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Carrot! Shaun de Waal on A Primer in South African Graphic Design

Skill Set 1, Graphic Design, A Primer in South African Graphic DesignShaun de Waal sketches a carrot for Michael MacGarry and his book, A Primer in South African Graphic Design, published by David Krut, by way of a few green, slender shoots that could have grown up to be sticks.

“The text often feels a little naive, especially when it’s cheerleading for design as ‘power’,” writes de Waal. He also wishes there was more fodder for those interested in small-detail design like typography, and notes primly that the book’s text “fails to adhere to the guidelines offered in [it], often being too long of line and miserly of leading”. (Anyone out there apart from de Waal and William Dicey follow that?)

But ultimately “in [its] aims it succeeds”, and in BOOK SA’s annals it’s a carrot:

Hanging on my wall at home is a tongue-in-cheek type design by Garth Walker of iJusi in Durban. It’s a typeface called Winky and it’s made of stylised genitals, twisted into odd shapes and adorned with rings and things.

It also offers a “genuine rubber smell”. Apart from the fact that it makes me laugh, and because I’m always interested in type, I’ve treated it as an art work because it is one — even though it’s technically a work of mere “graphic design”. The boundaries between art and design are, rightly, porous, and cross-fertilisation is to be desired.

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