Manifesto Book

Page 1

Jessica Bee’s Manifesto Collection



Name

Author

Page #

Jessica Bee

2

Intro

Jessica Bee

5

Jessica Bee’s Thoughts

Anthony Burrill

9

Work Hard and be Nice to People

Adam Lucas

13

Don’t Begin With Ideas

Dieter Rams

17

Ten Principles for Good Design

Milton Glaser

23

Ten Things I Have Learned

Edenspiekermann

33

The Edenspiekermann Manifesto

Filip Tyden & Gemma Holt

37

Manifesto Generator

Daniel Eatock

41

Mini–Manifesto

Bre Pettis and Kio Stark

45

The Cult of Done Manifesto

Allan Chochinov

51

1.000 Words Manifesto

Bob Noorda

57

Credo

Bruce Mau

61

An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Kesselskramer

69

Untitled

Stefan Sagmeister

73

Obsessions

Tibor Kalman

77

Fuck Committees

Adbusters

89

First Things First 2000

Ken Garland

83

First Things First

Vignelli Associates

95

The Vignelli Canon

Enzo Mari

109

Barcelona Manifesto

Bob Gill

113

Otherwise Forget It

Experimental Jetset

119

Disrepresentation Now!

Mike Mills

127

Humans

Peter Nowogrodzki

133

The Pesto Manifesto

Delaware

137

Untitled

Cai Shi Wei Eric

141

Idea innocent Originality reasonable

Slavs and Tatars

159

Slavs


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This book is a personal design resource comprised of 26 manifestos, including my own. The book is organised by how much I liked the manifesto with personal summeries before each one. Enjoy.

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My manifesto is a list of what I thought were good design practices. I used the past tense because it is an always changing list. I tried to keep it clear and to the point. sentences and grammar not necessary in this case.

Summery

Jessica Bee’s Thoughts


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JESSICA BEE’S THOUGHTS Jessica Bee


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don’t be an asshole work hard don’t be afraid to start always make more know when to start over find your passion; do things that make you happy be happy your good mood will help others get in a good mood get your ideas out there; sketch it out first experiment iterations iterations iterations fake it till you make it; confidence is key take a break and come back to it community is important; surround yourself with people you like sometimes you need to do something scary in order to grow learn how to talk to strangers keep in touch take everything with a grain of salt humor is good you know nothin jon snow; continue to learn you are the best but also the dumbest so talk to other people Jessica Bee’s Thoughts


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This is short and to the point. Put effort into everything you do and don’t be an asshole. I personally try to live by these commandments.

Summery

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Work Hard And Be Nice To People


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WORK HARD AND BE NICE TO PEOPLE Anthony Burrill


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Work hard and be nice to people

Work Hard And Be Nice To People


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Content is key. This manifesto is all about making design choices based off the content. Nothing should be arbitrary.

Summery

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Don’t Begin With Ideas


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DON’T BEGIN WITH IDEAS Adam Lucas


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Don’t Begin With Ideas* Begin with the content.† The content includes its context, and constraints. Explore the content. Organize the content. Find ideas in the content.‡ Translate those ideas into design decisions. Let the work come into being.§ Don‘t force it. Feel the flow, and go with it.‖ Love and be loved.¶ Learn how to think.°

* “Begin with ideas.” —Daniel Eatock † “The content is the engine that leads to ideas.” —Armand Mevis ‡ “Don’t invent ideas.” —Melle Hammer § “The idea is the machine that makes the art.” —Sol Lewitt ‖ “You gotta harness in the good energy, block out the bad. Harness. Energy. Block. Bad. Feel the flow Happy. Feel it. It’s circular. It’s like a carousel. You pay the quarter, you get on the horse, it goes up and down, and AROUND. It’s circular. Circle, with the music, the flow. All good things.” — Gary Potter ¶ “All you need is love.” —John Lennon ° “‘Learning how to think’ really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.” —David Foster Wallace Don’t Begin With Ideas


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According to this manifesto good design is innovative, useful, aesthetic, understandable, unobtrusive, honest, longlasting, thought of every detail, environmentally friendly, and good design is as little design as possible. Summery

Ten Principles For Good Design


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TEN PRINCIPLES FOR GOOD DESIGN Dieter Rams


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Good design is innovative. The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself. Good design makes a product useful. A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it. Good design is aesthetic. The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful. Good design makes a product understandable. It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory. Good design is unobtrusive. Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

Good design is honest. It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

Ten Principles For Good Design


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Good design is long-lasting. It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears

antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer. Good design is environmentally friendly. Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of

the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product. Good design is as little design as possible. Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Dieter Rams


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Ten Principles For Good Design


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Only work for people you like. Don’t work if you can. Professionalism is not the goal. Just enough is more. Use different styles. Adapt. Doubt is good. Be open minded. self–righteousnesiss the enemy. It doesn’t matter. Tell the truth. Summery

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Ten Things I Have Learned


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TEN THINGS I HAVE LEARNED Milton Glaser


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You can only work for people that you like. This is a curious rule and it took me a long time to learn because in fact at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism required that you didn’t particularly like the people that you worked for or at least maintained an arms length relationship to them, which meant that I never had lunch with a client or saw them socially. Then some years ago I realized that the opposite was true. I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of an affectionate relationship with a client. And I am not talking about professionalism; I am talking about affection. I am talking about a client and you sharing some common ground. That in fact your view of life is someway congruent with the client, otherwise it is a bitter and hopeless struggle. If you have a choice never have a job. One night I was sitting in my car outside Columbia University where my wife Shirley was studying Anthropology. While I was waiting I was listening to the radio and heard an interviewer ask “Now that you have reached 75 have you any advice for our audience about how to prepare for your old age?” An irritated voice said “Why is everyone asking me about old age these days?” I recognized the voice as John Cage. I am sure that many of you know who he was—the composer and philosopher who influenced people like Jasper Johns and Merce Cunningham as well as the music world in general. I knew him slightly and admired his contribution to our times. “You know, I do know how to prepare for old age” he said. “Never have a job, because if you have a job someday someone will take it away from you and then you will be unprepared for your old age. For me, it has always been the same every since the age of 12. I wake up in the morning and I try to figure out how am I going to put bread on the table today? It is the same at 75, I wake up every morning and I think how am I going to put bread on the table today? I am exceedingly well prepared for my old age” he said. Some people are toxic, avoid them. This is a subtext of number one. There was in the sixties a man named Fritz Perls who was a gestalt therapist. Gestalt therapy derives from art history, it proposes you must understand the ‘whole’ before you can understand the details. What you have to look at is the entire Ten Things I Have Learned


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culture, the entire family and community and so on. Perls proposed that in all relationships people could be either toxic or nourishing towards one another. It is not necessarily true that the same person will be toxic or nourishing in every relationship, but the combination of any two people in a relationship produces toxic or nourishing consequences. And the important thing that I can tell you is that there is a test to determine whether someone is toxic or nourishing in your relationship with them. Here is the test: you have spent some time with this person, either you have a drink or go for dinner or you go to a ball game. It doesn’t matter very much but at the end of that time you observe whether you are more energized or less energized. Whether you are tired or whether you are exhilarated. If you are more tired then you have been poisoned. If you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and I suggest that you use it for the rest of your life. Professionalism is not enough or the good is the enemy of the great. Early in my career I wanted to be professional, that was my complete aspiration in my early life because professionals seemed to know everything —not to mention they got paid for it. Later I discovered after working for a while that professionalism itself was a limitation. After all, what professionalism means in most cases is diminishing risks. So if you want to get your car fixed you go to a mechanic who knows how to deal with transmission problems in the same way each time. I suppose if you needed brain surgery you wouldn’t want the doctor to fool around and invent a new way of connecting your nerve endings. Please do it in the way that has worked in the past. Unfortunately in our field, in the so–called creative—I hate that word because it is misused so often. I also hate the fact that it is used as a noun. Can you imagine calling someone a creative? Anyhow, when you are doing something in a recurring way to diminish risk or doing it in the same way as you have done it before, it is clear why professionalism is not enough. After all, what is required in our field, more than anything else, is the continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success. So professionalism as a lifetime aspiration is a limited goal. Milton Glaser


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Less is not necessarily more. Being a child of modernism I have heard this mantra all my life. Less is more. One morning upon awakening I realized that it was total nonsense, it is an absurd proposition and also fairly meaningless. But it sounds great because it contains within it a paradox that is resistant to understanding. But it simply does not obtain when you think about the visual of the history of the world. If you look at a Persian rug, you cannot say that less is more because you realize that every part of that rug, every change of colour, every shift in form is absolutely essential for its aesthetic success. You cannot prove to me that a solid blue rug is in any way superior. That also goes for the work of Gaudi, Persian miniatures, art nouveau and everything else. However, I have an alternative to the proposition that I believe is more appropriate. “Just enough is more.” Style is not to be trusted. I think this idea first occurred to me when I was looking at a marvellous etching of a bull by Picasso. It was an illustration for a story by Balzac called “The Hidden Masterpiece”. I am sure that you all know it. It is a bull that is expressed in 12 different styles going from very naturalistic version of a bull to an absolutely reductive single line abstraction and everything else along the way. What is clear just from looking at this single print is that style is irrelevant. In every one of these cases, from extreme abstraction to acute naturalism they are extraordinary regardless of the style. It’s absurd to be loyal to a style. It does not deserve your loyalty. I must say that for old design professionals it is a problem because the field is driven by economic consideration more than anything else. Style change is usually linked to economic factors, as all of you know who have read Marx. Also fatigue occurs when people see too much of the same thing too often. So every ten years or so there is a stylistic shift and things are made to look different. Typefaces go in and out of style and the visual system shifts a little bit. If you are around for a long time as a designer, you have an essential problem of what to do. I mean, after all, you have developed a vocabulary, a form that is your own. It is one of the ways that you distinguish yourself from your peers, and establish your identity in the field. How you maintain your own belief system and preferences becomes a real balancing act. The question of whether you pursue change or whether you Ten Things I Have Learned


