Thursday, July 30, 2009

100 Years of Design Manifestos

Woodcut by Frans Masereel

Since the days of radical printer-pamphleteers, design and designers have a long history of fighting for what’s right and working to transform society. The rise of the literary form of the manifesto also parallels the rise of modernity and the spread of letterpress printing.

Here are a few excerpts:

"We stand on the last promontory of the centuries!... Why should we look back, when what we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We already live in the absolute, because we have created eternal, omnipresent speed."
1909 The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, F.T. Marinetti

"Architects, painters, sculptors, we must all return to crafts! For there is no such thing as "professional art". There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. By the grace of Heaven and in rare moments of inspiration which transcend the will, art may unconsciously blossom from the labour of his hand, but a base in handicrafts is essential to every artist. It is there that the original source of creativity lies."
1919 Bauhaus Manifesto, Walter Gropius

"I believe that typefaces are valuable, powerful, and beautiful cultural tools, worthy of legal protection and deserving of the price they bring in the Western marketplace. Moreover, a gift of typography makes good on a unique body of skill, knowledge, and passion."
2006 Free Font Manifesto, Ellen Lupton

Dig: 100 Years of Design Manifestos!

That's Right,


Gracias to the smart folks at: Back Space.