Activity 1.1 – First things First Manifesto 2000 & ’10 Footnotes to a Manifesto’

The article “First things first Manifesto 2000” points to the fact that designers have far more responsibility beyond commercial advertising.  The belief that “commercial work has always paid the bills” is an exaggerated notion, especially the way it has been promoted by many design mentors, rewarded by the market, and how publications are reinforcing it. Moreover, the author believes that Consumerism is running the design world uncontested, and should be challenged through design resources and visual languages.

I agreed that despite the apparatus of advertising been presented as the most lucrative use of designers’ talents, there are more pursuits worthy of designers’ skills than commercial advertising, which include: cultural interventions and social marketing campaigns.

I disagreed with the view that the world sees designers as primarily focusing on advertising. Their works extend beyond advertising to almost everything we do.

Bierut’s criticism of the manifesto pointed some significant issues that its signatories failed to acknowledge- the fact that design in the advertising field is as equally important as every other design work. His argument is reasonable in the sense that design could be used as a tool to enable the activities of everyday life, including commercial life, but not fair for categorising graphic designers as viewers of the advertising world with a measure of envy.



  1. Hi Irving,

    Your take on the manifesto and it’s review are very clear, and it’s made me think more deeply about my answer. Although I disagree with your view that the world does not see designers focussing mainly on advertising (and I wish that that wasn’t the case because design is so much more) I do agree that designers should not be imposed upon as ‘viewers of the advertising world with a measure of envy.’

    I’m not a big fan of the marketing/ advertising industry and believe like you that design has more depth and meaning than mass sales and a consumer market. The problem is, does the world see this?

    You bring up some good points!


  2. Peer Feedback:
    Comprehension of issues
    It is clear that there is an understanding of the issues raised in both the First things first manifesto 2000 and the Ten Footnotes response.
    Analytical thinking demonstrated in articulating a viewpoint
    You have taken the questions and expanded on them which is great and expands on views outside of Bierut’s criticisms. It is a shame we have a word limit as I would have liked an expansion on your comment “Their works extend beyond advertising to almost everything we do.”
    Ordering information
    Ordering is in line with the activity instructions.
    Clear English expression
    Reads well, your last sentence in the last paragraph could have some minor re-wording to get your point across a little more clearly.
    Some minor grammatical errors.


  3. Yes, yes, so the device savvy, I would say – pressing the button when the bread is placed inside. But you can do some other very good things with your t oven. You can shrink Shrinky Dinks (actual product, not makin &#hi;t39s stuff up) Umm. . . . Make mini pizzas – all should do this at least once, and warm your mitts (on low). Tis the season. Cheers. To you.


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