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Ken Garland is a British designer, publisher and photographer and studied at London’s Central School of Arts in the early 1950s. The writing of the manifesto is probably how he is now best known, although he has been involved in many other substantail works. Some of these include magazine covers for ‘Design’ (1950/60s), and ‘Architectural Review’. He also done books and catalogues such as ‘Pudkins’ and ‘Paul and Marjorie abbat. In 1962 he set up his own company knows as ‘Ken Garland and Associates’. He quoted from his website that he kept some works for himself which contained social and political issues which he didn’t want to publish. He has always been an outspoken person, often showing this within his design work and used his skills to contibute to campaigns such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. With this background that Ken Garland has, it no surprise that he wrote a manifesto encouraging the design community to refocus their skills for the betterment of society as he clearly practised what he preached even years before he wrote the manifesto.

Ken Garland was the designer of the manifesto that we are researching (First Thing First 1964) so we thought it would be a good idea to find some information about him and his background


The First Things First 2000 manifesto, launched by Adbusters magazine in 1999, was an updated version of the earlier First Things First manifesto written and published in 1964 by Ken Garland,The 2000 manifesto was signed by a group of 33 figures from the international graphic design community, many of them well known, and simultaneously published in Adbusters (Canada), while others rejected the manifesto.

Emigre (Issue 51) and AIGA Journal of Graphic Design (United States), Eye magazine no. 33 vol. 8, Autumn 1999, Blueprint (Britain) and Items (Netherlands). The manifesto was subsequently published in many other magazines and books around the world, sometimes in translation.

Its aim was to generate discussion about the graphic design profession’s priorities in the design press and at design schools. Some designers welcomed this attempt to reopen the debate,


Alvin Toffler (born October 4, 1928 in New York City) is an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution, communication revolution, corporate revolution and technological singularity. A former associate editor of Fortune magazine, his early work focused on technology and its impact (through effects like information overload). Then he moved to examining the reaction of and changes in society. His later focus has been on the increasing power of 21st century military hardware, weapons and technology proliferation, and capitalism. The gap between producer and consumer is bridged by technology using a so called configuration system. “Prosumers” can fill their own needs (see open source, assembly kit, freelance work). This was the notion that new technologies are enabling the radical fusion of the producer and consumer into the prosumer. In some cases prosuming entails a “third job” where the corporation “outsources” its labor not to other countries, but to the unpaid consumer, such as when we do our own banking through an ATM instead of a teller that the bank must employ, or trace our own postal packages on the internet instead of relying on a paid clerk. Since the 1960s, people have been trying to make sense out of the impact of new technologies and social change. Toffler’s writings have been influential beyond the confines of scientific, economic and public policy discussions.


This project was really interesting because gave me the opportunity to work as a group and I really enjoyed the experience. We had to learn to understand each other and to value strenght and weaknesses in order to get the best to complete the brief. I felt more confident in designing, others in develop contens.

A draft-idea I’ve done for the design presentation

These are the final question we decided to ask in our interviews A prosumer is a consumer that produces content for other consumers e.g if you were to make a youtube video or a picture on deviantART etc, would you say you are a prosumer? Do you use services such as YouTube and Vimeo? Why? If you upload your own content, how often do you do this? Why? What do you look for when browsing for online content? Quality of production, camera, etc.) Do you use social media services such as Facebook? Why? When consuming information or media online, do you question its source or are you generally trustful?

PRESENTATION This was our final result for the Manifesto Presentation. We decided to create a clear and simple design to highlight First Things First Manifesto ideals. Strong headline and presence of infographics to point out the key-points we want to talk about. I really like the result and we received good feedback from the other students. As starting point we defined what is a manifesto and then went through Ken Garland ideology and we ended up talkin about the “Globabe Village� and the effects on the entire world.











Our research was about First Things First Manifesto and the role of the consumer, but we ended up to look up for the role of “prosumer”, I decided to write my point of view about it. Prosumer is no longer a stranger. Prosumer is everywhere. Everyone has the power to create, disseminate, manipulate content, information, data, video, photos and more. Everyone can be a prosumer. New technologies and their fast-improving (that never stops) make possible, for those who want, to become a protagonist. The consumer, who in the past was just “a consumer”, now also becomes the one who produces. It ‘s always more likely that a consumer looks at a news, a photo, a video created by a prosumer. There is certainly more freedom and power to those who, until recently, could not be called professional to have a say. But there is also to understand, especially about the diffusion of news, what percentage of truthfulness may they have. The value of information and communication is something serious and prosumers, especially those of social media, should always keep in mind. Probably nowdays, the consumer believes more at the prosumer rather then a professional: uploading information, news, photos and creating stories around events that took place (or not) has never been so easy. Consumer: Basic Prosumer: Advanced (or “mid-grade”) Professional Expert Who to believe?

CREDITS Ideated and designed by Giovanni Nappo Website: Weblog: Sources

Reading Brown, T. Creativity and Play Hustwit, G. (2009) Objectified, Plexi Film

Giovanni Nappo Group weblog GDNM | Year 2 Manifesto brief GROUP 4

Manifesto Folio Sheet  
Manifesto Folio Sheet  

First Things First 1964 and Consumer ROle Manifesto