Issue Zero Of Sen ‘Authorship In Graphic Design: An Expanded Role For Visual Communication’
Created specifically for graphic design students, Issue Zero of Sen is simply a window which hopes to inspire, provoke and explore the importance of voice in visual communication today. In this issue we explore the world of self-initiated design, graphic authorship and design authorship. In others words, how some graphic designers choose to operate outside of their conventional service orientated roles, in alternative contexts that are self-defined or initiated.
A graphic designers official trade is to provide visual communication services for a client. Therefore, self-initiated projects can be classified as being unofficial forms of creative practice that graphic designers perform as authors, as their own client. These projects might be motivated by several factors such as an entrepreneurial venture, where a designer identifies a market for a particular product like a publication, website or a toy. Alternatively a designer might feel a need to allocate personal time for creative experimentation where they can explore ideas or issues of personal interest to them. Hence, authorship in graphic design ultimately expresses, reveals, or even questions what makes you, you?
This publication has been created to serve you with useful and hopefully insightful information parallel to serving my thirst for knowledge and desire to create more dialogue amongst Australian graphic designers. Furthermore, our names also serve more functional purposes such as turning things into legal property. Once we label something as ours/mine/yours it then points to notions of accountability, rights, duties, obligations, responsibilities and punishment. For designers, these notions can be a healthy method to question our role in society. As designers, I believe it is our duty or responsibility to utilize our knowledge of visual communication to communicate messages other than commercial advertising. For the field of visual communication, authorship as a methodology, a system or process, has the potential to further the scope of the discipline through a designer’s influence. What I propose is that our observations about the world need to be heard more often so that graphic design establishes itself beyond a service orientated practice because there are subjects out their that might benefit from breaking out of this traditional pattern. Twelve designers kindly contributed to this issue. The rules were simple. They were all given the same set of questions designed specifically to understand more about their self-initiated design activities. Included in this survey were industry practitioners from six states in Australia and also a single contribution from England. In addition three students from the University of Western Sydney also made a contribution.