oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - Graphic material as an element to enhance personalised funerals



Personalised funerals are defined as modernised, innovative, customised and specialised types of funerals. Personalised funerals are performed to reflect the individual's life and what he or she has accomplished (Broadbent 2002; Wolcott 1999). The aim of this study was to establish if there is a niche in South Africa for graphic material for personalised funerals. The importance of a personalised funeral is to comfort the attendees and avoid the funeral being too traumatic. One of the main questions that arose during this study is how well South Africans react to the idea of personalised funerals? Traditional funerals are gradually being improved by means of creating a more modernised and customised funeral. Funerals now include pictures, photographs and even slide shows of the deceased person (Jenga 2001). Informal receptions with bright colours and even a party after the services are becoming the preferred method (Edwards 2002). Orchids instead of roses, favourite songs instead of Bach, touching poems instead of traditional prayers (Wolcott 1999), slay coffins instead of a plain wooden coffin (Eybers 2007) all emphasise the need for personalised funerals. The aim of the first questionnaire was to establish if there is a niche in South Africa for graphic design material for personalised funerals and to assist with the various design implications that can be used in a funeral pamphlet. A second questionnaire was developed in order to include the opinion of a professional in the funeral industry, which could be beneficial in the design process. Through analysing these questionnaires, various design concepts were developed and applied to funeral pamphlets. The funeral industry already provides various services, for example catering, hiring of tents and vehicles. Why not graphic designers? The author of this study postulates that this could possibly develop a trend or need in South Africa, and expose more and more South Africans to personalised funerals.


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