Nahid Tootoonchi


Professor Nahid Tootoonchi

Contact Info

Center for the Arts
Room 4020
Weekdays by appointment or by
hours published on office door.


MFA Communication Art
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL

BA Graphic Design
Southampton College of Art

Areas of Expertise

Graphic Design


Nahid Tootoonchi is an Iranian American graphic designer, artist and educator. She received her undergraduate degree in graphic design in England from Southampton College of Art, and her MFA in Communication Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has worked as a senior designer and art director for institutions such as Kaiser Permanente, National Geographic and the Nature Conservancy.

Tootoonchi has curated Beneath the Surface; Poster Exhibition from Iran, and has also written and lectured extensively nationally and internationally on this subject. She recently curated an exhibition of four different scripts (Chinese, Devanagari, Farsi and Hebrew), which included her work along with her students’ work, and few area calligraphers for Takoma Park Community Center.

Tootoonchi’s recent artwork and research focuses on calligraphy. She uses Persian letterform (Farsi) for calligraphy with bamboo pen, wooden pallet, and organic ink to create composition from layering letterforms based on poems of Persian ancient poets. She currently exhibits at Baltimore, Towson and DC area.

“I always have been fascinated by magical effect of pen and ink on paper. As a graphic designer I saw the replacement of traditional tools and handy works with computer use. With explosion of network, access to information and digital technology I find a meditative state in calligraphy. Calligraphy is the art of writing, an artistic impression and rhythm of the music to the eye. I use letterform to create contemporary artwork beyond reading and writing and for diverse viewers.”


Courses Taught

  • ART 219 Design Concepts: Structure
  • ART 317 Graphic Design I
  • ART 417 Graphic Design II
  • ART 355 Typography I
  • ART 456 Typography ll
  • ART 465 Graphic Design Social Issues
  • ART 483 Package Design
  • ART 496 Portfolio
  • ART 498: BFA Project
  • ART 715: MFA Studio I
  • ART 880: MFA Project