Wednesday, 12 August 2009

ken garland.

A Manifesto - Ken Garland 1963 - Meeting of Society Of Industrial Arts:

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 world of those who have flogged their skill and imagination to sell such things as cat food, detergent [...] by far the greatest time and effort of those working in the ad industry are wasted on these trivial purposes, which contribute little or nothing to our national prosperity...

When I was at the Design Museum on Friday, I read this manifesto and it really made me think. Obviously there are brands and agencies that don't employ particularly creative individuals to design products, identities, packaging; but there are an awful lot of incredibly talented people doing what Ken Garland deems a waste of talent. Is it a waste of talent? Do people really notice and appreciate artistic ability communicated through detergent packs? Maybe not - but especially in agencies, with the cat food and other boring products, come more interesting projects that really allow creativity to relish (in my opinion). Also - what Mr. Garland doesn't quite seem to grasp, is that we have to survive and have a job - not everyone can succeed being a famous artist/designer/photographer - and I think the industry he casts down is a perfect opportunity to merge design ability and real life. But to be fair to the guy - it was written in 1963, and we have come a long way in terms of branding and the like since then. Anyway - it's certainly food for thought.

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