First Things First

The First things first manifesto (2015) was published in 1964 by Ken Garland and signed and influenced by many other designers. This Manifesto was written as a proclamation against consumerism stating that we have been lured to work for something we shouldn’t or may not agree with.

This document claims that designing for “cat food, stomach powders, detergent, hair, restorer, stripped toothpaste, aftershave lotion…” are all a waste of time and are considered merely “trivial”. That the advertising of these products are not only un-creative but are also a “gimmick”. (2015)

However is this really relevant to today’s society? I believe it is and in ways it also isn’t. Firstly The fact that designers work for advertisers I see no issue in, Advertising is how companies sell and if every product looked the same I wouldn’t know what to choose. However from a more personal view there is something about advertisement that I believe that does affect the fact and that is us most (not all) tell lies or warped meanings to persuade.

Recently there has been a Protein World advertising campaign asking the viewers “Are you beach body ready?” (Radhika Sanghani 2015) Displaying a thin, blonde model in a yellow bikini staring down at them. This has produced uproar of hate and anger with many women disagreeing with the idea of promoting using proteins to encourage weightless and that the posters are displaying the idea that normal body types are not good enough to wear a bikini.

This has caused the women on the tube to fight back adding graffiti to the posters stating “#each bodies perfect” (Radhika Sanghani 2015) amongst other comments. This is why I am unsure whether I agree with the First things first Manifesto (2015). Although I believe advertising is important I can see the common mistakes and stereotypes advertisers face. This particular case was dealt with badly however there are many other advertisements that are perfectly fine to me.

Eysler, A. (2015) First things first [CTS Graphic and Media Design year 1] University of the Arts London: London College of Communication. CTS 1: Catalogue. 19 February

Garland, K. (2015) First things first Avaliable at: (Accessed: 17 May 20150

Sanghani, R. (2015) ‘Are you beach body ready?’ : Feminists deface ‘body-shaming’ ad Avaliable at: (Assessed: 17 May 2015)

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