The article of “The Designer as Author” by Michael Rock in 1996 discusses authorship and how authorship can interpret in different ways. The way in which authorship is viewed has changed with the times, historical events, circumstance and social hierarchy. But Michael Rock points out that “the question of how designers becomes authors is a difficult one, and exactly who qualifies and what authored design might look like depends on how you define the term and determine admission into the pantheon”, which authorship can be a subjective idea based on an audience’s opinion and it’s difficult to have a precise concept on what creates it.
Besides, Michael Rock says in the article that “…work is created by someone. While the development and definition of artistic styles, and their identification and classification, are at the heart of an outmoded Modernist criticism, we must still work to engage these problems in new ways”, in other words, authorship to the designer is an artistic style. In today’s creative industries, design work is only existing for a short period. It is in great demand. If designers’ works are without authorship, it will be difficult for the development of new ways of approaching design.
On the other hand, Marian Bantijes’ s TED Talks and work in some way change my idea about author as graphic designer. She mentioned in the Talks that her work involves with ego. What surprised me is she can integrate her ego into design and everything goes well together. Which also become a unique design style for her. Especially the PUZZLE SPECIAL for the G2 magazine, the process of the work really inspired me and bring me a fresh new perspective on the topic of puzzle. Also, I think Marian Bantijes’s as a graphic author does what Michael Rock says in the article “…designer-as-author could help us to rethink process, expand design methods, and elaborate our historical frame to incorporate all forms of graphic discourse”.
The complexity of Marian Bantijes work reminds me Katherine McCoy, who’s work also very colorful and complex and have a strong personal design style. I remember when the first time I saw her work, the poster for the Cranbrook Graduate Program, I was crazy for her style. The overall layout has a lot of elements but everything is aligned which it makes visually look clean and the legibility is great. The sense of color and the use of elements in her work is hard to imitate or it cannot imitate, because it comes from a true talent.
The other designer I think she is an author is Paula Scher. I learned a lot from her work. For example: The Public Theater Posters, MoMA and The Metropolitan Opera. Before I saw her work, I didn’t know that typography can be so fun and plays an important role in every design. A great typographic choice or design is to make perfection still more perfect. And I think Paula Scher is one of the inventors of typographic design and brings a new method to all graphic designer learners.
However, I think every designer, director or other industries should have the right to authorship, because these people they create creative work and they spent times and effort on their work. So no matter what qualities it comes out, all the creative people should own authorship. It’s a respect to they work and as an encouragement to expand design theory.