I am a designer, publisher, and learner✸ who was born but not raised in Khartoum, Sudan. My interests include language, form, and specificity. I am also interested in Black studies, web-based media, and popular culture.
I am an educator who has taught and facilitated several courses, workshops, and seminars on typography, voice, personal narrative, gathering, time-based media, and process-oriented methodologies. I studied at the University of Chicago, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Cranbrook Academy of Art, and I have taught at Rhode Island School of Design, California College of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, Purchase College, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Most recently, I was a Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Otis College of Art and Design.
From 2018 to 2020, I was an in-house book designer at the University of Chicago Press, where I designed the second edition of Crusade for Justice, by Ida B. Wells, Myself and My Aims, by Kurt Schwitters, Keats’s Odes, by Anahid Nersessian, and several other books. I continue to design materials in collaboration with Chicago and other publishers & institutions.
Last March, I collaborated with Inga Books and Forough Abadian on a Ramadan calendar that was circulated to masjids and community organizations throughout the city of Chicago. I wrote an essay about our calendar in relation to food, language, and translation at the launch of the project, and more recently, Forough and I discussed our collaboration alongside small scale gestures, appreciation versus appropriation, and spectrums of religious practice.
My work has been highlighted in IDEA Magazine, Amalgam, Are.na, Spine Magazine, and AIGA Eye on Design. In 2022, an essay that I wrote (titled “Scraps: On process, proximity, and Black textual intervention”) was included in Geoff Kaplan’s book After the Bauhaus, Before the Internet. I also contributed to Jon Sueda and chris hamamoto’s Unrealized Archive last year. In 2021, my writing was included in the second iteration of The Life and Death of an Internet Onion (orchestrated by Laurel Schwulst and edited by Meg Miller).
In 2018, I published headgear.pw, which was designed and programmed by Becca Abbe. In 2017, I published Sapphire Tears with Publication Studio SF. In 2016, I began piecing together a project called Samples and Parallels while also contributing to Women of Graphic Design, an online archive founded by Tori Hinn.
These days, I prefer to use my full name when introducing myself online (i.e. Shiraz Abdullahi Gallab), and this is in reference to my father -- a lifelong learner, listener, and teacher. I enjoy cooking, questioning, and writing -- three things I’ve learned from my mother.
You can reach me via email at email@example.com.⁕
✸ thank you, Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Neta Bomani.
⁕ this website is inspired by Mindy Seu’s website. thank you, Mindy!