Hannah Furnell


Graphic Designer, Manchester www.hannahfurnell.co.uk

First Things First

Today we had a lecture on the ‘First Things First Manifesto’ (1964) by Ken Garland. This was based on the social responsibility of Graphic Design. Garland believed that designers should further their Graphic Design by involving opinions and complex ideas about the world, rather than just pointless consumerism. “The designer as a designer has a responsibility for the social ramifications of the effect of an advertisement promotion”. This could involve subjects such as abortion, cruelty to animals; meaning not all people would agree with the designs. Although companies ask designers to put across a certain opinion in matters such as these, the designer can always decline the design project. Designers should have social responsibility, which comes down to their morals and also principles in terms of design. Some designers would put across any side of a matter for a company just for the money, even if they didn’t agree with the point it was putting across. The controversy about the piece could also get the artist well known, but on the other hand, the opposite could happen, meaning it could give the designer a bad reputation. So should graphic designers have a social responsibility? The ‘First Things First’ Manifestos (1964/ 2000) can be found at the following website: http://www.art-omma.org/NEW/past_issues/theory/08_First%20Things%20First%20Manifesto%202000.htm