There are so few independent publications being produced in South Africa, specifically with a design sensibility. All the more reason to support those that are being produced, and encourage the production of new independent publications. Independent publications are important cultural vessels. They are representative of the way that any given society represents itself, and so comes to terms with its own cultural identity. Such cultural texts can contribute to a Zeitgeist and can help craft a vernacular. In a few cases, they succeed, assembling seemingly obscure narratives into the mainstream consciousness, merging with popular culture.
The mainstream feeds-off of the underground and the underground loses momentum in the absence of something to negate or revolt against. And so, a cultural pendulum-flow exists that allows any given society to grow and cohere.
The Colophon Collection currently contains complete, or near-complete, printed issues of a number of important art and design publications in an effort to nurture more patronage for counterculture, underground, and independent editorial design, and chronicle a physical, printed record of South Africa’s historic output. Publications in the collection include Bitterkomix, iJusi, Sheet, Stet, ADA, The Bloody Horse, Heresy, and Jungle Jim to name a few. The publications featured here comprise full sets of the original, physical copies in the archive.
As a collection, Colophon is ongoing and ever-growing. Aiming to be a consolidated online resource containing every important publication that fits the scope and focus of the physical collection, new additions to the existing archive are welcomed and ongoing.
The publications featured here are a small selection taken from the larger archive that forms part of the Colophon collection, which comprises thousands of rare South African publications. More publications will be added to this selection as the collection is gradually documented and new acquisitions are cataloged.
Publications that remain outside the collection, or form incomplete volumes, include Izwi, Ophir, Wurm, Pax, Lantern, Speak, Staffrider, Ensovoort, Donga, Prima, Contrast, The Classic, Spado, Taaldoos, Nka, and more. For any leads regarding these publications, or any other suggestions, contributions, information, or offers, please contact Colophon here.
To keep growing and help fund the collection, Colophon has a shop that makes any excess items from the archive available to purchase. All profits made from this shop are used to support the collection.