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, we were inspired by the original Ken Gerland’s manifesto, First Things First. It was intended to awaken the design community to reflect on the dispensable ideas employed by major corporations which have had a strong focus on financial greed (achieved via the manipulation of society through marketing and advertising), rather than the needs of the everyday individual.
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 this manifesto with the goal to inspire artists and enthusiasts to take a stand and resist the urge to bend to corporate influence fuelled by a global financial agenda.
We provide artists with a platform to showcase and sell their creative works. A commercial purpose, fair enough. But, our aim is to create a network for artists to display their creative works, so that they may be admired, and, to bring the joy of design back into the common household.
What is created by the artist will always remain their own, we give them the freedom they need/want/love/desire and try to provide the missing link between artists and art lovers.
Every designer who participated has signed this manifesto.
Nele Van Rompaey
Maarten De Naeyer
Marie Van Praag