Saima Zaidi

Assistant Professor, Communication Studies and Design
School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Saima Zaidi, a communication designer, did her undergraduate degree at the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, and received her Masters from the Pratt Institute, New York. Since 2000, she has been teaching history and concepts of design, as well as typography and visual communication at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and the Department of Visual Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi.

She has researched, edited and designed the book titled ‘Mazaar, Bazaar: Design and Visual Culture in Pakistan’ published by Oxford University Press, Karachi (2010), in collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund Library, Amsterdam. An interdisciplinary study, this book explores the interaction between the present-day viewer with an image-saturated environment—especially in the urban space in Pakistan. These everyday images—ranging from iconic forms such as film-promotion hoardings, newspaper front pages and retail packaging—comment on a pluralistic society and reflect a visual culture that evolved from centuries of exchange with diverse civilizations.

Zaidi’s practice focuses on editorial design and her recent projects include the design and image selection of the books ‘Manto Centenary: 1912-2012’ andThe Beloved City’ edited by Bapsi Sidhwa (2012)and artists monographs of Imran Qureshi, Aisha Khalid and Rashid Rana (published by Gandhara Art in conjunction with the Hong Kong Art Centre). Significant curatorial projects have been the exhibition accompanying the seminar on ‘Mazaar, Bazaar’ at the NCA, Lahore, in 2010 and  ‘Voices’, an art exhibition of young artists at the World Bank and Convention Centre, Islamabad in 2005.

Her earlier experiences include a stint at the American Institute of Graphic Arts, where she assisted with the events and competitions, specifically ‘Fifty Books, Fifty Covers’ and ‘Communication Graphics 360’ along with the biannual conference ‘The Cult of Culture’ in Las Vegas. She has also worked as a graphic designer at the Jazz at Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts, New York.


  • MSc in Communication Design, Pratt Institute, New York.
  • Bachelors in Design, National College of Arts, Lahore.

Previous Courses Taught

  • History of Design, Typography and Visual Communication (Studio courses).