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maintain your own distinct form becomes difficult. We have all seen the work of illustrious practitioners that suddenly look old– fashioned or, more precisely, belonging to another moment in time. And there are sad stories such as the one about Cassandre, arguably the greatest graphic designer of the twentieth century, who couldn’t make a living at the end of his life and committed suicide. But the point is that anybody who is in this for the long haul has to decide how to respond to change in the zeitgeist. What is it that people now expect that they formerly didn’t want? And how to respond to that desire in a way that doesn’t change your sense of integrity and purpose. How you live changes your brain. The brain is the most responsive organ of the body. Actually it is the organ that is most susceptible to change and regeneration of all the organs in the body. I have a friend named Gerald Edelman who was a great scholar of brain studies and he says that the analogy of the brain to a computer is pathetic. The brain is actually more like an overgrown garden that is constantly growing and throwing off seeds, regenerating and so on. And he believes that the brain is susceptible, in a way that we are not fully conscious of, to almost every experience of our life and every encounter we have. I was fascinated by a story in a newspaper a few years ago about the search for perfect pitch. A group of scientists decided that they were going to find out why certain people have perfect pitch. You know certain people hear a note precisely and are able to replicate it at exactly the right pitch. Some people have relevant pitch; perfect pitch is rare even among musicians. The scientists discovered—I don’t know how—that among people with perfect pitch the brain was different. Certain lobes of the brain had undergone some change or deformation that was always present with those who had perfect pitch. This was interesting enough in itself. But then they discovered something even more fascinating. If you took a bunch of kids and taught them to play the violin at the age of 4 or 5 after a couple of years some of them developed perfect pitch, and in all of those cases their brain structure had changed. Well what could that mean for the rest of us? We tend to believe that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind, although we do not generally believe Milton Glaser


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that everything we do affects the brain. I am convinced that if someone was to yell at me from across the street my brain could be affected and my life might changed. That is why your mother always said, “Don’t hang out with those bad kids.” Mama was right. Thought changes our life and our behaviour. I also believe that drawing works in the same way. I am a great advocate of drawing, not in order to become an illustrator, but because I believe drawing changes the brain in the same way as the search to create the right note changes the brain of a violinist. Drawing also makes you attentive. It makes you pay attention to what you are looking at, which is not so easy. Doubt is better than certainty. Everyone always talks about confidence in believing what you do. I remember once going to a class in yoga where the teacher said that, spirituality speaking, if you believed that you had achieved enlightenment you have merely arrived at your limitation. I think that is also true in a practical sense. Deeply held beliefs of any kind prevent you from being open to experience, which is why I find all firmly held ideological positions questionable. It makes me nervous when someone believes too deeply or too much. I think that being skeptical and questioning all deeply held beliefs is essential. Of course we must know the difference between skepticism and cynicism because cynicism is as much a restriction of one’s openness to the world as passionate belief is. They are sort of twins. And then in a very real way, solving any problem is more important than being right. There is a significant sense of self–righteousness in both the art and design world. Perhaps it begins at school. Art school often begins with the Ayn Rand model of the single personality resisting the ideas of the surrounding culture. The theory of the avant garde is that as an individual you can transform the world, which is true up to a point. One of the signs of a damaged ego is absolute certainty. Schools encourage the idea of not compromising and defending your work at all costs. Well, the issue at work is usually all about the nature of compromise. You just have to know what to Ten Things I Have Learned


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compromise. Blind pursuit of your own ends which excludes the possibility that others may be right does not allow for the fact that in design we are always dealing with a triad—the client, the audience and you. Ideally, making everyone win through acts of accommodation is desirable. But self–righteousness is often the enemy. Self– righteousness and narcissism generally come out of some sort of childhood trauma, which we do not have to go into. It is a consistently difficult thing in human affairs. Some years ago I read a most remarkable thing about love, that also applies to the nature of co–existing with others. It was a quotation from Iris Murdoch in her obituary. It read “Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.” Isn’t that fantastic! The best insight on the subject of love that one can imagine. On aging. Last year someone gave me a charming book by Roger Rosenblatt called “Ageing Gracefully” I got it on my birthday. I did not appreciate the title at the time but it contains a series of rules for ageing gracefully. The first rule is the best. Rule number one is that “it doesn’t matter.” “It doesn’t matter what you think. Follow this rule and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late or early, if you are here or there, if you said it or didn’t say it, if you are clever or if you were stupid. If you were having a bad hair day or a no hair day or if your boss looks at you cockeyed or your boyfriend or girlfriend looks at you cockeyed, if you are cockeyed. If you don’t get that promotion or prize or house or if you do—it doesn’t matter.” Wisdom at last. Then I heard a marvellous joke that seemed related to rule number 10. A butcher was opening his market one morning and as he did a rabbit popped his head through the door. The butcher was surprised when the rabbit inquired “Got any cabbage?” The butcher said “This is a meat market—we sell meat, not vegetables.” The rabbit hopped off. The next day the butcher is opening the shop and sure enough the rabbit pops his head round and says “You got any cabbage?” The butcher now irritated says “Listen you little rodent I told you yesterday we sell meat, we do not sell vegetables and the next time you come here I am going to grab you by the throat and nail those floppy Milton Glaser


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ears to the floor.” The rabbit disappeared hastily and nothing happened for a week. Then one morning the rabbit popped his head around the corner and said “Got any nails?” The butcher said “No.” The rabbit said “Ok. Got any cabbage?” Tell the truth. The rabbit joke is relevant because it occurred to me that looking for a cabbage in a butcher’s shop might be like looking for ethics in the design field. It may not be the most obvious place to find either. It’s interesting to observe that in the new AIGA’s code of ethics there is a significant amount of useful information about appropriate behaviour towards clients and other designers, but not a word about a designer’s relationship to the public. We expect a butcher to sell us eatable meat and that he doesn’t misrepresent his wares. I remember reading that during the Stalin years in Russia that everything labelled veal was actually chicken. I can’t imagine what everything labelled chicken was. We can accept certain kinds of misrepresentation, such as fudging about the amount of fat in his hamburger but once a butcher knowingly sells us spoiled meat we go elsewhere. As a designer, do we have less responsibility to our public than a butcher? Everyone interested in licensing our field might note that the reason licensing has been invented is to protect the public not designers or clients. ‘Do no harm’ is an admonition to doctors concerning their relationship to their patients, not to their fellow practitioners or the drug companies. If we were licensed, telling the truth might become more central to what we do.

Ten Things I Have Learned


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This is about pushing your work farther and the important parts of the design process that affects. It is short and to the point.

Summery

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The Edenspiekermann Manifesto


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THE EDENSPIEKERMANN MANIFESTO Edenspiekermann


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We don’t do good work. Good work is not enough; we need to do great work. We invent new tools. That may mean throwing out the old toolbox. We need inspiration to inspire. Share your experiences, ideas, failures, successes. We tolerate failure. Failure is part of the process. We collaborate. Collaboration does not mean consensus. We generate ideas. Idea generation is not idea selection. We like making stuff. Useful, beautiful, important things. We dare say no. Saying yes is often just laziness. We like surprises. We have to mistrust our own routines. It’s your company, too. If something can be done better, don’t wait for permission.

The Edenspiekermann Manifesto


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The parts of this that stuck out to me. Think more, make more. Don’t make compromises for other people. Learn to speak up. Everything is going to be alright. Good design is not invisible.

Summery

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Manifesto Generator


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MANIFESTO GENERATOR Filip Tyden & Gemma Holt


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One of the 18 million possible manifestos. Whisper Think more, make more Only use black Don’t make compromises for other people Learn to speak up Everything is going to be alright Engage a specialist audience Call your grandparents today Good design is not invisible A manifesto is a formula

Manifesto Generator


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This is short and full of different ideas about the design process. Go ahead and read it all.

Summery

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Mini–Manifesto


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MINI–MANIFESTO Daniel Eatock


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Begin with ideas. Embrace chance. Celebrate coincidence. Ad–lib and make things up. Eliminate superfluous elements. Subvert expectation. Make something difficult look easy. Be first or last. Believe complex ideas can produce simple things. Trust the process. Allow concepts to determine form. Reduce material and production to their essence. Sustain the integrity of an idea. Propose honesty as a solution.

Mini–Manifesto


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This gives advice on how to make things that are done. Everything is a draft. Don’t fucking procrastinate. Things need to be done so you can make other things. Perfection is boring. Make mistakes. Make.

Summery

The Cult Of Done Manifesto


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THE CULT OF DONE MANIFESTO Bre Pettis and Kio Stark


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There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get done. There is no editing stage. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done. Once you’re done you can throw it away. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes. Destruction is a variant of done. The Cult Of Done Manifesto


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If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done. Done is the engine of more.

Bre Pettis and Kio Stark


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The Cult Of Done Manifesto


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Stop making crap! Designers need to be aware that their work can do more harm than good. Only make things that have a reason. We need sustainability in industrial design. Think about how it affects the Earth.

