Self-authorship : Garth Walker and the production if i-jusi
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This research investigates the process of self-authorship by applying self-expression, intentionality and appropriation by South African graphic designer Garth Walker (b. 1957) in the production of the i-jusi magazine. For this purpose, selected issues and designs of i-jusi magazines are analysed. In his search for an indigenous South African design language through self-authorship, Walker works outside of the traditional clientdesigner model. He attempts to capture this unique South African voice through a number of themed i-jusi issues. In self-authorship, the intent of the graphic designer is embedded in personal conviction and expression, which are key factors to the creation of the work. Hollis (2001) describes the designer as a messenger with an eye for the aesthetic and a target market. As the country’s socio-political transformation took on a different shape post-1994, a search for a South African design language became prevalent among South African graphic designers. Writers in design such as Heller (1998), Lupton (2003), and Bierut (2007) coined the term Designer as Author in the critical discourses on self-authorship and design that is more experimental in nature. McCarthy and Melibeu de Almeida (2002) acknowledge the practice in which designers take responsibility to create content and form simultaneously, thus expanding the opportunity for self-expression. In their search for unique self-authorship, contemporary graphic designers give voice to their intent and self-expression, making use of the appropriation or borrowing of different styles, visual languages and cultural contexts. Ijusi serves as an example of self-initiation, a criterion for self-authorship, as it is produced, edited and distributed by Walker himself. In his search for a truly South African design language, Walker explores identity and individual expression to include intent and appropriation as part of the production process.
- Humanities