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Thread: First Things First // a Design Manifesto

  1. #1
    Sun Devil asun2art's Avatar
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    First Things First // a Design Manifesto

    Have you guys seen this? It's pretty cool.

    First Things First 2000
    a design manifesto


    manifesto published jointly by 33 signatories in:
    Adbusters, the AIGA journal, Blueprint, Emigre, Eye, Form, Items
    fall 1999 / spring 2000

    foreword
    by Chris Dixon, Adbusters

    introduction
    by Rick Poynor

    We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it.

    Encouraged in this direction, designers then apply their skill and imagination to sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles. Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The profession's time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best.

    Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse.

    There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.

    We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication - a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.

    In 1964, 22 visual communicators signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. With the explosive growth of global commercial culture, their message has only grown more urgent. Today, we renew their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart.


    signed:

    Jonathan Barnbrook
    Nick Bell
    Andrew Blauvelt
    Hans Bockting
    Irma Boom
    Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
    Max Bruinsma
    Siān Cook
    Linda van Deursen
    Chris Dixon
    William Drenttel
    Gert Dumbar
    Simon Esterson
    Vince Frost
    Ken Garland
    Milton Glaser
    Jessica Helfand
    Steven Heller
    Andrew Howard
    Tibor Kalman
    Jeffery Keedy
    Zuzana Licko
    Ellen Lupton
    Katherine McCoy
    Armand Mevis
    J. Abbott Miller
    Rick Poynor
    Lucienne Roberts
    Erik Spiekermann
    Jan van Toorn
    Teal Triggs
    Rudy VanderLans
    Bob Wilkinson

    and many more

    original Manifesto, 1964

    Link http://www.xs4all.nl/~maxb/ftf2000.htm

  2. #2
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    Ehhh. Is there something stopping any of these people from spending their time on whatever projects they feel are "worthwhile"?
    "We don't estimate speeches." - CBO Director Doug Elmendorf

  3. #3
    Spartan Mop Warrior Loyal Rogue's Avatar
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    Looks like their whining that "environmental, social and cultural crises" design work (?) doesn't pay as well as marketing to consumers.
    So I guess the answer to your question is that their own greed is stopping them from the pursuit of saving the world with design.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.
    stupidest thing i've ever heard.

    Designers are not THAT important, just accept it and move on.

  5. #5
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    We, the self important douchebags of the world who cant accept our own obsolescence have decided to share our pompous, indulgent, fart sniffing opinions in this following manifesto.
    "Why does it hurt when I pee?" -- F. Zappa |

  6. #6
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    It's good to see you back here asun2art. Seems like it's been a while.
    "We don't estimate speeches." - CBO Director Doug Elmendorf

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