As a music lover, Neil Young is one of those artists I feel I should fully appreciate and even enjoy. Well, I don’t. No doubt some of the tunes are good, great even – but I never want to hear them actually sung by him. For some unknown reason, Bob Dylan (earlier – not present day) escapes the same fate. Anyhow, for those audio-masochists out there, enjoy.
We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, photographers and students who have been brought up in a world in 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, beforeshave lotion, slimming diets, fattening diets, deodorants, fizzy water, cigarettes, roll-ons, pull-ons and slip-ons.
By far the greatest 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 numer of the general public, we have reached a saturation point 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 world.
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 favour 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.
1 allow events to change you
2 forget about good
3 process is more important than outcome
4 love your experiments like ugly children
5 go deep
6 capture accidents
9 begin anywhere
10 everyone is a leader
11 harvest ideas, edit applications
12 keep moving
13 slow down
14 don’t be cool (cool is conservative fear, dressed in black)
15 ask stupid questions
17 make an image which email won’t replicate
18 allow space for ideas you haven’t had yet
19 stay up late
20 work the metaphor
21 time is generic
22 repeat yourself
23 make your own tools
24 stand on someone’s shoulders
25 avoid software (everyone has it)
26 don’t clean your desk
27 don’t enter awards (it’s bad for you)
28 creativity is not device dependent
29 organisation is liberty
30 don’t borrow money
31 listen carefully
32 take field trips
34 make mistakes faster
35 scat (break it, stretch it, crack it, fold it)
36 explore the other edge
37 coffee breaks, cab rides, dream rooms
38 avoid fields, jump fences
41 power to the people
The following manifesto was first presented by Canadian designer Bruce Mau at the Doors of Perception 5 conference, November 1998.