Graphic Design

Farinaz Valamanesh

Talking Through Symbols

Freedom of speech is taken for granted in developed countries. However, I witnessed and experienced first hand the persecution bestowed on my Iranian community for merely expressing beliefs perceived as non-conforming to the norms dictated by the regime.

For centuries, Iranian people often have hidden their true messages in layers of symbolism and metaphors to overcome the deep-rooted lack of freedom of speech. Coded languages are wide-spread in literature, art, and everyday speaking as a way to communicate messages while avoiding the consequences.

I developed a coded visual system based on the abstract forms and traditional Persian motifs. Through these metaphors, I spotlight this important, enduring, and mostly ignored issue—one that many people in the world, including people of my country, are experiencing. My audience is invited to decode the messages, with the provided key, and help the silenced voices to be heard.

To see the process of the creation of Talking Through Symbols, visit here

To decide which letter is made of what symbols, I assigned a code to all the letters. Based on this code system, each letter has 4 digits that can have a value of O, X, or null. At the end of the coding process, an abstract shape, which is created by the overlapping of up to four layers of symbols, represents each letter.

Four layers of symbols coming together to create a letter, 2020. 3D modeling.

Vision of Final Thesis Installation., 2020.  3D modeling.