Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Ijusi Typeafrica

The below typeface, called “Miriam”, was derived from your typical domestic helper working in the “new” South Africa. It is based on the little details that serve as evidence that apartheid has not been completely eradicated in South Africa. Many domestic workers, for instance, continue to etch their names onto their crockery and cutlery in order to differentiate them from those of their Western employers. Many helpers also still use “white” names, such as “Miriam” which are easier to pronounce. This confirms that although South Africa is trying to promote equality, societal constraints do still exist.

Ijusi Double Page Spread Option 1

Ijusi Double Page Spread Option 2

Ijusi Single Page Spread

I then began to think of things that Africa has in contrast to other international countries. I then stumbled upon the topic of domestic helpers. The African individuality aspect is derived from the fact that oversea’s they have Au pairs and Butlers to do their domestic work in the households and to take care of their kids, whereby here we have ‘Maids’ and O.C’s that go about the domestic work. No where else do O.C’s wear those typically brightly patturned uniforms and black R10; 00 tommy takkies from PEP clothing stores, with socks that either don't match or that have holes in them, followed with an old school jersey. I then began to think that many westurn households to this very day still have seperate cutlery for their domestic helpers and how their zulu names no longer become applicable in westurn households, but a simple english interpration is given to their names, such as Beauty, Constance, Precious or as in our household Miriam ( when I was a kid ). It was at this point when I realized that I wanted to make a comment on the fact that as much as we are viva freedom here in South Africa the reminiscence of apartheid still exist especially in the older generations. I then thought of a typically African stye of cutlery, milky toned enamel mugs. I then realised that by means of engraving their name into the bottom of their cutlery domestic helpers in some means would find their Identity as South Africans, through their English names and the branding of their cutlery. It is not something I support but in some households it still applies.

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