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Looking Closer

Critical Writings on Graphic Design

«Commercial Work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The profession's time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best.» - The First Things First Manifesto by Ken Garland

Based on the First Things First Manifesto, insignificant objects from everyday life, which were exaggeratedly designed in relation to their function and which sometimes just end up as mere packaging in the trash, were photographically staged in the photo studio.

In the following layout module taught by Jonas Vögeli (in the first semester course of the Visual Communication department), the images were combined with text, from which this small publication was created. In addition to the First Things First Manifesto, I have added comments and answers from contemporary and successful designers to the Manifesto. These statements come from the fourth issue of «Looking Closer - Critical Writings on Graphic Design», published by Michael Bierut, Creative Director and Partner at Pentagram.

My version of the publication thus takes up different positions and attitudes of different designers and critically examines the topic of commerce and design. A discussion that has only increased in importance since Ken Garland first published the First Things First Manifesto in 1964.

The editorial design opposes visual worlds with text and plays with the contrasts between what is visible and what is read. The pictures with the meaningless objects are subject to a certain, tension-building narrative structure and always receive an enormous presence. Provocative elements are deliberately incorporated, which relativize or support the content of the text.

The visual elements of the editorial design were then taken up again in a short animation which works as teaser beside the publication.

Bastian Egger

Project Type:
BA semester's project. Visual Communication


Looking Closer
Looking Closer
Looking Closer
Looking Closer