Summery

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1,000 Words Manifesto


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1,000 WORDS MANIFESTO Allan Chochinov


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Hippocratic Before Socratic. “First do no harm” is a good starting point for everyone, but it’s an especially good starting point for designers. For a group of people who pride themselves on “problem solving” and improving people’s lives, we sure have done our fair share of the converse. We have to remember that industrial design equals mass production, and that every move, every decision, every curve we specify is multiplied—sometimes by the thousands and often by the millions. And that every one of those everys has a price. We think that we’re in the artifact business, but we’re not; we’re in the consequence business. Stop Making Crap. And that means that we have to stop making crap. It’s really as simple as that. We are suffocating, drowning, and poisoning ourselves with the stuff we produce, abrading, out–gassing, and seeping into our air, our water, our land, our food— and basically those are the only things we have to look after before there’s no we in that sentence. It gets into our bodies, of course, and it certainly gets into our minds. And designers are feeding and feeding this cycle, helping to turn everyone and everything into either a consumer or a consumable. And when you think about it, this is kind of grotesque. “Consumer” isn’t a dirty word exactly, but it probably oughta be. Systems Before Artifacts. Before we design anything new, we should examine how we can use what already exists to better ends. We need to think systems before artifacts, services before products, adopting Thackara’s use/not own principles at every step. And when new products are needed, they’ll be obvious and appropriate, and then can we conscientiously pump up fossil fuels and start polymerizing them. Product design should be part of a set of tools we have for solving problems and celebrating life. It is a means, not an end. 1,000 Words Manifesto


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Teach Sustainability Early. Design education is at a crossroads, with many schools understanding the potentials, opportunities, and obligations of design, while others continue to teach students how to churn out pretty pieces of garbage. Institutions that stress sustainability, social responsibility, cultural adaptation, ethnography, and systems thinking are leading the way. But soon they will come to define what industrial design means. (A relief to those constantly trying to define the discipline today!) This doesn’t mean no aesthetics. It just means a keener eye on costs and benefits. Screws Better Than Glues. This is lifted directly from the Owner’s Manifesto, which addresses how the people who own things and the people who make them are in a kind of partnership. But it’s a partnership that’s broken down, since almost all of the products we produce cannot be opened or repaired, are designed as subassemblies to be discarded upon failure or obsolescence, and conceal their workings in a kind of solid–state prison. This results in a population less and less confident in their abilities to use their hands for anything other than pushing buttons and mice, of course. But it also results in people fundamentally not understanding the workings of their built artifacts and environments, and, more importantly, not understanding the role and impact that those built artifacts and environments have on the world. In the same way that we can’t expect people to understand the benefits of a water filter when they can’t see the gunk inside it, we can’t expect people to sympathize with greener products if they can’t appreciate the consequences of any products at all. Design for Impermanence. In his Masters Thesis, “The Paradox of Weakness: Embracing Vulnerability in Product Design,” my student Robert Blinn argues that we are the only species who designs for permanence—for longevity—rather than for an ecosystem in which everything is recycled into everything else. Designers are complicit in this over–engineering of everything we produce (we are terrified of, and often legally risk–averse to, failure), but it is patently obvious that our ways and means are completely antithetical to how planet earth manufactures, tools, and recycles things. Allan Chochinov


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We choose inorganic materials precisely because biological organisms cannot consume them, while the natural world uses the same building blocks over and over again. It is indeed Cradle–to–Cradle or cradle–to–grave, I’m afraid. Balance Before Talents. The proportion of a solution needs to balance with its problem: we don’t need a battery–powered pooper scooper to pick up dog poop, and we don’t need a car that gets 17 mpg to, well, we don’t need that car, period. We have to start balancing our ability to be clever with our ability to be smart. They’re two different things. Metrics Before Magic. Metrics do not get in the way of being creative. Almost everything is quantifiable, and just the exercise of trying to frame up ecological and labor impacts can be surprisingly instructive. So on your next project, if you’ve determined that it may be impossible to quantify the consequences of a material or process or assembly in a design you’re considering, maybe it’s not such a good material or process or assembly to begin with. There are more and more people out there in the business of helping you to find these things out, by the way; you just have to call them. Climates Before Primates. This is the a priori, self–evident truth. If we have any hope of staying here, we need to look after our home. And our anthropocentric worldview is literally killing us. “Design serves people”? Well, I think we’ve got bigger problems right now. Context Before Absolutely Everything. Understanding that all design happens within a context is the first (and arguably the only) stop to make on your way to becoming a good designer. You can be a bad designer after that, of course, but you don’t stand a chance of being a good one if you don’t first consider context. It’s everything: in graphics, communication, interaction, architecture, product, service, you name it—if it doesn’t take context into account, it’s crap. And you already promised not to make any more of that.

1,000 Words Manifesto


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This is about problem solving. It promotes reduction, rationaltity, logic, and careful analysis. Also, the computer is not God.

Summery

Credo


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CREDO Bob Noorda


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I believe that, whatever design problem you need to solve, you should face it with rationality, logic and careful analysis if you want to get to the right idea. Graphic design is always a synthetic work: you need to reduce and remove until you reach the core of the message. When you work with typography and lettering, the essential goal is to obtain the best possible legibility. To achieve this result, it is fundamental to know typography and its history. The computer has become an essential tool but its undisputed utility and versatility cannot replace knowledge. As extraordinary as this instrument can be, you need deep roots and the ability to express yourself even with the simplest tools— such as a pencil—in order to use it correctly. A good software does not necessarily create good graphics. Graphics is not an independent art, but a service. To obtain a correct result, you need to put yourself on the side of the observer, on the side of the public. A good designer is the one who offers a good service through communication, not the one who wants to surprise at any cost, neither the one who wants to show how good he is. A designer is good if he can solve a problem, if he puts forward a useful solution. I believe that these rules could be a good start for a career in design.

Credo


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To grow as a designer you need to be open to change, make mistakes, be happy, discover something new, focus on process, embrace accidents, learn, wander, start anywhere, follow, gather ideas, collaborate, use metaphors, and make your own tools. Summery

An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth


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AN INCOMPLETE MANIFESTO FOR GROWTH Bruce Mau


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Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them. Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth. Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day. Go deep. The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value. Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions. Study. A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit. Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism. Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere. Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead. An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth


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Harvest ideas. Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications. Keep moving. The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice. Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves. Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort. Ask stupid questions. Growth is fuelled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant. Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential. ____________________. Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others. Stay up late. Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world. Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for. Be careful to take risks. Time is genetic. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future. Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again. Bruce Mau


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Make your own tools. Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference. Stand on someone’s shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better. Avoid software. The problem with software is that everyone has it. Don’t clean your desk. You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight. Don’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not good for you. Read only left–hand pages. Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our ‘noodle’. Make new words. Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions. Think with your mind. Forget technology. Creativity is not device– dependent. Organization = Liberty. Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between ‘creatives’ and ‘suits’ is what Leonard Cohen calls a “charming artifact of the past.” Don’t borrow money. Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed. Listen carefully. Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth


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with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same. Take field trips. The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object–oriented, real–time, computer graphic–simulated environment. Make mistakes faster. This isn’t my idea—I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove. Imitate. Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You’ll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique. Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else… but not words. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it. Explore the other edge. Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old–tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential. Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces—what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference—the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals—but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations. Avoid fields. Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, Bruce Mau


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complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields. Laugh. People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves. Remember. Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself. Power to the people. Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.

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The truth. If someone is an asshole they are not worth your time or energy.

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UNTITLED Kesselskramer


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Life is too short to spend it with assholes.

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This is about the good and bad things about having obsessions. Obsessions are good because they can provide substance and ideas for your work. They can be problematic because they can take over all of your time. Summery

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OBSESSIONS Stefan Sagmeister


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Obsessions make my life worse and my work better.

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Corporations stifle creativity and independence. Fuck ads. Corporations create a boring, idealess culture. Use rich peoples money to fix this.

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Fuck Committees


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FUCK COMMITTEES Tibor Kalman


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(I believe in lunatics) It’s about the struggle between individuals with jagged passion in their work and today’s faceless corporate committees, which claim to understand the needs of the mass audience, and are removing the idiosyncrasies, polishing the jags, creating a thought-free, passion-free, cultural mush that will not be hated nor loved by anyone. By now, virtually all media, architecture, product and graphic design have been freed from ideas, individual passion, and have been relegated to a role of corporate servitude, carrying out corporate strategies and increasing stock prices. Creative people are now working for the bottom line. Magazine editors have lost their editorial independence, and work for committees of publishers (who work for committees of advertisers). TV scripts are vetted by producers, advertisers, lawyers, research specialists, layers and layers of paid executives who determine whether the scripts are dumb enough to amuse what they call the ‘lowest common denominator’. Film studios out films in front of focus groups to determine whether an ending will please target audiences. All cars look the same. Architectural decisions are made by accountants. Ads are stupid. Theater is dead. Corporations have become the sole arbiters of cultural ideas and taste in America. Our culture is corporate culture. Culture used to be the opposite of commerce, not a fast track to ‘content’- derived riches. Not so long ago captains of industry (no angels in the way they acquired wealth) thought that part of their responsibility was to use their millions to support culture. Carnegie built libraries, Rockefeller built art museums, Ford created his global foundation. What do we now get from our billionaires? Gates? Or Eisner? Or Redstone? Sales pitches. Junk mail. Meanwhile, creative people have their work reduced to ‘content’ or ‘intellectual property’. Magazines and films become ‘delivery systems’ for product messages. But to be fair, the above is only 99 percent true. I offer a modest solution: Find the cracks in the wall. There are a


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very few lunatic entrepreneurs who will understand that culture and design are not about fatter wallets, but about creating a future. They will understand that wealth is means, not an end. Under other circumstances they may have turned out to be like you, creative lunatics. Believe me, they’re there and when you find them, treat them well and use their money to change the world. Tibor Kalman New York June 1998

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This talks about how designers waste their talent to sell shit and that the world is oversaturated with visuals. It is a call to action. It asks designers to make things with purpose and to encourage others to do so as well. Summery

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FIRST THINGS FIRST 2000 Adbusters


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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. Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizenconsumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse. There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help. We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication – a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, First Things First 2000


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through the visual languages and resources of design. 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 their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart. Signed: Jonathan Barnbrook, Nick Bell, Andrew Blauvelt, Hans Bockting, Irma Boom, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Max Bruinsma, Si√¢n Cook, Linda van Deursen, Chris Dixon, William Drenttel, Gert Dumbar, Simon Esterson, Vince Frost, Ken Garland, Milton Glaser, Jessica Helfand, Steven Heller, Andrew Howard, Tibor Kalman, Jeffery Keedy, Zuzana Licko, Ellen Lupton, Katherine McCoy, Armand Mevis, J. Abbott Miller, Rick Poynor, Lucienne Roberts, Erik Spiekermann, Jan van Toorn, Teal Triggs, Rudy VanderLans, Bob Wilkinson, and many more

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Same as the manifesto before, but with a less concise call to action.

