In 2013 I wrote a post titled Indigenous Issues + Graphic Design. I was responding to a question I’d been asked by someone about if it was okay if they (a non-Indigenous graphic designer) would be allowed to do ‘Aboriginal style’ illustrations for an educational company.
tl;dr: No, it’s not okay. This afternoon I saw my first “we’re a rugby team, submit a design and we’ll choose the best one for our jersey” post of 2018, and again (for probably the fourth year in a row) I’m cranky. Why?
As someone who works with Indigenous issues in graphic design and art, I get asked frequently about what is okay to do. Most Australians and most workers in graphic design have little or no understanding of the issues involved in working with Aboriginal people, design and artwork. People generally ask the question, without realising that the answer is long, full of qualifications and is something that requires discussion and thought.
|Thumbnails of some of the work Michael Gilsenan and I have created over the past few years under the Blacklines’ banner
Yes. It might be Sunday. But apparently there’s no rest for the wicked – or the learning. Today I spent 90 minutes with Masters of Creative Industries students at QUT. This is the third lecture in previous semesters I’ve done in this course convened by Michael Doneman.
This time though I took Michael Gilsenan with me and we applied some the ideas of the lecture to indstury practice in the design industry. I reckon there’s a conference paper or two (and maybe a thesis) in some of the stuff we talked about today. Something to ponder ….