Pan-African style

What does it take to de­sign some­thing that will ef­fec­tively com­mu­ni­cate the lay­ers of con­ver­sa­tions tak­ing place on the con­ti­nent’s cam­puses?

CityPress - - Voices - Gar­reth.van­niek­erk@city­press.co.za

We al­ways look for­ward to the quar­terly re­lease of the Chimurenga Chronic, that lus­ciously de­signed and il­lus­trated Pan-African gazette. In this edi­tion the Chronic fo­cuses on the re­volt tak­ing place on Africa’s univer­sity cam­puses. But what does it take to de­sign some­thing that will com­mu­ni­cate the lay­ers of that con­ver­sa­tion ef­fec­tively, and with flavour?

Graeme Arendse, head de­signer at Chimurenga, ex­plains: “De­sign is very much con­sid­ered a part of the ed­i­to­rial process. In our weekly ed­i­to­rial meet­ings, de­sign is dis­cussed as much as the writ­ten con­tent.”

The Chronic, Arendse ex­plains, is made up of two sec­tions – the broad­sheet and the Chronic Books sup­ple­ment. “Each of th­ese has its own iden­tity, so the con­sid­er­a­tion would be how does the de­sign flow through each sec­tion, giv­ing each its own iden­tity, but still re­main a co­her­ent pack­age?”

Most recog­nis­able among the de­sign el­e­ments of any Chronic is the type­face, a bold and brave sans serif. In the pre­vi­ous is­sue, it was trans­lated into an Ara­bic script that was as recog­nis­able as the Latin type they typ­i­cally use. “We looked at var­i­ous news­pa­pers and publi­ca­tions around the globe which we ad­mire and in the end it came down to trial and er­ror,” Arendse says of the process to cre­ate it. I ask him what makes a well-de­signed ob­ject? He says, as though echo­ing the de­sign of Chimurenga it­self: “In my opin­ion, it bal­ances func­tion­al­ity with aes­thetic.” The Chronic is avail­able for R95 at all good book stores and on­line at chimuren­gachronic.co.za

THE UNIVER­SITY IN AFRICA The lat­est Chimurenga Chronic takes a turn to dis­cuss the sta­tus of the African stu­dent

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