Zenobia Ahmed

I'm an independent graphic designer living in Naarm/Melbourne. My practice spans research, writing, design and publishing – centered in a space of communal learning, facilitating, and care. I design identities, publications, websites and workshops. I occasionally contribute text/essays to design publications. I teach in the Communication Design program at RMIT.

mail (at) zenobiaahmed (dot) com

  1. Colour Handling
  2. This poetry book is too good to have a name / Logic Poetry
  3. A Dying Monster
  4. Do Planners Dream of Electric Trees?
  5. Other Spaces
  6. A Slow Dialogue on Care
  7. Publishing, Politics: Care & Community
  8. disorganising
  9. By Chance the Future
  10. Bruised
  11. Divine Postal Service
  12. Beck Poems
  13. mcdxpo 2020
  14. Every Book We Do is Special
  15. Feminist Findings
  16. Learning, Living
  17. Matters 4
  18. Outrage! The Social Justice Papers
  19. A treasured private notebook
  20. my parents met at the fish market
  21. Libretto
  22. Urban Codes
  23. Up

Book design, Published by Discipline, 2022

Colour Handling by David Egan comprises a series of essays on colour written from a painter’s perspective. Each essay responds to an occurrence of colour in an artist’s work: Jutta Koether’s red paintings; Rosie Isaac’s green mirror; Tony Conrad’s Yellow Movies; Derek Jarman’s Blue; and Etel Adnan’s paintings of Mount Tamalpais.Edited by Helen Hughes and Amy Stuart, with introduction by Tessa Laird.

188 pages, 105 × 175 mm, Softcover, BW with colour insert

Edition of 400

ISBN 978-0-9945388-5-7

Book design, Published by Discipline, 2022

Two books of poetry by Melbourne artist Chunxiao Qu bound into one volume.

144 pages, 110 × 165 mm, Softcover, Full Colour, 2 colour Risoprint

Edition of 150

ISBN 978-0-9945388-4-0

Book design, Published by Well Gedacht Publishing, 2022

A Dying Monster by Eren Ileri is a photobook and corporate-logo-collection addressing the self-destructive spectacle of Formula 1 motor racing. The photo book compiles Eren’s work between 2015 and 2018 when he visited various Grand Prix motor races in Abu Dhabi, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Monaco, and Italy. In addition to the photography work, the book includes a text by Bécquer Medak-Seguín which interrogates the duality of competing formations of the masculinities of two Formula 1 drivers of the past, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

224 pages, 240 × 170 mm, Softcover, Section-sewn, OTAbound

Edition of 350

ISBN 978-3-200-08356-1

Book design, 2022

Do Planners Dream of Electric Trees? by Timmah Ball is an evocative text that imagines space for sovereign futures within the confines of statutory plans and legislation.

Designed in collaboration with Alex Margetic.

32 pages, 138 × 200 mm, Saddle-stitched, 1 colour Risoprint, A3 coloured poster insert

Edition of 180

Website design and development, 2022

Text published in Further Reading No. 3, 2021

Essay written in collaboration with Dennis Grauel, on the topic of care.

Lecture, 2021

Few slides from the lecture, Publishing, Politics: Care and Community. The talk covered the experience of being part of the L.i.p Collective and Feminist Findings workshop — researching collaboratively, looking into the history of feminist publishing, how the workshop and research has influenced my practice and opened up new spaces and ideas to explore. Looking at notions of care and accessibility: visually in design, in writing and in the language. Questioning the limitation of languages and how translation practices can help bridge that gap.

The lecture was a part of the International Exchange Program by Platform-P, South Korea. The project is initiated and managed by In-ah Shin with support of FDSC. Korean tranlastion on the slides by In-ah Shin.

Identity, website, publication, etc, 2021

disorganising is a project between West Space, Liquid Architecture and Bus Projects; an open and expanding conversation that looks to experiment with divergent ways of organising and creating. It is a practice of coming together and collectively building an arts ecology that sustains us and our communities.

Designed in collaboration with Alex Margetic. Website developed by Dennis Grauel.


Text design and typesetting, The Disputandum, 2021

By Chance the Future by Amy Rudder. Cover: Mazen Kerbaj. Image credit: Tatjana Plitt

208 pages, 105 × 175 mm, Softcover

ISBN 978-0-6489943-0-5

Digital Exhibition Catalogue, RMIT Gallery, 2021

Bruised: Art, Action and Ecology in Asia was a major exhibition in the festival ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE, 2019. Featuring Australian and international artists examining social and environmental issues happening now in Asia and the Pacific. These issues included the politics of recycling and dumping, forced migration, deforestation for the palm oil industry, and access and rights to clean water. Many communities in the Asia Pacific region are ‘bruised’ from continued and unrepentant capitalism that leaves people exposed to significant environmental and social upheaval.