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FIRST THINGS FIRST Ken Garland


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A manifesto We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, photographers and students who have been brought up in a world which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable means of using our talents. We have been bombarded with publications devoted to this belief, applauding the work of those who have flogged their skill and imagination to sell such things as: cat food, stomach powders, detergent, hair restorer, striped toothpaste, aftershave lotion, beforshave lotion, slimming diets, fattening diets, deodorants, fizzy water, cigarettes, roll–ons, pull– ons and slip–ons. By far the greatest time and effort of those working in the advertising industry are wasted on these trivial purposes, which contribute little or nothing to our national prosperity. In common with an increasing number of the general public, we have reached a saturation opine at which the high pitched scream of consumer selling is no more than sheer noise. We think that there are other things more worth using our skill and experience on. There are signs for streets and buildings, books and periodicals, catalogues, instructional manuals, industrial photography, educational aids, films, television features, scientific and industrial publications and all the other media through which we promote our trade, our education, our culture and our greater awareness of the owls. We do not advocate the abolition of high pressure consumer advertising: this is not feasible. Nor do we want to take any of the fun out of life. But we are proposing a reversal of priorities in favor of the more useful and more lasting forms of communication. We hope that our society will tire of gimmick merchants, status salesmen and hidden persuaders, and that the prior call on our skills will be for worthwhile purposes. With this in mind, we propose to share our experience and opinions, and to make them available to colleagues, students and others who may be interested. Signed: Edward Wright, Geoffrey White, William Slack, Caroline First Things First


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Rawlence, Ian McLaren, Sam Lambert, Ivor Kamlish, Gerald Jones, Bernard Highton, Brian Grimbly, John Garner, Ken Garland, Anthony Froshaug, Robin Fior, Germano Facetti, Ivan Dodd, Harriet Crowder, Anthony Clift, Gerry Cinamon, Robert Chapman, Ray Carpenter, Ken Briggs.

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Semantics. It is important to give every design choice a reason through research and understanding. Syntax. Pay attention to all the little details. Pragmatics. Design needs to be easily understood. Clarity and appropriateness are key. Summery

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THE VIGNELLI CANON Vignelli Associates


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Semantics. I have always said that there are three aspects in Design that are important to me: Semantic, Syntactic and Pragmatic. Let’s examine them one at the time. Semantics, for me, is the search of the meaning of whatever we have to design. The very first thing that I do whenever I start a new assignment in any form of design, graphic, product, exhibition or interior is to search for the meaning of it. That may start with research on the history of the subject to better understand the nature of the project and to find the most appropriate direction for the development of a new design. Depending on the subject the search can take many directions. It could be a search for more information about the Company, the Product, the Market Position of the subject, the Competition, its Destination, the final user, or indeed, about the real meaning of the subject and its semantic roots. It is extremely important for a satisfactory result of any design to spend time on the search of the accurate and essential meanings, investigate their complexities, learn about their ambiguities, understand the context of use to better define the parameters within which we will have to operate. In addition to that it is useful to follow our intuition and our diagnostic ability to funnel the research and arrive to a rather conscious definition of the problem at hand. Semantics are what will provide the real bases for a correct inception of projects, regardless of what they may be. Semantics eventually become an essential part of the designer’s being, a crucial component of the natural process of design, and the obvious point of departure for designing. Semantics will also indicate the most appropriate form for that particular subject that we can interpret or transform according to our intentions. However, it is important to distill the essence of the semantic search through a complex process, most of which is intuitive, to infuse the design with all the required cognitive inputs, effortlessly and in the most natural way possible. It is as in music, when we hear the final sound, without knowing all the processes The Vignelli Canon


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through which the composer has gone before reaching the final result. Design without semantics is shallow and meaningless but, unfortunately it is also ubiquitous, and that is why it is so important that young designers train themselves to start the design process in the correct way—the only way that can most enrich their design. Semantics, in design, means to understand the subject in all its aspects; to relate the subject to the sender and the receiver in such a way that it makes sense to both. It means to design something that has a meaning, that is not arbitrary, that has a reason for being, something in which every detail carries the meaning or has a precise purpose aimed at a precise target. How often we see design that has no meaning: stripes and swash of color splashed across pages for no reason whatsoever. Well, they are either meaningless or incredibly vulgar or criminal when done on purpose. Unfortunately, there are designers and marketing people who intentionally look down on the consumer with the notion that vulgarity has a definite appeal to the masses, and therefore they supply the market with a continuos flow of crude and vulgar design. I consider this action criminal since it is producing visual pollution that is degrading our environment just like all other types of pollution. Not all forms of vernacular communication are necessarily vulgar, although very often that is the case. Vulgarity implies a blatant intention of a form of expression that purposely ignores and bypasses any form of established culture. In our contemporary world it becomes increasingly more difficult to find honest forms of vernacular communication as once existed in the pre–industrial world. Syntactics. Mies, my great mentor said: “God is in the details.” That is the essence of syntax: the discipline that controls the proper use of grammar in the construction of phrases and the articulation of a language, Design. The syntax of design is provided by many components in the nature of the project. In graphic design, for instance, they are the overall structure, the grid, the typefaces, the text and headlines, the illustrations, etc. The consistency of a Vignelli Associates


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design is provided by the appropriate relationship of the various syntactical elements of the project: how type relates to grids and images from page to page throughout the whole project. Or, how type sizes relate to each other. Or, how pictures relate to each other and how the parts relate to the whole. There are ways to achieve all this that are correct, as there are others that are incorrect, and should be avoided. Syntactic consistency is of paramount importance in graphic design as it is in all human endeavors. Grids are one of the several tools helping designers to achieve syntactical consistency in graphic design. Pragmatics. Whatever we do, if not understood, fails to communicate and is wasted effort. We design things which we think are semantically correct and syntactically consistent but if, at the point of fruition, no one understands the result, or the meaning of all that effort, the entire work is useless. Sometimes it may need some explanation but it is better when not necessary. Any artifact should stand by itself in all its clarity. Otherwise, something really important has been missed. The final look of anything is the by–product of the clarity (or lack of it) during its design phase. It is important to understand the starting point and all assumptions of any project to fully comprehend the final result and measure its efficiency. Clarity of intent will translate in to clarity of result and that is of paramount importance in Design. Confused, complicated designs reveal an equally confused and complicated mind. We love complexities but hate complications! Having said this, I must add that we like Design to be forceful. We do not like limpy design. We like Design to be intellectually elegant—that means elegance of the mind, not one of manners, elegance that is the opposite of vulgarity. We like Design to be beyond fashionable modes and temporary fads. We like Design to be as timeless as possible. We despise the culture of obsolescence. We feel the moral The Vignelli Canon


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imperative of designing things that will last for a long time. It is with this set of values that we approach Design everyday, regardless of what it may be: two or three dimensional, large or small, rich or poor. Design is One! Discipline. The attention to details requires discipline. There is no room for sloppiness, for carelessness, for procrastination. Every detail is important because the end result is the sum of all the details involved in the creative process no matter what we are doing. There are no hierarchies when it comes to quality. Quality is there or is not there, and if is not there we have lost our time. It is a commitment and a continuously painstaking effort of the creative process to which we should abide. That is Discipline and without it there is no good design, regardless of its style. Discipline is a set of self imposed rules, parameters within which we operate. It is a bag of tools that allows us to design in a consistent manner from beginning to end. Discipline is also an attitude that provides us with the capacity of controlling our creative work so that it has continuity of intent throughout rather than fragmentation. Design without discipline is anarchy, an exercise of irresponsibility. Appropriateness. The notion of appropriateness is consequent to what I have expressed. Once we search the roots of whatever we have to design we are also defining the area of possible solutions that are appropriate—specific to that particular problem. Actually, we can say that appropriateness is the search for the specific of any given problem. To define that prevents us from taking wrong directions, or alternative routes that lead to nowhere or even worse, to wrong solutions. Appropriateness directs us to the right kind of media, the right kind of materials, the right kind of scale, the right kind of expression, color and texture. Appropriateness elicits the enthusiastic approval of the client seeing the solution to his Vignelli Associates


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problem. Appropriateness transcends any issue of style—there are many ways of solving a problem, many ways of doing, but the relevant thing is that, no matter what, the solution must be appropriate. I think that we have to listen to what a thing wants to be, rather then contrive it in to an arbitrary confinement. However, sometimes there may be other rules that one must follow to achieve the correct level of continuity. At least for me, this is a relevant issue which very often determines the look of the project to be designed. This issue is one of the fundamental principles of our Canon. During the post– modern time, the verb ‘to be appropriate’ assumed the meaning of borrowing something and transforming it by placing it in a different context. We could say that this kind of ‘appropriation’ when appropriate, could be done—just another way of solving a problem or expressing creativity. Ambiguity. Rather than the negative connotation of ambiguity as a form of vagueness, I have a positive interpretation of ambiguity, intended as a plurality of meanings, or the ability of conferring to an object or a design, the possibility of being read in different ways—each one complementary to the other to enrich the subject and give more depth. We often use this device to enhance the expression of the design and we treasure the end results. However, one has to be cautious in playing with ambiguity because if not well measured it can backfire with unpleasant results. Contradiction can sometimes reinforce ambiguity, but more often it is a sign of discontinuity and lack of control. Ambiguity and contradiction can enrich a project but can equally sink the end results. Therefore, great caution is recommended in using these spices. Design Is One. The office of the Castiglioni Architects in Milano was the first place, where at the age of 16, I went to work as a draftsman. They were active in the whole field of Design and Architecture following the Adolph Loos dictum that an Architect should The Vignelli Canon


