If you’ve never felt like an underachiever, get ready to feel like one now. After studying graphic design in school, first-generation Iranian-American Farbod Kokabi joined Atlanta-based agency Armchair, where he now serves as art director (clients include Coca-Cola, Sofia Coppola, and PVH), co-founded Geographic North, an independent record label that sells music via limited edition vinyl and cassette, while recording and performing with ethereal act Lyonnais in his spare time. Oh, and while the work he does when tasked to express ideas for a client often looks like art in its own right (think visually striking promotional posters and album covers), he also sometimes creates art just for art’s sake.
Medium: Graphic Design
Location: San Francisco
As a designer and musician, Kokabi was perfectly tasked to create something to visualize Dolby’s sound technology. His piece brings to life the “hiss region” found in Dolby Atmos® — the first professional system for multitrack recording. “The highest two regions overlapped creating the ‘hiss region’ and were processed more heavily than the rest,” he explains. “This piece documents five separate multitrack recordings with the hiss region (identified by red) taking on multiple geometric forms next to bass (green) and mid-range (white) frequencies.” Geometric and minimal, the work represents his personal style — “post-painterly abstraction” — without having to correspond directly to any requirements of a client. “With graphic arts, I’m able to explore within a greater degree of ambiguity and mystery, allowing the audience to test the thresholds of their own imagination by emphasizing simplicity of form,” he says.
Despite such a prosperous career and artistic ability, Kokabi is humble about his work, giving credit to his computer, “as without it I don’t possess the talent nor the means to lucidly express my ideas.” And to Dolby, “a company that embodies values that help progress the creative output of others, encouraging the relief of the human condition.”