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 a book design and production specialist at the University of Michigan Press, where I design and produce books on political science, music, disability studies, sexuality studies, English language teaching, theater and performance studies, and many other subjects.

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 and lectured at California College of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, Yale School of Art, Purchase College, Otis College of Art and Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Rutgers University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Most recently, I supported Kameelah Janan Rasheed in teaching a course on wayward writing at the School for Poetic Computation.

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.

Last year, 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 that 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 shiraz@shirazn.es.

✸ thank you, Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Neta Bomani.
⁕ this website is inspired by Mindy Seu’s website. thank you, Mindy!

Portrait of my late cousin, Moayyad Ibrahim Mohammad Musa, who is pictured wearing a cap and gown for his college graduation. Moayyad died in the summer of 2023 while desperately trying to escape the raging conflict in Sudan.