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be able to design everything “from the spoon to the city.” They had already designed a very iconic radio, beautiful silver flatware, camping furniture, witty stools, industrial bookshelves, nice houses and an incredible museum. Later they designed restaurants, trade shows, exhibitions, furniture and much more. They became the icons of Italian Design. I strongly recommend to all designers to investigate and study their work. I was tremendously impressed by the diversity of projects and immediately fascinated by the Architect’s possibility of working in so many different areas. I discovered that what is important is to master a design discipline to be able to design anything, because that is what is essential and needed on every project. Design is one—it is not many different ones. The discipline of Design is one and can be applied to many different subjects, regardless of style. Design discipline is above and beyond any style. All style requires discipline in order to be expressed. Very often people think that Design is a particular style. Nothing could be more wrong! Design is a discipline, a creative process with its own rules, controlling the consistency of its output toward its objective in the most direct and expressive way. Throughout my life I have hunted opportunities to diversify my design practice: from glass to metal, from wood to pottery to plastics, from printing to packaging, from furniture to interiors, from clothing to costumes, from exhibitions to stage design and more. Everything was, and still is, a tempting challenge to test the interaction between intuition and knowledge, between passion and curiosity, between desire and success. Visual Power. We say all the time that we like Design to be visually powerful. We cannot stand Design that is weak in concept, form, color, texture or any or all of them. We think good Design is always an expression of creative strength bringing forward clear concepts expressed in beautiful form and color, where every element expresses the content in the most forceful way. There are infinite possibilities to achieve a powerful expression. In graphic design, for instance, difference of scale within the same page can give a very strong impact. Bold type contrasting with light type creates Vignelli Associates


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visually dynamic impressions. We have used this approach successfully in our graphic design. In three dimensional design, manipulating light through different textures and materials gives infinite and effective results. Changing scale and contrasting sizes provide an impressive array of possibilities. It is essential that a design is imbued with visual strength and unique presence to achieve its purpose. Visual strength can be achieved also by using delicate layouts or materials. Visual strength is an expression of intellectual elegance and should never be confused with just visual impact—which, most of the time, is just an expression of visual vulgarity and obtrusiveness. Visual power is, in any event, a subject which deserves great attention to achieve effective design. Intellectual Elegance. We often talk About Intellectual Elegance, not to be confused with the elegance of manners and mores. For me, intellectual elegance is the sublime level of intelligence which has produced all the masterpieces in the history of mankind. It is the elegance we find in Greek statues, in Renaissance paintings, in the sublime writings of Goethe, and many great creative minds. It is the elegance of Architecture of any period, the Music of all times, the clarity of Science through the ages. It is the thread that guides us to the best solution of whatever we do. It is the definitive goal of our minds—the one beyond compromises. It elevates the most humble artifact to a noble stand. Intellectual elegance is also our civic consciousness, our social responsibility, our sense of decency, our way of conceiving Design, our moral imperative. Again, it is not a design style, but the deepest meaning and the essence of Design. Timelessness. The Vignelli Canon


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We are definitively against any fashion of design and any design fashion. We despise the culture of obsolescence, the culture of waste, the cult of the ephemeral. We detest the demand of temporary solutions, the waste of energies and capital for the sake of novelty. We are for a Design that lasts, that responds to people’s needs and to people’s wants. We are for a Design that is committed to a society that demands long lasting values. A society that earns the benefit of commodities and deserves respect and integrity. We like the use of primary shapes and primary colors because their formal values are timeless. We like a typography that transcends subjectivity and searches for objective values, a typography that is beyond times—that doesn’t follow trends, that reflects its content in an appropriate manner. We like economy of design because it avoids wasteful exercises, it respects investment and lasts longer. We strive for a Design that is centered on the message rather than visual titillation. We like Design that is clear, simple and enduring. And that is what timelessness means in Design. Responsibility. In graphic design the issue of responsibility assumes particular importance as a form of economic awareness toward the most appropriate solution to a given problem. Too often we see printed works produced in a lavish manner just to satisfy the ego of designers or clients. It is important that an economically appropriate solution is used and is one that takes in proper consideration all the facets of the problem. As much as this may seem obvious it is one of the most overlooked issues by both designers and clients. Responsibility is another form of discipline. As designers, we have three levels of responsibility: One—to ourselves, the integrity of the project and all its components. Vignelli Associates


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Two—to the Client, to solve the problem in a way that is economically sound and efficient. Three—to the public at large, the consumer, the user of the final design. On each one of these levels we should be ready to commit ourselves to reach the most appropriate solution, the one that solves the problem without compromises for the benefit of everyone. In the end, a design should stand by itself, without excuses, explanations, apologies. It should represent the fulfillment of a successful process in all its beauty. A responsible solution. Equity. Many times we have been asked to design a logo or a symbol for a Company—often at the request of the marketing department to refresh the Company’s position in the marketplace. Although this may be a legitimate request, very often, it is motivated by the desire of change merely for the sake of change, and that is a very wrong motivation. A real Corporate Identity is based on an overall system approach, not just a logo. A logo gradually becomes part of our collective culture; in its modest way it becomes part of all of us. Think of Coca Cola, think of Shell, or, why not, AmericanAirlines. When a logo has been in the public domain for more than fifty years it becomes a classic, a landmark, a respectable entity and there is no reason to throw it away and substitute it with a new concoction, regardless of how well it has been designed. Perhaps, because I grew up in a country where history and vernacular architecture were part of culture of the territory and was protected, I considered established logos something to be equally protected. The Vignelli Canon


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The notion of a logo equity has been with us from the very beginning of time. When we were asked to design a new logo for the FORD Motor Company, we proposed a light retouch of the old one which could be adjusted for contemporary applications. We did the same for Ciga Hotels, Cinzano, Lancia Cars and others. There was no reason to dispose of logos that had seventy years of exposure, and were rooted in people’s consciousness with a set of respectable connotations. What is new is not a graphic form but a way of thinking, a way of showing respect for history in a context that usually has zero understanding for these values.

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This criticizes the corruption of design for the benefit of capitalism. Design should be used for good and to help as many people as possible.

Summery

Barcelona Manifesto


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BARCELONA MANIFESTO Enzo Mari


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Notes by the author Dear Catalan Government’s Counsellor for Culture, while producing the materials for the exhibition I tried to be consistent with the reason why I was awarded with the Barcellona Disseny (“in 2000 your professional route and your contribution to the culture of objects can offer an opportune reflection on the state of design today.”) But the extent and complexity of the problems this motivation implies go far beyond the work of one artist. I therefore thought it was important—now that we are symbolically entering the new millennium—to take advantage of this opportunity to share with you and the public—including students, architects and the other workers—my reflections in the classic and yet synthetic form of a Manifesto that I’ve decided to call: Barcelona Manifesto. Barcellona Manifesto The utopizing tension of the origins of design must be recovered. If this is the allegory of a possible transformation, then it should reach as many people as possible. Those people who build our environment in a state of alienation and thus remain partially responsible of its transformation. The mechanisms lead by the IT revolution are presently devouring all ideas to vomit sellable goods. To begin with, in the next decades we must find the right ways to isolate from this redundancy the transformation ideas. In order to achieve that we must separate them from all those ideas that are generated by irresponsible anarchies that deny and trivialize the drive towards the utopia, thus making it impossible to get people involved. In the meanwhile, it might be worth to generalize the idea that: every project works towards ethics (which can be compared to the Hippocratic Oath.)

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The main points of this are that designers need to be aware of the world around us, designers need to be problem solvers, and designers need to create original material.

Summery

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Otherwise Forget It


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OTHERWISE FORGET IT Bob Gill


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The audience for graphic design is the same audience that will have seen the latest alien movie and the hottest music video with special effects that are absolutely dazzling. How can a graphic designer compete with this magic? We don’t have the technology or the budgets, or the time. If we want to attract attention to our work, we have to go to the other extreme. We have to go to reality! We must take a careful look at the real world and, in effect, say to our audience, “Look! have you ever noticed this before? Even though it was right under your nose.” That, to me, is more exciting than the most amazing special effects. And there’s another thing about the situation today that graphic designers must recognize. Before computers, the production of printed matter was in the hands of designers and printers. Most clients had only the vaguest idea how it was produced. And they were prepared to pay well for their logos, newsletters, brochures and other business paper. Now, for very little money, it’s possible to buy a program which allows anyone with a computer to produce most of the stuff for the average business. The mystique has finally gone out of ordinary design and print. These programs fit words and images into slick professional looking formats. And for low– end commercial needs, that’s perfectly fine. So, if a typist can do much of the work previously done by well–paid specialists, what’s left for the designer? Designers have to do things that a typist with a computer can’t do. This means that they have to be problem solvers, if they are to survive. And, unfortunately, thinking is not the designer’s first love. They love choosing colors, pushing type and shapes around, drawing in a particular style and imposing the latest graphic tricks on their next job, regardless of whether they are appropriate or not. They get these tricks from the culture. Most designers spend their time trying to emulate what’s supposed to be hot, what’s current, what’s trendy. But just think, if we want to do something the computer in the hands of a non–designer can’t do, something that’s original, how can we rely on what the culture tells us? (The culture tells all of us the same thing.) A few mega–corporations inflict this culture on us. Their virtual monopoly of TV, fashion, pop and rock‘n’roll music, cable, Otherwise Forget It


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theatre, magazines and film, etc., is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator which, in turn, allows them to merchandise the most stuff: Obama action figures and Kelly Clarkson t–shirts, for example. Of course, the establishment allows just enough high culture to prove that they’re not only Philistines. How can you extricate yourself from this avalanche of white–bread, so that you can be an original thinker? First purge your mind of as much cultural baggage as possible. When you get a job, regardless of how familiar the subject, resist any temptation to think you know enough about it, and that you’re ready to design. Assume that all of the information and imagery was supplied by the culture, that none of the information or imagery is original. Research the subject as if you know nothing about it. And don’t stop until you have something interesting, or even better, something original to say. That’s the most likely way of producing an original image. The design process can begin only after you are satisfied with the statement. Listen to the statement. It will design itself. Well, almost. As there are trillions of images assaulting your audience, competing for their attention, the least you can do is not have the words and images in your design competing with each other. Take a statement like, “we cure cancer for one dollar.” It isn’t necessary to make those words look interesting. They are interesting. If you try to make interesting words look interesting, the way they look competes with their meaning. Also, if you want to draw attention to an interesting image, the words that accompany it shouldn’t be unusual. Design is problem–solving. Most designers are not very interested in problem–solving. They’re more interested in producing work that looks good. That’s like the mathematician who, before knowing the problem, knows that the answer is 128. Designers who know their solution must consist of lots of white space, and a particular typeface, etc., before they know the problem, are just like the mathematician who knows that the answer is 128. What is good design is what communicates best in an original way, even though it doesn’t conform to our preconceptions of good design. No image or color or typeface is always good or always bad. What makes it good is if it’s the best image or color or typeface that says exactly what you want to say. Otherwise forget it. All the best. Bob Gill Bob Gill


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Otherwise Forget It


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This starts by explaining the context of why the manifesto was written. The manifesto within the manifesto is about responsible design politics and how too much of graphic design today is representational.

