan Griffiths. Library (Fahrenheit) 45(1), 2020
Designer, MSA 2021 Conference, The Modernist Studies Association, Chicago, MSA 2021 log and posters, 2020
Designer, Library (Fahrenheit) 45(1),  The 45 Library Collective: Andy Campbell, Igor Siddiqui, Juliette Cezzar, and Brendan Griffiths., 2020
Editor, Amalgam Op.II, 2019
Designer, Close Distance, Lara Schoorl (Ed.), Amsterdam / Los Angeles, journal (Volume 1, Issue 2), 2019
Designer, Luminous Void Experimental Film Festival, Experimental Film Society, Cork, Ireland, Brand Identity, 2019
Designer, Pardeh, Typographic installation and lecture-performance, 2019
Author, Indeterminate Sounds; Indefinite Images, Neshan Magazine #44 (Summer)—Design and Music, 2018
Editor, Amalgam Journal Op.I, Winter 2018
Designer, Luminous Void Experimental Film Festival, Experimental Film Society, Dublin, Ireland, 2018
Designer, Phantom Islands, Experimental Film Society, Dublin, Ireland, 2018
Designer, If the hours were already counted, Sector 2337, Chicago, 2018
Designer, Ode to the National Parks, The Green Lantern Press + Sector 2337, Chicago, United States, 2017
Designer, Through a Glass Darkly, Promotional materials for Through a Glass Darkly Public Seminar Series, UIC School of Design, Chicago, 2017
Designer, Silence, Poster design for Ebrahim Mohammadian solo art show at Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran, 2017
Designer, Luminous Void: Experimental Film Society Documents chronicles, Cover Design for Luminous Void: Experimental Film Society Documents Books, Experimental Film Society, Dublin, Ireland, 2017
Designer, OMNI Youth Services, Brand identity OMNI Youth Services, Chicago, 2017
Co-Editor, Neshan Magazine #41—Design Museums and Archives, Autumn 2017
Author, Material Non-Material; A Review of Studio Moniker’s Conditional Design Work, Neshan Magazine #40—Interaction Design, Summer 2017
Co-Editor, Neshan Magazine #38—Publishers and Publishing, Winter 2017
Author, Publishing as an Act of Self-Expression, Neshan Magazine #38—Publishers and Publishing, Winter 2017 
Co-Editor, Neshan Magazine #37—Women and Design, Autumn 2016
Co-Editor, Neshan Magazine #36—Non-Western Design, Summer 2016
Author, In Praise of Arabic Letters, Neshan Magazine #36—Non-Western Design, Summer 2016
Designer, The Second Annual Festival of Poets Theater, Sector 2337, Chicago, United States, 2016
Designer, Integrate–Assimilate, Installation, 2016
Designer, Resident Alien / Alien Resident, Typeface / Publication / Installation, 2016
Author, Future Type—A Semiotic Turn, Neshan Magazine #33—Type and Typography, Summer 2015
Author, Daily Practice: A Review of Design Experiments of Renata Graw (Plural), Neshan Magazine #32—Intercultural Design, Autumn 2014
Author, Post Poster, Neshan Magazine #31—Poster Design, Summer 2014
Designer, This Thin Memory Ah-A, Eric P. Elshtain, Verge Books Chicago, 2014. Chicago, 2014
Designer, The Fellowshippe of Musickers, Ce Jour De L’an, 2013
Designer, Cacophonics Music, Cacophonics Music brand identity, 2013
Designer, Verge Books / Verge Ephemera, Verge Books brand identity, 2013
Author, The Book that Music Built: A Review of Leander Eisenmann Work, Neshan Magazine #29—Book Design, Autumn 2012
Author, Laika: A Dynamic Typeface, Neshan Magazine #26—Design with Type, Winter 2012
       SELECT PRESENTATIONS
Co-Presenter, Pouya Ahmadi—Amalgam #3: Tacit Language, Typographics Festival, New York, NY, 2021
Guest Critic, Kosntfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design in Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden, 2021
Presenter, Pouya Ahmadi—A Designer’s Journey, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Chicago, IL, 2020
Presenter, Amalgam Opus II—Journal Launch, Inga Books, Chicago, IL, 2019
Presenter, Pouya Ahmadi—A Designer’s Journey, Rohde Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, RI, 2019
Co-Presenter, Typographics Conference, Cooper Union, New York City, 2019
Presenter and Critique, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), Minneapolis, Spring, 2019
Presenter, Typographic Grid, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Rhode Island, Winter, 2019
Co-Presenter, Typeforce X: PechaKucha, Co-prosperity Sphere, Chicago, 2019
Presenter and Critique, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, 2019
Presenter, Adobe Live: Publication Design with Pouya Ahmadi, San Francisco, 2018
Presenter, Design and Cultural Heritage, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Rhode Island, Fall, 2018
Presenter, Amalgam journal, Design Museum of Chicago, Chicago, United States, Summer, 2018
Presenter, MAS Context: Couplings, Leo Burnett, Chicago, United States, 2018
Presenter, Amalgam Op.I journal launch, Sector 2337, Chicago, United States, Spring, 2018
Co-Presenter, TypeCon 2016: Resound, The Society of Typographic Aficionados, Seattle, United States, 2016
Presenter, TypeCon 2015: Condensed, The Society of Typographic Aficionados, Denver, United States, 2015
       SELECT EXHIBITIONS OF WORK
East Sea International Art Biennial, Gangwon Institute of Design, Gangwon-do, South Korea, 2021
