Authonomy

(2018)

MA writing:
Publication, A2
(folded to A4)
This written piece represented my initial inquiry into the position of graphic design / graphic communication design as a discipline, and my own place within it. The portmanteau title Authonomy1 reflects its twin concerns: authorship and autonomy.
    It examines Stuart Bailey’s2 statement that ‘Graphic Design only exists when other subjects exist first. It isn’t an a priori discipline, but a ghost; both a grey area and a meeting point.’
    This was certainly true for me when I started out at Pentagram in the early 80s, but is it still the case? As Rick Poyner3 suggests, even now, in a culture of rampant commodification, ‘it is possible for visual communicators to discover alternative ways of operating in design.’
   With graphic communication design practice and knowledge production so intertwined, I am drawn more to Michael Rock’s4 argument that the drive for autonomy ‘compels [graphic] designers to take possession of their texts and legitamizes design as an equal of the more traditionally privileged forms of authorship.’  
Authonomy poster, using Self frames from my Optimology project.



1Authonomy was Harper Collins’s name for its former undiscovered writer’s portal.
2Bailey, S (2006): from Graphic Design in the White Cube. typotheque.com
3Poyner, R. (2002) ‘First Things First, A Brief History’ in Bierut, M. (Ed) Looking Closer: Critical Writings on Graphic Design, p.10.
4Rock, M. (1996) ‘Designer as Author’ adapted essay on 2 x 4.org