Neshan Magazine | No. 25 | Summer & Autumn 2011

by Farshid Meshghali about Works of Saed Meshki

On the surface, works of Saed Meshki appear similar to each other. He makes use of a limited and particular set of colors and kindred techniques. His works exhibit a strong sense of simplicity and minimalism. They are unaffected, both in terms of diversity of elements and colors. In addition, he has a propensity to make his visual elements ambiguous or indeterminate. Even the letters that he uses in most of his works, which constitute his signature, are old typewriter letters scattered on the paper and they evade clarity and forthrightness. I can say that, much like him, his graphic design approach is tightlipped. But just as he is reticent and sharp, his works are also reserved without loosing expressiveness.

Even though his works are similar to each other, we can see the effort to be faithful to the subject and content. It is not easy to use the same set of visual elements while being loyal to the content.

Saed Meshki doesn't employ prepared fonts for titles or subtitles; instead, he adopts handwritten letter that, depending on the content, are very different from each other. Each font assumes the shape of the content. If he creates a handwritten type for "disaster", its form exhibits characteristics of an explosion or disintegration. If he designs the cover of a music CD whose lyrics are poetic, we can see the poetic content in the handwriting design. This is a valuable encounter that we seldom come across.

I can say that his works are composed in a poetic atmosphere -- ambiguous, delicate and somewhat dark -- and this, no doubt, stems from his own delicate nature. These visual compositions are carefully arranged in terms of proportionality and distance, so much so that it would be difficult to displace any of them or make an element bigger or smaller. Compositions are robust and without weakness. His meticulousness is exemplary.

Saed Meshki is among the first Iranian graphic designers who have dedicated their skills to printmaking. Most others are interested only in posters or book covers, but he is also intrigued by what goes on between the covers. He has made or did the lay out many books, from freehanded and personal to solemn and formal, and each has been designed meticulously and accurately.

One can say that in addition to the diversity of works in various branches of graphic design, he has also filled the empty place of printmaking in the Iranian graphic design field.

Neshan Magazine | No. 10 | Summer 2006

It was December 2005. Momayez had passed away but none of us were ready to believe. He was beside us with his laughter, advices, admonishes, angers, guidance, criticism and with his entire being in full attire. Those days, everywhere was the word of Momayez. The volume of materials published in the media about this event was above imagination. He had gone, but we felt his presence fully to the limit that we left the editorial space blank. We didn't like to mourn him or to remind ourselves of his loss. At the same time, we decided to publish a special issue in 2006 on the anniversary of his 70th birthday. Three weeks after his loss, we started to work on this special issue. It was a difficult job. We reviewed our memories from him. We remembered that it took 14 months from the first meeting of the editorial board of Neshan until publication of the first issue. He was always emphasizing on the seriousness and serenity of the magazine. He used to say that Neshan will become a document witnessing our work and our time. He wanted us not to think of single issues but to see the future.

Times and again after publishing each issue, he criticized us. May be it was also a kind of self-criticism as the editor in chief. Even when he was stick to bed at home, he never fell short. Once he called while we were in a meeting and asked to turn the loudspeaker on. Then he started criticizing all of us around the table, one by one. In his last few months, he did not take part in the meetings but did not fail to call one of us at the end of the meeting. He was curious to know the stage of affairs. He was so impatient he couldn't wait till morning. Gradually, we got used to his calls and expected them. Whenever one of our telephone rang, we used to say jokingly that it's him, it's Morteza. His voice was so willful and zealous that he could not conceal anything and his memory was so strong that we could not ignore any job. Sometimes we met in his house. In those meetings, he was even more open to criticism. We were his guests and he used his upper hand as the host very well. His criticism grew harsher and more cruel. However, his love of the profession and his care for Neshan were so evident in his words that nobody could fee any insult in his criticisms.

He used to read each published issue very carefully. In one of the issues, two dots were missing on a letter in the name of a Swiss designer. He made us to change the cover and print it all over again. He told us: Do you like to receive a magazine with your name wrongly spelled on its cover?

Just two nights before his death we went to the hospital to pay him a visit. He talked about the subject of the five coming issues and discussed his points. He said he will come to the editorial meetings to complete those issues after his current therapy cycle.

It is said that only good deeds and happy memories survive human beings. Now, we have happy memories from Momayez for the future 70 years and we still enjoy recalling his words, his jokes and his intelligent wit.

To be frank, we don't wait for him anymore. As ever, he is the most punctual of all. Every Saturday, at 17:30 sharp, he comes to the weekly meeting of Neshan. His chair is empty but he is present. At the end of the meeting, he still calls one of us. Nobody is on the other side of the line, but we can hear his voice. He is beside us and will remain with us, forever. Neshan.