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Explore Tehran

Explore Tehran is a complete package designed for young international tourists visiting Tehran, Iran. This bundle combines traditional travel journaling with present-time technology, and guides tourists into the past and lead them to the present time as they discover the hidden treasures and create their special moments.

00 Project Overview

Final project for the degree of Bachelor of Arts

in Visual Communications, by Zahra Jalali

Supervisor: Soodabeh Salehi PhD.

Art University of Tehran

Timeline: September 2018 - January 2019

Role: Product Design, Visual Design, UI/UX Design

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01 Project Background


Designing a multi-entity product for young tourists visiting Tehran, Iran, that is both informative and turns into a personalized souvenir & memoir. 

Targeted Users

Young adult international tourists visiting Tehran, Iran who want to have a one of a kind experience in their trip.

02 Research & Findings


There has been a significant raise in the number of young foreign tourists visiting Tehran since 2016. However, despite being the capital of Iran and having numerous tourist attractions, this megalopolis has merely turned into the transit city for many tourists and they they don't get the chance to explore it more. 

Research approach

One of the best ways to truly know a city is looking into its history. I started to read several historical books written by both Iranians and also foreign travelers and visited museums. At the same time, I collected a number of visual art pieces or photos that I had found insightful.


I created an online questionnaire in order to understand the expectations and goals of the young tourists visiting Tehran. 50 people provided feedback who all had guided a foreign young tourist in past two years. I analyzed their input in order to identify popular tourist attractions in the city and their main purpose of traveling to Tehran.


Competitive Analysis

The existing products or services at the time (2018-2019) were solely targeting Iranians and also used outdated designs. The research proved that there is a gap for a modern bundle that promotes the city and its potentials in a functional and meaningful way.

03 Design Process

I designed a complete package for young international tourists visiting Tehran. This bundle not only introduces the attractions with a novel approach but also creates a pleasant visual image inspired from the historical journey of the city.

Using historical travel journals as the driving concept, I created a guide book with personalized entries to be filled out. This package also includes other artefacts to complement the travel experience.

  • Chapters’ illustrations were inspired from old Persian prints and drawings from the 19-20th century & Persian and Islamic architecture.

  • Layout was inspired from old Persian manuscripts and was adjusted to modern design.

  • Bookcase design was inspired from historical Persian & Arabic bookcases

  • Color Palette was driven from Golestan Palace, Qajar's dynasty's castle and one of Tehran's prominent historical treasures.

layout inspo
layout inspo
Gajar Art by Roham Taghizadeh
Color inspo
Explore Tehran - Inspo
Explore Tehran - Inspo
Explore Tehran - Inspo

04 Outcome

Explore Tehran


Not your usual travel guide

Anchor 1

Travel in Time

In each section of the book, there's an old travel entry of the place which a picture of the time. They enlighten the reader about the history of the place from the perspective of another traveler. 

Favorite Moments

At the end of each chapter, by writing one’s individual experiences and even attaching pictures this book turns from just a guide to an interactive personalized journal which would gain much more value for the user.

Map Cards

Tehran is a huge city and the traffic is a real challenge in the day-to-day commute. The map cards divide the city into 4 sections. That way it’s easier to see different attractions in areas and decide which one to invest more time in. Also the color-coding improves the visual memory of tourists from different regions of the city.

Tehran Map

Tehran is a huge city with a disoriented layout. This map was hand drawn and designed in a minimal style featuring tourist attractions to be easy to remember.


Post Cards

Explore Tehran offers modern designs for the historical monuments that are usually represented through pictures.


Souvenirs are favored amongst tourist and they can create enjoyable experiences beyond the trip duration. Explore Tehran offers various items and packaging for a number of products.

Explore Tehran App

The Explore Tehran app was designed as a complementary tool for users who prefer the digital platform to record their travel journal or use the guide easily on the go. The users are also able to share their journal with the future travelers, and enjoy the immersive experience in the "Travel in Time" section.

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The design system was adapted from the Explore Tehran’s book, all of which inspired from historical manuscripts in ancient Iran (Qajar era). It was important to maintain the historical & analogue approach while being familiar and easy to use as an application.

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  • Find tourist attractions based on categories

  • Access to historical travel entries

  • Add your travel memo & share it with other travelers 

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Time Travel

In the app version of Travel in Time, the user will be able to listen to a narration from a past traveler, while hearing the old (recreated) city ambience. Using AR, they are able to see the past through their mobile devices, simultaneously.