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Disrepresentation Now!


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DISREPRESENTATION NOW! Experimental Jetset


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Authors’ foreword We wrote the following manifesto nine years ago. It was written to function within a very specific context: we were invited to deliver a lecture at the first AIGA “Voice” convention, that was scheduled to take place towards the end of 2001, in Washington DC. Instead of a lecture, we planned to do something else. During the convention, we wanted to do a series of ‘hand–out sessions’, distributing stickersheets featuring abstract wristbands, nametags and badges. This stickersheet was printed in three different colours (red, blue and red). How we envisioned it, the people attending the convention would wear these abstract stickers, forming three different ‘political parties’ (a red party, a blue party and a black party), creating a sort of site–specific artwork. We were very much inspired by the fact that the convention took place in Washington DC, and wanted to create a work that would refer to political rallies, demonstrations, protests, Democratic and Republic conventions, etc. On the back of the stickersheet, we printed a manifesto. In retrospect, this manifesto didn’t have a lot to do with the front of the stickersheet. But at that time, we felt the manifesto was necessary, to clarify our views on graphic design. Re–reading the manifesto now, we fully realize the manifesto would sooner confuse our ideas than clarify them. In the end, it didn’t really matter. We never made it to Washington to hand out the stickersheets. Because of the ‘9/11’ attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the ‘Voice’ conference was cancelled. The stickersheets were already printed by then. Most of the stickersheets were distributed by AIGA, as part of a mailing. Some stickersheets were enclosed in issue 4 of the magazine Dot Dot Dot. The manifesto was also published by a German magazine called Perspektive, together with an accompanying interview, which was also published by Dot Dot Dot. And that was the end of the manifesto. Disrepresentation Now!


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Looking at the manifesto now, we see a lot of small things we don’t agree with. First of all, we think the title should have been “Non–representationism” instead of “Disrepresentationism”. Moreover, the categories of ‘representation’ and ‘dis–or non– represenation’ are not really part of our thinking anymore. We also used some other words in the manifesto (‘functionality’ and ‘amoralism’) that we would never use now; in fact, looking back at our body of work, we think our work has been very moralistic, from the very start. However, re–reading the manifesto, we also see a lot of things we still agree with. For example, we still believe that the political qualities of graphic design are situated foremost in its aesthetic dimension, and not necessarily in the direct message it tries to deliver. Furthermore, we are still very interested in the idea of a graphic design that refers to its own material context. And lastly, after all these years, we would still never work for an advertising agency. So in that sense, we still feel connected to the manifesto. Experimental Jetset, 15.10.2010 Disrepresentation Now! On the social, political, and revolutionary role of graphic design. More an attempt than a manifesto. File under: / Experimental Jetset / Washington DC / Voice 2001 AIGA / Disrepresentationism In his vicious 1923 manifesto ‘Anti-Tendenzkunst’, architect, artist and De Stijl founder Theo van Doesburg stated that “as obvious as it may sound, there is no structural difference between a painting that depicts Trotsky heading a red army, and a painting Experimental Jetset


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that depicts Napoleon heading an imperial army. It is irrelevant whether a piece of art promotes either proletarian or patriotic values”. This qoute can be easily misunderstood as blatantly apolitical, but in our humble opinion, it is far from that. In Van Doesburg’s view, it doesn’t really matter what a painting depicts; it is the act of depiction itself, the process of representation, that he regards as highly anti-revolutionary. Van Doesburg and many other modernists saw representative art as inherently bourgeois; suggestive, tendentious and false. Regardless of the subject. Although formulated almost a century ago, we, as Experimental Jetset, have to admit we feel a certain affinity for Van Doesburg’s ‘anti-tendentious’ ideas. Although at first sight it might seem impossible to differentiate between ‘presentative’ and ‘representative’ graphic design, we do think it is possible to make a distinction of some sort. For example, it’s hard to deny that most graphic design produced within the context of advertising is inherently representative. No surprise, since the very concept of advertising is one of the purest forms of representation. As per definition, advertising never “is” in itself, it always “is about” something else. Advertising is a phenomenon that constantly dissolves its own physical appearance, in order to describe and represent appearances other than itself. Whereas presentative graphic design seems to underline its own physical appearance, even when it is referring to subjects other than itself. Having said all this, we like to point out that our criticism of advertising is fundamentally different than the criticism expressed in the 2000 First Things First manifesto. Other than the signatories to that manifesto, we see no structural difference between social, cultural and commercial graphic design. Every cause that is formulated outside of a design context, and superficially imposed on a piece of design, is tendentious, Disrepresentation Now!


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representative, and thus reactionary, whether it deals with corporate interests or social causes. Likewise, we see no structural difference between advertising and ‘anti-advertising’. The former tries to sell you product X, the latter tells you not to buy product X, but on a fundamental level they are completely alike. They both contribute to what Guy Debord was so fond of referring to as “the society of the spectacle”: a world of representation and alienation. Other representative tendencies in graphic design include the fact that nowadays more and more designers refer to their profession in (immaterial) terms such as ‘visual communication’, ‘information architecture’, etc. These particular notions painfully show the shift in graphic design towards the denial and neglect of its own physical dimensions. In ‘The Republic’, Plato has Socrates tell the allegory of the cave. 2500 years later, we’re still imprisoned in this cave, watching shadows. The only way out of this representative illusion is through presentative culture.The immorality of advertising and the morality of anti-advertising are two sides of the same coin. What we need is a form of graphic design that is neither immoral nor moral, but amoral; that is productive, not reproductive; that is constructive, not parasitic. We believe that abstraction, a movement away from realism but towards reality, is the ultimate form of engagement. We believe that to focus on the physical dimensions of design, to create a piece of design as a functional entity, as an object in itself, is the most social and political act a designer can perform. That’s why we believe in color and form, type and spacing, paper and ink, space and time, object and function and, most of all, context and concept. Experimental Jetset, 25.08.2001

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This is a collection of thoughts about the world. Part one is about being skeptical of the world around you. Part two is about how things are a result of process. Part three contains some life lessons. Part four is about animal rights. Summery

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HUMANS Mike Mills


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Humans 01 Manifesto No plan survives first contact with the enemy. Sometimes being dumb is the only smart alternative. Shy people are secretly egoists. Nothing is real. Everything you see is a dream you project onto the world. Children live out their parents unconscious. The only animals that suffer from anxiety are the ones that associate with humans. I don’t trust people who are very articulate. The only way to be sane is to embrace your sanity. When you feel guilty about being sad, remember Walt Disney was a manic depressive. Everything I said could be totally wrong. Humans 02 Manifesto Everything is transient. Everything is a process not an object. Humans 03 Manifesto Be more positive. Try to stop anthropomorphizing the animals I know, or at least do it less. Play games that require abandon. Get better at maintaining relationships with friends. Look at how I’m not fully conscious of my real life, admit that I’m groping in the dark, overwhelmed by the consequences of my acts and that at every moment I’m faced with outcomes I did not intend. Humans 04 Manifesto Animal rights is the movement to protect animals from being used or regarded as property by human beings. It is a radical social movement insofar as it aims not only to attain more humane treatment for animals, but also to include species other than human beings within the moral community by giving their basic interests—for example, the interest in avoiding suffering— Humans


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the same consideration as those of human beings. The claim is that animals should no longer be regarded legally or morally as property, or treated as resources for human purposes, but should instead be regarded as persons. Humans Manifesto. Quoted from the Wikipedia page “Animal Rights�.

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This can either be read as an allegory about things to keep in mind while designing or as a rant by someone who is passionate about pesto.

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The Pesto Manifesto


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THE PESTO MANIFESTO Peter Nowogrodzki


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This is the pesto manifesto; an improvised recipe of sorts. When making pesto, here are some things to keep in mind: Must use organic garlic if you live in the 21st Ce. Must use fresh basil from your mom or neighbor’s garden. Must use pine nuts. No food processing allowed. These are important because pesto is a delicacy that deserves to be made right. Pasta should not be smothered in mediocrity! Or should it? Become inspired by mediocre productions. Don’t covert production and experimentation recipe. Always leave the edges rough, so that someone can cut themselves. A photoshop’d joke is deep and meaningful. Take the knife to cultural icons and produce: produce the produce for the recipe and destroy the recipe. Follow and muddy up every else’s recipe; pun and play, annihilate and resurrect meaning. Keep in mind: pesto is delicious when it’s made fresh.

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Don’t worry about making everything perfect. Sometimes something bad is more interesting. I don’t know who Joey is but I am proud of him.

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UNTITLED Delaware


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Worse is better. Joey is a headbanger.

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This is about the Chinese design revolution and its basis in Origionalism. This long ass writing can be summed up as plagiarism is bad and originalism requires original ideas.