Iranian Logotypes, Typomania Typography Festival, Moscow, Russia, 2020
Stop Asian Hate, Occupy The City, Seoul, South Korea, 2020

Typeforce X, Co-prosperity Sphere + Firebelly, Chicago, 2019
Knif Mono, Exhibition, Bat Coop + Building Paris, Paris, France, 2018The 3rd Shenzhen International Poster Festival, China, 2018
Golden Bee 13 Global Design Biennial, Poster Exhibition, 2018
Great Ideas of Humanity, Design Museum of Chicago, Chicago, United States, 2018
Dubai Design Biennial, Weltformat D×B, Delusions and Errors, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2017
Graphic Design Festival Scotland, Scotland, United Kingdom, 2017 
ChicagoMade: Great Ideas of Humanity, Hong Kong Design Center, Hong Kong, 2016
Chicago Design Archive 15, Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago, United States, 2015
Moscow International Design Biennial, Moscow, Russia, 2014
Sarajevo 100 (1914–2014), Poster Exhibition, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2014
Chicago Design Archive 13, Chicago, United States, 2013
Moscow International Poster Biennial, Moscow, Russia, 2012
Momayez Foundation Exhibition, Tehran, Iran, 2012
MUIP Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey, 2012
Shahnameh, The Fourth Iranian Typography Exhibition, Tehran, Iran, 2008
The Second International Biennial of Poster, Tehran, Iran, 2007
The 9th International Poster Biennial of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, 2007
Moscow International Design Biennial, Moscow, Russia, 2006
Tamga, logo design exhibition/competition, Moscow, Russia, 2006
International Poster Competition to Greet World Expo, Shanghai, China, 2006
The 5th Generation Graphic Designers Exhibition, Tehran, Iran, 2006
       SELECT FEATURES AND INTERVIEWS
“Pouya Ahmadi hints to extreme opposites at the same time in his concept-driven design practice,” It’s Nice That, London, United Kingdom, 2020
Interview with Pouya Ahmadi, Ligature Magazine, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2018 
“Pouya Ahmadi’s publication Amalgam is ‘a somewhat contradictory situation,’” It’s Nice That, London, United Kingdom, 2018
Ficciones Typografika, edited by Erik Brandt and Mark Gowing, Formist Foundry, Sydney, Australia, 2018 
Knif Mono, Exhibition Publication, Bat Coop + Building Paris, Paris, France, 2018
Through a Glass Darkly poster series, Fonts in Use, Berlin, Germany, 2018
New Age Now poster, Fonts in Use, Berlin, Germany, 2018
Progetto Grafico International Graphic Design Magazine, Here, Elsewhere. Translations, Migrations, Contaminations, the Italian association of visual communication design, Milan, Italy, 2017
Graphic Design Festival Scotland, Exhibition Publication, Scotland, United Kingdom, 2017
Dubai Design Biennial, Weltformat D×B, Delusions and Errors Publication, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2017 
“Enter Pouya Ahmadi’s Black and White Poetic Newspaper with Grace,” TypeRoom, Athens, Greece, 2017
Inspo Finds Collection 1 by Naomi Bassey & Sarah Horn, London, United Kingdom, 2017
“Pouya Ahmadi uses typography to ‘bridge the gap between poetry, performance and space,’” It’s Nice That Journal, London, United Kingdom, 2017
“From Tehran to Chicago, Pouya Ahmadi’s Having a Design Dialogue Between East + West and Past + Present,” AIGA Eye on Design Journal, New York, United States, 2017
Numbers in Advertising Design, PIE Books Intenational, Tokyo, Japan, 2017
“Elegant + Experimental Design from Chicago Film Poster Pro Pouya Ahmadi,” Interview with AIGA Eye on Design Journal, New York, United States, 2016
“From Tehran to Chicago, Pouya Ahmadi is an Adventurer for Type,” Interview with TypeRoom Journal, Athens, Greece, 2016
“Pouya Ahmadi Posters,” Grain Edit Magazine, California, United States, 2016
“Reel Life,” Interview with Grafik Magazine, London, United Kingdom, 2016 
Exploring Typography by Tova Rabinowitz, Cengage Learning publications, United States, 2015
People of Print: Innovative, Independent Design and Illustration, Thames & Hudson, UK, 2015
Moscow International Design Biennial Catalog—Golden Bee 13, Moscow, Russia, 2014
Communication Arts Magazine, Design Annual edition, United States, 2014
Chicago Design Archive 13, Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago, United States, 2014
Typography 33, Type Directors Club, New York, United States, 2012
IdN World Magazine 18, Hong Kong, 2012
Arabesque 2: Graphic Design From The Arab World And Persia, Germany, 2012
Moscow International Design Biennial Catalog—Golden Bee 12, Moscow, Russia, 2012
Arabesque: Graphic Design From The Arab World And Persia, Germany, 2008
Almanac of Asia-Pacific Design III, Hong Kong, 2007
Moscow International Design Biennial Catalog—Golden Bee 7, Moscow, Russia, 2006
       SELECT COMMISSIONS
Cacophonies Music
Close Distance
Experimental Film Society
Green Lantern Press
Modernist Studies Association
Museum of Contemporary Arts Chicago
Neshan Magazine
Omni Youth Services
Renaissance Society
Verge Books
The University of Chicago


© pouya ahmadi 2006–2022