Sunday, April 29, 2007


Revisited Manifesto Emigre Nr.51 1999 by Rick Poynor

First things after 37 years



Jonathan Barnbrook
Nick Bell
Andrew Blauvelt
Hans Bockting
Irma Boom
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
Max Bruinsma
Sian 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 )

signed this Manifesto.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


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 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 point at which the high pitched stream 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 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.


First things were said...

Thursday, April 26, 2007








The individual opens itself out to the world in order to maintain a far-form equilibrium steady state. The equations of the physics of the open systems and mathematics of communication explain how this is done. If the uncertainty of the environment increases, independence from this state can be maintained either by increasing the systems capacity to anticipate [better perception, better knowledge], or by increasing its ability to influence the immediate environment, i.e. through greater mobility [the ability to change the environment] or more technology [the ability to change the environment], as in the case of nests and dens.
If active independence fails and the fluctuations of the environment are so wild that it is impossible to maintain a steady state, there still remains the possibility of …
This is achieved through the combination of certain individuals. Well-proven strategies include reproduction [especially sexual of course], symbiosis and other types of association. In this case, the equations are clear: an increase in the uncertainty of the environment requires an increase in the complexity of the system.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


A living individual is an object of this world that tends to conserve its own identity, independently from the fluctuations of the rest of the world [ENVIRONMENT]. And the environment does indeed change. ADAPTATION is the ability to understand the typical changes of the environment. INDEPENDENCE[or ADAPTATION] is the ability to withstand new changes. ADAPTATION referrs to the certainty of the environment, ADAPTABILITY to its uncertainty. They are not the same thing. We could even say that more of the former means less of the latter.
The uncertainty of the world is its greatest certainty. So if there is one question worth asking, it is this: HOW CAN ONE STAY ALIVE IN AN UNCERTAIN ENVIRONMENT? Perhaps the key to understanding biological evolution is not the concept of ADAPTATION but that of INDEPENDENCE. The idea is promising, because physics and mathematics, their laws and theorems, operate not in terms of adaptation but of independence.
There are three main families of alternatives, the first of which is…
The simplest and most banal way of being independent is to isolate oneself. This is when the boundary is impermeable to any change of matter, energy or information. It is the worst way of being independent, because in this case the stern second law of thermodynamics is irremediably applied and the system slips towards the only possible state, that of thermodynamic equilibrium, in other words, death. There are many ways of being alive, but only one of being dead. Nevertheless, life makes use of many good approximations to this alternative: latency, hibernation, resistant forms such as seeds, covering and simple growth [greater inertia]… The idea is to reduce activity or maintain simplicity, cross your fingers and wait for better times.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Sorina, Vita & Burger for FWA.

Monday, April 23, 2007



Don't believe your own hype
Try some things with no end result
Have a goal ( or many )
Be aware
Keep learning
Talk to other designers
Work hard
Make mistakes
Talk to people other than designers
Don't use technology as an excuse
Be true to what you believe in
Be humble
Don't think about it - DO IT
Don't talk about it - DO IT
Be selfish
Have fun"

" Good graphic design is the result of endless research for beauty in things.

It is hard to teach graphic design as there are no boundaries and limits to it. Try teaching(learning) the basic laws of composition, colour, typography, photography and then tell the ones you teach to break those laws.

Great weapons of graphic design:
Repetition | Substracion | Addition | Contrast | Rythm | Colour contrast | Collaging | Photo manipulation | Texturing | Scaling | Deconstruction | Adaptation | Decontextualisation | Morphing ... of course there are ton-wise more weapons, but those are just a few which I tend to use very oftern. " ( some guy )

" Give back what you learn... share it ... make others exceed your boundaries ... and try to pass/exceed them ... a good way to progress. " ( some other guy )

" Creativity is concept, structural, progressive thinking."

The nucleus of inspiration. It's the key factor that drives to genius. Through perpetous experimentation one can achieve the absolute."

" Trying to look good limits my life.
Everything I do always comes back to me.
Everybody thinks they are right.
Money does not make me happy.
Thinking life in the future will be better is stupid, I have to live now.
Complaining is silly, either act or forget.
Having guts always works out for me.
Helping others helps me." ( Stefan Sagmeister )


" Design which has been given minimal thought will have little value in the long run."(Milton Glaser)

" The challenge is to enhance the meaning while not totally abandoning the framework that unites the whole."(Niels Diffrient)

" A gresi este uman
A repeta greseala este tot uman
A-ti impune greselile ca standard este o prostie sau genialitate in forma pura."

" Rules are good, break them." (Tibor Kalman)

"Television is the literature of the illiterate,
the culture of the low-brow,
the wealth of the poor,
the proviledge of the unpriviledged,
the exclusive club of the excluded masses." (Lee Loevinger)


" To progress in an environment(system) is simply to gain independence from it. Progressive and regressive lines are not an example and a counterexample of the same contradictory event but two particular cases of a more general one. REGRESSION occurs in condition of hyperstability and PROGRESS occurs under the pressure of enviromental uncertainty. We can breathe a sigh of relief and find reconciliation with the gut feeling that, after all, something happened between the appearance of the first prokariyotic bacteria and - shall we say - the birth of Shakespeare. " (Jorge Wagensberg)

" Writing moves words from the sound world to a world of visual space, but print locks words into position in space. Control of position is everything in print." ( Walter Ong)

" Texts and typography are receptacles for social and cultural meaning. As a vehicle for the dissemination of messages, typography becomes a fundamental part of the " grammar of visual design" and, as such, is central to the process of interpreting and mapping meaning.

The text is not just a form of visual and verbal representation but also a material object with distinct physical features which are, in themselves, semiotic.

A text is a material object and is a reflexion of any physical process associated with its physical production and use. "

" Spatial form in the literary discipline is an essential feature in the interpretation and experience of "descriptive or temporal space"."

" Learn to accept help from others. Learn to help others. "

" EVERY project, idea has the potential in becoming the best one till that time. In a normal evolution it HAS to be the best one." ( don't know who said this )

" The key is to think laterally, embrace the constraints, and think positively about the project." ( Dixonbaxi )


" I honestly do not understand why people are afraid of new ideas. I am really scared of old ideas." (John Cage)

" By creating something, you are personally approving its existence and directing the fate of many resources."(Stephen Peart)

" We construct and construct, but intuition is still a good thing. We can do great deal without it, but not everything."(Paul Klee)

" Photographs become raw material vulnerable to extension and improvement through processes used by graphic designers to create pages : image selection, cropping,juxtaposition, overlapping, bleeding, collaging, scale change and integration with other elements.?(Philip B. Meggs)

" Lenevim dar lenevim organizat. "(@Silvia)

" The uncertainty of the world is its greatest certainty. " (Verb)

" Design depends largely on constraints. " (Charles Eames)

" The toughest thing when running a design studio is not to grow. " (Tibor Kalman)

" This is why amateurs have an advantage over pros:
A pro knows what he can deliver, and rarely goes beyond it. An amateur has no concept of his limitations and generally goes beyond them."

" Processes are far more interesting than ideas
*linked to existing codes
*operating critically or in allignment with preexisting systems of ideas

*a process is the generation of a micro-history of a project
*a kind of specific narative where the entity of the project forms in a sequence

If geological, biological or human history, for instance, have something to teach us it is that these processes of temporal formation produce organisations of a higher complexity and sophistication then instantaneous ideas.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

First Post