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Summer is officially over; although the lack of sun put me into autumn mode weeks ago, meaning Uni life resumes. After having my induction yesterday I feel full of drive and motivation to continue working within the fast lane that is the design industry, hopefully producing bigger and better designs than ever before. Really excited about all aspects of the modules received so far, especially Professional Practice; the lure of live briefs, D&AD competitions and internships too good to ignore. I need a gold pencil !!! Must make sure multiple copies of my CV and Covering Letter are printed soon!!

Anyway I’m about to begin looking into the first section of our theory based module in more detail, the pros and cons of Ken Garland’s First Things First Manifesto, as well as the updated copy signed by the likes of Zuzana Licko and David Carson in 2000. Designed as a call to all designers in relation to the high volume of advertising during the 1960’s it was a pledge to help promote the need for more everlasting forms of communication, that serve a clear purpose for society in general in comparison to the saturation of cheap gimmicks and adverts for almost anything. To act more ethically minded when serving society without being guided solely by the media. When placed in a more contemporary context, many of these values can still be applied today, with an even greater focus in some ways upon the issues of sustainability and the future of print design overall.

An interesting concept, that has a number of strengths and weakness and that ultimately invites a great deal of questions. What are your views on this manifesto? Would be good if we could get a discussion going on this subject – leave a comment with your thoughts please !



Been researching this manifesto further, as well as the initial reactions it generated when released in both 1964 and again in 2000. Found it interesting how when it was first released it attracted the support and attention of over 400 influential designers, including later on the backing from Adbusters and magazines such as Eye and Blueprint, and even Tony Benn; a left wing MP who was drawn to the ideas of promoting value free advertising, and yet nothing has changed within the commercially driven society. To be able to cause enough discussion during the 60’s when such ephemeral advertising was at saturation level, was an achievement, but conversation and no action doesn’t lead to change overnight. To consider feasible points of action, collaborations with fellow designers and other cultural institutions and even corporate brands for solutions that could benefit all parties involved could have helped to show their commitment and initiative; and skill, as graphic and problem solving thinkers to make a real difference. Instead of which they made a noise but failed to get heard, something I find is a shame, and a missed opportunity, that could be put to effective use. Maybe 2010?!

Anyway, the original example can be seen below for those interested.

Post again soon!

by Ken Garland

by Ken Garland