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IDEA INNOCENT ORIGINALITY REASONABLE Cai Shi Wei Eric


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Originalism. The leading force of design revolution are Chinese designers, while our theoretical basis is Originalism. If there’s a revolution, then there must be a leading theme, according to revolutionary theories and styles. Without such a theme, it’s impossible to beat the so–called plagiarism and its followers. If there’s no effort towards Originalism and if Chinese Designer isn’t the protagonist of Chinese design, China will never achieve independence and freedom in design field. Originalism is the aiming core for all Chinese designers, and without it Originalism as a business cannot win. Originalism is a thought–provoking, originality–leading, self– critical and design–related doctrine. If a troop of designers is equipped with such a doctrine and form a united front together with all the originalist designers, these weapons will defeat our enemies. We must have faith both in ‘Originalism designers’ and in Originalism itself. These are two cardinal principles. If we doubt these principles, we can’t accomplish anything. Armed with Originalism theories and ideas, Chinese Originalism has brought a new working style to Chinese designers, a style which essentially integrates theories with practice, creating close links with the designer and making self–criticism possible. Originalism can never lead to a great revolutionary movement for the final victory unless it’s armed with revolutionary theories, knowledge of history and a deep grasp of practical movement. As we used to say, the rectification movement is “a widespread education movement of Originalism”. Rectification means that the designer should study Originalism through criticism and self–criticism. We can certainly learn more about Originalism during the rectification movement. It’s a difficult task to ensure a better life for the several hundred millions of people in China and to change it from a backward country into an international, developed and aesthetic one. That is why we need a rectification movement, which we should insist on not only now, but also in the future. We must correct the fake, in order to take a deeper responsibility in this task and cooperate with revolutionary members overseas. Orientation Creative is not only our starting–point Idea Innocent Originality Reasonable


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for all the practical actions of China Originalism, but it’s also a demonstration of the practical process and destination. All the actions of originality revolution should be based on Orientation Creativity. We only have two choices: a right and proactive originality or a fake and blind creativity. Experiences are the process and destination of originality. And designers’ practices or experiences can prove the validity of originality. Originalism has laid down on the leading principles and policies of Chinese design revolution, as well as many working details and thinking principles. However, though many designers may keep in mind specific working and thinking principles of Originalism, they often forget its leading principle and policy. In this case, we are blind, half– baked, muddleheaded designers. When we carry out a specific working principle and idea, we shall loose our bearings and stagger, because what suffers or gets delayed is our work. Originalities and strategies are the marrow of Chinese Originalism. Chinese designers must pay full attention to these two points. Struggles between classes. Among classes struggles, some classes triumph while others are eliminated. This is History, and it’s the same case in the history of design. In a design society, every designer lives as a member of a particular class, and every thought, with no exception, is stamped with the brand of a class. Design changes according to the development of paradoxes among creative thoughts: the paradox between creativity and creation, between the old and the new and the paradox among classes. These paradoxes push the design forward and accelerate the transition from old design to the new one. Due to the ruthless exploitation and aesthetic repression on public thoughts in a plagiarist way, the original designer was forced to stand up in order to resist their contamination. Only class struggle among designers and the struggles of the Originalism designers can support design development. We should organize ourselves as Originalism designers. If we are allied with all these designers, we can defeat plagiarists. Cai Shi Wei Eric


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Without fighting or struggle, Plagiarism will never disappear. It’s the same case with sweeping, in which dust will never clear up itself. Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of first importance for originality revolution. The basic reason why all previous revolutionary struggles in China achieved so little was their failure to join with real friends in order to attack real enemies. Originalism is the guide of all designers, and no revolution ever succeeds when the revolutionary concept leads them astray. We must ensure that we will definitely achieve success in our revolution and will not lead the designers astray; we must stay with our real friends in order to attack our real enemies. The designer who stands by the original designers is a revolutionist, while the one standing by the plagiarists is an anti–revolutionist. Anyone who pretends to be a revolutionist but acts like he’s not, is a false–revolutionist, while one who follows Originalism both in words and in action is a real revolutionist. Plagiarists will never accept their failure; they absolutely will make their final beat. Even after the realization of an originality society, plagiarists will, by all means, make trouble and do plagiaries. This is undoubted and inevitable, and for this reason we should reinforce our vigilance. It is a long process to succeed in ideological struggles between our Originalism and plagiarism, since the latter will have a long– term influence on our society. Provided that we have little or no understanding of this situation, we should make big mistakes and ignore the necessary fight with plagiarism. Both plagiarism and revisionism are doctrines against Originalism. Orginalism should constantly move forward with the development of practices. It will die when it stops development. But such development is bound to follow the leading principle of Originalism. Plagiarism takes Originalism as a dead doctrine while revisionism is a branch of plagiarism. Revisionism obscures the differences between Originalism and plagiarism, Idea Innocent Originality Reasonable


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and, moreover, the differences between both classes. What revisionism advocates is the latter one, not the former one. Originalism. Originalism system will eventually take place instead of the plagiarism one. It’s an objective law which will never affect people’s will. No matter how plagiarism prevents the development of the history of design: revolution will take place sooner or later and achieve the final success in the end. Originalism designer never conceal his creative ideas. Definitely and undoubtedly, our future program is to carry China forward to Originalism. We are implementing not only the revolution of design system but also the revolution of basic education. Both revolutions are tightly bounded. The new design system has only just been established and requires time for its consolidation. It must not be assumed that the new system can be completely consolidated the moment it is established, because this is impossible. We have to achieve a national–spread Originalism and insist on the originality revolution. Moreover, we must offer an education on the frequent and arduous revolutionary struggles. And the prerequisite is an international cooperation. It is a long–term process for both these struggles to give strenght to Originalism system and to the struggle between Originalism and plagiarism. Nevertheless, there should be a prospective in our mind that we are able to consolidate the new Originalism system and build up an new nation armed with modern aesthetics and modern design themes, as well as a modern spiritual culture. To educate our designers is an essential and urgent work, but its thoughts are easily distracted. According to the experiences Cai Shi Wei Eric


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of the other countries with an advanced design, long–time preparation and careful work can lead to a real design originality, without which an overall and solid Originalism is impossible. >We must have faith, first, that designers are ready to step on the way toward Originalism under the leadership of China Originalism, and second, that the Originalism is capable of leading the designer along this road. These two points are the essence of the matter. In addition to the leadership of Originalism, the fundamental factor are our designers themselves. More designers mean a greater ferment of ideas, more enthusiasm and energy. Never before the designer have been so inspired, so militant and so daring. Under the leadership of China Originalism, Chinese designers are carrying out a vigorous rectification movement, in order to put the rapid development of Originalism in China on a firmer basis. By means of practicing and reasoning, we should launch an overall revolutionary movement, consciously and freely, to deal with the problems between plagiarism and Originalism, the problems of designing principles, developments and working styles, and, the most urgent of all, solving the inevitable problems at this stage. This movement must be a self–educated and self–reviewing one. The Correct Handling of Contradictions among the Designer. Contradiction between enemies and us and between design ideas are two different types of contradictions. To understand them correctly, we must first be clear on what is meant by ‘originality’ and ‘enemy’. The classes which support and work for the Originalism are in alliance with Originalism designers. The classes which oppose, resist and destruct the establishment of Originalism are the enemies of Originalism designers. For our designers the most important question is how to distinguish the right words and actions from the wrong ones. Considering our Originalism principles and the will of the Idea Innocent Originality Reasonable


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overwhelming majority of our designers, the criteria should be as following: (1) what should help to unite, not to divide, the designers of our country. (2) What should be beneficial, and not harmful, to Originalism transformation and construction. (3) What should help to consolidate, and not undermine or weaken, designers status. (4) What helps, but not destroys, the alliance of Originalism designers worldwide. Since two contradictions are different in nature, solutions are different either. To put it in short, the former are a matter of drawing a clear distinction between ourselves and the enemy, and the latter a matter of drawing a clear distinction between what is right and what is wrong. Plagiarists tried to reflect their thoughts. They made no effort to express themselves on thinking and expression matters. It is impossible for them to hide away from the public attention. Rather than fight plagiarists’ performance, we should let them to freely express themselves. What we need to do is to discuss with them and criticize them. Without criticism, the market would be filled with plagiarized designs and this would be an unexpected case for us. We should criticize the mistakes like we sweep poisonous weeds. In ordinary circumstances, contradictions among designers are not antagonistic. However, if contradictions aren’t handled properly, or if we relax our vigilance and lower our guard, antagonism may arise. War and Peace. Revolutions and revolutionary wars are inevitable in a design society, and without them it’s impossible to accomplish any leap in design development and to eliminate plagiarism. Cai Shi Wei Eric


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Originalism is an antitoxin which not only eliminates the enemy but also its followers. Originality revolution is so powerful that it can revise designs or pave a road for this revision. Every designer must grasp the truth: “ideas arise from Originalism.” The core task and the top of pyramid of Originalism is to reform the society. This revolutionary principle of Originalism must be achieved both for China and overseas. To achieve a lasting worldwide development of originality we must further develop our friendship and cooperation with other countries and strengthen our solidarity with all Originalism forms. Making troubles, plagiarizing, making troubles again, plagiarizing again and again, even destructing. This is the logic of plagiarists and the unknown. Fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again and again… till the victory; this is the logic of Originalism designer. We shouldn’t be less vigilant because of our victory. Designers who are free from Originalism would put themselves in a passive position. Design is improving, future is bright and no one can change this general historical trend. We should carry on a constant propaganda among the designers regarding design improvements and the bright future ahead, so that they will build up their confidence for the victory. Plagiarists and their followers are all paper tigers. All the plagiarists are like paper tigers. At first sight, plagiarists are terrifying people. But, in reality, they are nothing. From a wider perspective, the real power is in the hands of Originalism designers rather than plagiarists’ ones. Moving a stone to hit one’s own feet: this is a Chinese saying to describe fools’ performances. Plagiarists are like those fools. What they have done to Originalism designers is to push the latter one to become more active and more devoted to design revolution. Idea Innocent Originality Reasonable


