First Things First Poster:
The ‘First Things First Manifesto’ was a call to arms in 1964 for graphic designers and visual communicators to question their ethics and what they are working for. Ken Garland acquired the backing of many designers, questioning the very purpose of design in the modern age:
‘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.’
- Ken Garland
It was re-released in 1999, tackling more potent issues that were around in that year, 35 years on. Our task was to produce a poster that reapplied the manifesto another 35 years on, in the year 2034.
We felt that the key issues that would be prevalent in 2034 would be: Designers working for free (Working For Free), working just to pay the bills and not for the art form (Abusing Your Talent), taking more and more people out of the design process as more computer intervention replaces jobs (Losing Your Industry), and tackling the idea that ‘nothing is new anymore’ as we live in a world of pastiche (Becoming a Lazy Designer).
Although we were happy with our final result, I think that all of us would have benefited off of another hour or two to finalise our design before printing, as it all became a bit rushed under the 2-3 hours that we had to produce this poster.