Poetry Book, 2021

Divine Postal Service is a collection of 40 poems by Lucy Richards. This first edition poetry book follows the artist’s personal journey of revering the messages received through the divine post of life. It follows their questioning, feeling and learning through four parts: Deep life, Seducing flow, Lens of love and Home. Image by Lucy Richards.

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Book Design, 2021

Published by Psychic Dairy, a pocket-sized paperback with twenty-three poems on the theme of musician Beck Hansen, his life and his work.

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Website Design and Development, 2020

mcdxpo presents the expanding practice of the RMIT Master of Communication Design @RMIT University’s School of Design in 2020.

mcdxpo 2020

Text published on Futuress, 2020

Interview with Urvashi Bhutalia, the co-founder of Kali for Women, India’s first feminist press published on Futuress.


Group Exhibition by L.i.P Collective at A—Z, Berlin, 2020

Feminist Findings is the collective research of twenty-six womxn and non-binary people on histories of feminist publishing. The L.i.P Collective—short for "Liberation in Print"—formed during the recent lock-down period.

Feminist Findings presents the L.i.P Collective's research for the first time, taking the form of an exhibition and accompanying zine. Curated and edited by Futuress.

The L.i.P Collective workshop was initiated by Le Signe, the National Centre of Graphic Design in Chaumont, France, as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was run by Nina Paim and Corin Gisel (common-interest) and design journalist Madeleine Morley.

For the L.i.P. Collective’s exhibition at A–Z, Berlin, I designed a website featuring some of the resulting writings from the research on South Asian feminist periodicals and publishers.

Exhibition image credit: Hans-Georg Gaul, A—Z

Every Book is Celebrated

Text published on Parole, 2020

Part of the Human Interconnection workshop by The Reading School. In April 2020, while the world faced the pandemic outbreak of Covid-19, our group consisting of seven people from around the globe connected online for this workshop. By using a reactive reading and writing method; and through discussions; we shared our inner thoughts and different perspectives on work related experiences of living under lockdown. This text is a collection of some conversations and a series of essays published in Parole.


Issue 04, Learning the Future
Publication Design, 2020

Matters Journal is a weekly digital and biannual print publication telling interconnected stories from the worlds of arts, design, technology, health, food and the environment. Published by Local Peoples.

Book Design, RMIT University, 2019

The book is a collection of essays from the Outrage! lecture series (2013–2019), by RMIT Social Works. Featuring texts on forced migration, inequality, equal opportunity, child welfare and aboriginal children, the environment, homelessness and diversity of lived experience.

Artist Book, 2019

The publication was designed for the exhibition, A treasured private notebook by Ella Sowinska and Thea Jones at Metro Arts, Brisbane. It responds to the artists' shared childhood experience of discovering the secret writing practices of their mother.

Exhibition catalogue, 2018

This catalogue was designed on the occasion of the tour of my parents met at the fish market to ACE Open in Adelaide. Originally commissioned by West Space in 2017, my parents met at the fish market is an immersive exhibition by Jason Phu.

The catalogue’s structure has been designed to mimic the exhibition’s form, which is roughly divided into four sections, described by Phu as: ‘the real world is fish guts’, ‘in my memories’, ‘in my dreams’ and ‘in my nightmares’. Included in the catalogue is Phu’s own textual entry points into the project (which have been translated into Chinese with the assistance of his parents), alongside an essay by Mikala Tai.

Image editing and Chinese typesetting by TiānXiào Shé. Typeset in Brunswick Grotesque by Dennis Grauel and bb-book A by bb-bureau.

Book Design, 2017

Libretto has been designed to capture the essence of music through typographical layout. The project looks at protest songs to raise a voice against war and destruction. The book has been designed such that readers can experience music without listening to it. With the help of white space, the lyrics have been intuitively typeset based on parameters from the song. These include tempo, rhythm, chord progression, vocal tonality and inflection. The result is a typographic reading that echo’s the songs’ aural apprehension.

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Book Design, 2017

Paul Elliman’s My Typographies talks about language through its social and technological forms. Comparing shapes, object and even sound to typography, as language is not only dependent on reading. He gives several examples of how things have a mimetic relationship with language.

A coded language made up with lines, patterns and dots can be seen in the urban sidewalks. These are the lids covering sewage pipes, water pipes, electrical and mobile connection wires and more. The lids, made up of wrought iron or stone and cement have patterns similar to the technological codes engraved in them. Codes on Urban Sidewalks is a typographical specimen of such objects.

Publication Design, 2017

Up is a collection of photographs of rare moments, when an object or person is UP in the air — jumping, leaping, flying, soaring, hopping, springing, falling, diving — defying gravity for mere seconds in time.