In 1963, Graphic Designer, Ken Garland along with over 400 other Designers, published the original “First Things First” manifesto.
This was a reaction to the “lazy” and “unauthentic” design work that was being created in the 50’s and 60’s. Garland saw that design was becoming apart of a consumerist culture and wasn’t in the best interests of man-kind.
I, as a Graphic Designer, decided to pay homage to Garland and the other designers by creating my own version of the manifesto. In an era of advertising, digital media, and information sharing I believe this manifesto holds the values that were sought out in the original document. I hope this captures the minds of other designers of this new age.
We the Snowflake Millennials, Gen XYZ-ers, and Tweeters have been brought up in a world in which our cell phones have control over our happiness and our electronic devices know what kind of laundry detergent we like.
We have been bombarded with sponsored Instagram ads with this belief, that a double-tap can applaud shit skill and the imagination of others to sell us: Dog socks, beer, blue light-blocker glasses, video recording apps, fitness teas, Yoga pants, logo design websites, VIP club passes, and a bunch of stupid shit we don’t need but we buy anyway. So much time and data is wasted on these trivial purposes, which contributes little or nothing to our dying animals species, polluted oceans, and over crowded city streets.
We as designers are the silent soldiers, who sit behind the screens and do as we are told. We hear “Put that there” and “Make this bigger” as we kern and led all day long. As our eyes get worse and our data storage becomes filled to capacity, we are slowly starting to grow our voice. We have the power to make people buy shit, like shit, share shit, and even care about shit. We are all agents of change & beauty, information & balance, and we can make a shit logo look like a work of art.
We do not advocate the Fiver designers or the Wix Wizards. We do not use Microsoft Paint or doodle on a computer. We are the leaders of the new artistic Renaissance, where our influence is seen on every phone and tablet in the world.
We aren’t just logo makers, we’re designers damn it! We as graphic designers, will design to piss-off the right people. We will create change in the minds of others. We will create to bring life and attention in a society fighting for it all.
As a designer, I promise to stand above all the shit in the world. I promise to design with empathy. I promise to design with respect. I promise to design with good intention and to be confident in all my work.
Graphic designers are bad asses.
BY DEVIN J. CARVAJAL