Manifesto-First Things First


Writers/Graphic Designers

Ken Garland Info

This image is really nice because it looks as if Garland used a lot of experimentation throughout the process of it. It looks as if its been screen printed and relief printed onto. I’m glad that he’s done this to the design, it shows different elements and creativity of the piece.

Rick Poynor Info

On the Rick Poynors page, I have seen a lot of art work that was very expressive and visual. I can see that Poynor has a good eye for typography and imagery designs. I loved the image of the woman’s skirt merging in with the curtains, this gives the image a nice sense of flow and creates an illusion.


History of ‘first things first’

Reflection on Manifesto ‘FIRST THINGS FIRST’

My reflection upon the original ‘First Things First’ Manifesto is that it describes the world of a graphic designer from a small perspective. From what I understand is that the expansion of creativity within the design world is limitless. There is always room for visionaries with bigger and better ideas.

Ken Garland is the writer and Graphic designer of first things first, which was published in 1964. He is a British designer who also specialised in photography and education. He studied in London and eventually moved on to work as an art editor of Design Magazine from 1956 to 1962. Researching Garland’s work, has shown me that he liked to challenge designers and tried to shift the way that the design community approached certain aspects of the profession. It seemed that he liked change and always wanted to make a difference with what he could do, he expressed that even though certain ideas can be limited or restrained its good to keep thinking outside the box for new ideas. He mentions in the manifesto “there are other things more worth using our skill and experiences on.” I believe he means that we advertise the most common designs like selling dog food or clothes. We aren’t advertising the things that could make a difference for example medicine, manufacturing, science or even languages. We prioritize ourselves to a certain focus just because it might make more money or it gives the audience more interest.

My key thoughts on this article is to find a way to keep the audience interests clearly aimed at more important subjects, such as communication, education and science. We as designers have been given a gift to know how we can communicate with the audiences in many ways. This is what Garland expresses in the manifesto, we have the skills and experiences, but we don’t use them to our full potential.

When Rick Poynor revisited the article of Ken garlands work in 2000 he expressed the true meaning of art that “today, we live and breath design” Art and designs are all around us, from TV, newspapers, magazine, billboards and other forms of communication. It’s built from an idea to then a design. It’s one of the main things that have been accepted within all cultures over the world.

The manifesto shows what the true capabilities and power you can have with being a designer. The best way I can describe my understanding of the manifesto is a series of doors laid out in front of me, all with their own unique designs on them. Although having access to all the doors, I am encouraged, if not forced through one door. This limiting factor restricts the scope of ideas fundamental in developing new approaches to design. If however you are the kind of person who is driven by curiosity and wonder like myself, then it is important to have the freedom of choice of those doors. Freedom of choice enables you to invent new ideas without restriction which is important to any designer of the future. This is my understanding of the graphic design industry. However, there are so many avenues I could take that could be good or bad. It’s just whether I have the confidence to take the risks and to not follow the norm. Aim for the bigger and better goals and don’t limit myself. This is what I hope to become as a Graphic communicator.


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