Create to Learn Unit 2, Lesson 5: Graphic Arts

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Unit 2: Cultural Creations and Business CREATE TO LEARN organizations, it can be a challenge to touch on everything from the history, meaning, symbolism and subject matter while also considering design basics like legibility, cohesiveness, contempo- rary usage and attractiveness. It can be quite the balancing act. Our best practice is to follow the protocols of the International Indigenous Design Charter, a thoughtful guide for anyone using, representing and sharing Indigenous knowledge and culture in professional design practice. In particular, Protocol 8, "Impact of Design", asks designers to ensure that "the representation of Indigenous cultures: • reflects their cultural values and respects their customary laws; • protects and respects the environment and honours the values of Indigenous cultures; • are an authentic reflection of Indigenous knowledge; empowers Indigenous peoples: past, present and future; and, • positively impacts Indigenous peoples who are both the subject and producers of the story: past, present and future." This can take many forms. It can mean including appropriate land declarations or acknowledge- ments of country in print and digital projects. It can involve ensuring any photos, and the subjects of any photos, taken or purchased to represent Indigeneity depict appropriate cultural values and honour the client and audience they address. It can mean supporting mentoring and hiring Indigenous designers from a diversity of nations and cultures to enrich and inform your firm's approach. For example, all of these considerations shaped our design of the logo for the Southeast Resource Development Council – logo treatment required special sensitivity with respect to using the symbolic aspect of tobacco in First Nation culture, ensuring its positive, traditional meaning was preserved and conveyed. CONSULTATION AND CONSENT When incorporating material from Indigenous teachings and sacred symbols, a collaborative approach can ensure that use of the more familiar sacred images and stories are tied to clients' purpose, goals and brands. Here too, the International Indigenous Design Charter provides a roadmap: Protocol 1 recom- mends that Indigenous design is Indigenous led, that we "ensure Indigenous stakeholders oversee creative development and the design process." As a best practice, we respect and uphold that Indigenous knowledge belongs to its cultural cus- todians: we always have informed consent from our clients, their communities or both to include any Indigenous element. We are Indigenous designers ourselves, and we therefore bring an awareness and sensitivity to each project we undertake and oversee. Elders and Knowledge Keepers close to Vincent Design are also valued members of our team. We take grateful counsel in their advice, stories, conversation and feelings towards Indigenous issues, symbols and topics. For example, in the case of our work on the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, consultation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners and stakeholder groups informed our selection of elements. We also undertook careful research with museum curators and historians on artifact archives to inform our designs and ensure we understood the cultural relevance of each item and symbol.

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