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Plagiarists won’t live long, since what they focus on is to plagiarize other’s ideas and to destruct design development. Consequently, worldwide designers are forced to cooperate and fight for Originalism. To kill the plagiarists’ repressions is the ultimate goal for all Originalism designers. Dare to Struggle and Dare to Win. Designers of the world! We should unite and defeat plagiarism and its followers. Designers of the world! Be courageous, dare to fight back, defy difficulties and go on wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to Originalism designers. In design history the dying plagiarists tend to make a final strike to the Originalism power. Some Originalism designers could be deluded, within a certain period, by the pretentious plagiarism idea that they are energetic outside but vulnerable inside, failing to grasp the essential fact that the enemy is nearing extinction while they are approaching victory. We should get rid of all our impotential thoughts. All views that overestimate the strength of plagiarism and underestimate the strength of the Originalism designers are wrong. Designer’s War. Originality war is designers’ war; it can be accomplished by motivating and relying on designers. What is a true bastion of iron? Designers, millions of designers who genuinely and sincerely support Originalism. This is the real iron bastion which can never be broken. Plagiarists will never beat us, whereas we will defeat them. We are absolutely capable to eliminate them and achieve the final victory. All the leading principles of Originalism revolution are based on a core principle with which we should try at our best to arouse our creativity and, furthermore, exterminate plagiarists. Cai Shi Wei Eric


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Team of designers. Chinese designers form a solid team which follows Originalism firmly. Especially at this moment, apart from designing, and insisting on Originalism and eliminating plagiarism, Chinese designers are also responsible for propagating, organizing and helping all the comrades in order to build up revolutionary forces and complete original designs. Without propagating, organizing and managing, there’s no sense in our revolution and there’s no sense in the existence of designers. All Chinese designers must always remember that we are the great Originalism Designers, we are the troops led by the great Originalism of China. Provided that we constantly observe the instructions of the Originalism, we are doomed to win. The Designer Line. Only the Originalism designer is the force in making the history of design.Originalism designers are endowed with unlimited creativities. They can stay together to design more deeply and more widely, improve themselves and increase society development. Designers have an inexhaustible enthusiasm for Originalism. Those who can only follow the old thinking routine are incapable of seeing this enthusiasm. They are blind and in a total black. Those who simply follow the old routine underestimate this designers’ enthusiasm. They tend to disapprove every new idea and they fight them. Afterwards, they have to admit defeat and make an unserious self–criticism. These people are always passive, always hesitate and stop at the critical moment, and they’re always forced to move forward. Among all the innovative works, oppressionism is the wrong one, since it’s beyond what customers accept and against the principle of willingness. It’s a disease. Designers who have a deep and detailed understanding of their own products think that customers should have their same or similar understanding. But the truth is that only after researches and studies we can see whether customers understand or are willing to pay for the ideas. Idea Innocent Originality Reasonable


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Among all the innovative works, flatterism is also wrong since it is behind what customers can accept and against the principle of guide the customer. It is a chronic disease. The designers, who have had no or only a little understanding of certain matters, consider that our customers should have same or similar understanding with us. But the truth is that our customers have already been far beyond us. We should gather and form our right opinions from customers and we should also apply these opinions to customers and guide them. This is the fundamental communication with customers. We should undestand deeply the customers, learn from them, collect their experiences and finally form our own innovative ideas and thoughts. Then we should communicate with customers and suggest them to bring those ideas or thoughts into reality, solve their problems and achieve their understanding and benefits. Designers should continuously pay attention to customer conditions, benefits, experiences and markets. We should also keep an eye on the issue of customers’ development in enterprises, products and marketing. The services offered by us should include all the matters above. Discussion, decision, implementation and examination are the services we provide for customers. What we want them to recognize is that we are there for their benefits, and we stand side by side with them. From our services they can have a better and deeper understanding of our designs; they can accept, support and defend our original work. They also can help us spread our original products throughout the country. And, eventually, they can give us a hand in the victory of Originalism. Thinking about Ideas. Original thinking is the lifeline to all creative work. This is particularly true nowadays, when the creative system is undergoing fundamental changes. Thinking is the foundation of the creation. Unless they are Cai Shi Wei Eric


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imbued with progressive creative spirit, and unless such a spirit is fostered through a progressive thinking, it’s impossible to achieve a genuine idea, to arouse the creativities of designers to the top, and to provide an excellent basis for the most effective use of all our thoughts and performances. Originalism is the link to unite all the designers for great innovative struggle. Unless it’s realized, any creative activity is out of our reach. Our designers have always had a traditional style towards struggles, which we should keep on. Furthermore, Originalism has been advocating a firm and correct thinking orientation. This orientation is inseparable from an arduous struggle. Without a firm and correct thinking orientation, it’s impossible to promote such a style, and viceversa. What really counts in the world is to be earnest, and Originalism is the most earnest of all. Relations between the Designers. Originalism designers should have two principles in mind. First, treating plagiarists ruthlessly, overwhelming them and eliminating them. Secondly, uniting and respecting our older generations. We come from all the corners of the country and have joined together in a common revolutionary aim. Our designers must take care of each designer, and all the designers in the revolutionary ranks must care for each other, must love and help each other. Originalism designer should have the idea that to develop creativity is a long, enduring and precise process. We have to convince the others by persuasion rather than by oppression. The result of oppression is just the seeming suppression not a real conviction. We must make a distinction between the enemy and ourselves, and we cannot adopt an antagonistic stand towards comrades and treat them as we do with the enemy. We should Idea Innocent Originality Reasonable


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communicate with our comrades with the enthusiasm to protect our design business as well as a political consciousness rather than attack and sneer. Serving the Design. We should be modest and prudent, get rid of arrogance and rashness, and serve China design devotely. Our starting points are the following: serve the design business whole–heartedly; stick constantly to Originalism; think about creativity rather than the profit; being responsible to Originalism and our customers. Our duty is to keep ourselves to originality. Every word, every act and every thought must apply to originality, and whenever or wherever mistakes occur, they must be corrected immediately. This is our responsibility for originality. Originalism survives with sacrifices. In many cases, our creative ideas are denied. But such sacrifices are worthwhile at the thought of harmfulness of plagiarism. Even if we die for Originalism, it would be reasonable. However, we should try to avoid some evitable sacrifices. Self–Reliance and Arduous Struggle. On which basis should our policy stand? It should stand on our own strength. That’s what self–reliance means. We are not alone in the world; all the anti–plagiarism designers are our friends. But what we stressed on is self–reliance. We will be able to defeat all plagiarists with our own force. We advocate self–reliance. We hope for foreign aids but we can’t be totally dependent on them; we only depend on our own efforts and the creative power of our Chinese designers. Designers themselves create design treasures. Only if we believe in our own fate, we could face problems and find solutions, Cai Shi Wei Eric


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rather than simply escape from them. Obviously, this is another route of Originalism. Originalism designer must be prepared to overcome all difficulties with an indomitable will. Both plagiary forces and Originalism designers are facing problems. But, while problems to plagiarists are unconquerable, ours are easy to solve since we are a force with a bright future. New ideas have always to experience difficulties while they grow–up. It’s a sheer fantasy to imagine that Originalism business is a smooth sailing and success which will come without difficulties and setbacks. We cannot accomplish it without huge efforts. What is an idea? An idea means struggle. There are difficulties and problems to overcome and solve. We innovate and struggle to solve these difficulties. A good designer is one who “the more he encounters difficulties, the better he performs”. Correcting Mistaken Ideas. Even if we achieve a great success in our work, there is no reason to be arrogant. Understatement helps people to go forward. This is a truth we must always keep in mind. Many ideas may become our burden, if we cling to them blindly and unconsciously. Exploring Originalism is a heavy mission. What matters is whether we dare to take it on our shoulders. Criticism and Self–Criticism. Originality doesn’t fear criticism because we are Originalists and the truth is on our side. Criticism and self–criticism are our weapons for Originalism. We can get rid of our bad style and keep the good one. Idea Innocent Originality Reasonable


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We support active ideological struggles because this is the weapon to unify all the design groups. Every designer should take up this weapon. If we make mistakes, we should dare to accept criticism from everyone, because we are serving the client. If the critic is true, we correct ourselves. If it gives a benefit to our idea, we simply accept it. We shouldn’t be just satisfied of our successes. We should restrain our self–satisfaction and be critics of ourselves just like washing our face everyday. If we learn from our mistakes we’ll became wiser an we will have better ideas. Being perfect is impossible, even for talented designers. But what we ask for is to make as few mistakes as possible. And once a mistake is made, we should correct it, the more quickly, the better. Study. It is a tough job to transform a lagging and plagiary China into an advanced and innovative one. Since we have little experience of this, study is indispensable for us. Design has been changing all the time. In order to adapt ourselves to new conditions, we must keep studying. Even those who have a better grasp of Originalism should go on learning, in order to absorb in what is new and study new problems. We can learn what we didn’t know before. We are not only good in destroying old design, we are also good in building up the new one. Those who have experience must study theoretical knowledge and read seriously; only then they will be able to systematize and synthesize their experiences and transform them into a theory. Only then we won’t consider their partial experience like a universal truth and commit empiricist errors. In order to have a real grasp of Originalism, we should learn it not only from books, but also from revolutionary struggles, Cai Shi Wei Eric


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practical work and close communication with other designers. As a result, all of the designers would have a common language, with which designers share a common view of Originalism. If it happens, all of us will certainly work a lot better. Knowledge is a matter of science and any dishonesty is impossible. What instead is required are honesty and modesty. Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we get rid of complacency. We should keep an attitude which is “insatiable in learning” and “tireless in teaching” to the others.

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This is about identity and ethnicity. It states that identity is not limited to one ethnicity and is not dependent on a certain place.

Summery

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Slavs


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SLAVS Slavs and Tatars


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You can take the Slav out of Bulgaria, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Belarus, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic but you can’t take Bulgaria, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Belarus, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic out of the Slav.

Slavs


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