Prof. Jenna Spevack | COMD3504_D061 | SPRING 2024 | Thurs 2:30pm

Reading/Discussion #5: Manifestos

A manifesto is a declaration of intent — often the intent to bring radical change to the world. Throughout history, many art movements have written manifestos, and it’s always a sign that things have gotten real.

OBELISK – Art Manifestos Defining new realities


In class we read some manifestos from early avant-garde artists-writers-designers from the early 20th century and more recent manifestos. Exploring issues of form and function, these designers aimed to supplant previous conventions and build new world orders. Consider how political and economic power can be expressed through graphic design and how mass communication can influence society.

Compose your Design Manifesto!

Compose your Design Manifesto in the style of Avant-Garde artists and designers. This exercise will also help you to start thinking about your research project and what matters to you; what drives you. Be poetic/abstract, but clear enough that we can get the idea or re-imagine passages from the manifestos your just read.

You might also look at other manifestoes for inspiration, such as:

Please include the following in your Manifesto…

  • Use short declarative statements in a list to define the philosophy, intentions, and requirements for the designer of today.
  • State the social, political, and ethical ideas that are important to you and necessary for a designer to consider.
  • Identify the technological concerns that designers must embrace or reject.

Share & Comment

Add your manifesto in a comment in this Discussion post by Wednesday evening. If you prefer to create visual or video of your Manifesto, you can link to a URL, image, or video.

Using a nested comment, comment on at least one of your colleagues’ Manifestos.


  1. Miranda N.


    A Healthy Designer’s Manifesto

    tend the client • put your hands in the soil • walk in the wilds • play every day • get off the screens sometimes for several hours • say yes more often, maybe also say no more often • good design for humans is human centered, user centered • assumptions are not a kindness, try asking • eat fungi, algae, herbs, spices, wild things • ask for help, but try it yourself first so you’ll know how to receive help • chill • good enough is good enough • try to stay a few pages ahead • only work with the nice people • 

    let people work from home for the same wages • try hard, stick with it • ask why • communicate early and often • font wisely • learn to speak another language • prune plants, guest lists, words • probably make it bigger • take care of animals, plants, people • to see better, try black and white, or a photo, or draw it • what might it sound like? •  learn how to ask better questions • context is everything • take pictures you can use, or that are beautiful, or that mean something to you • fucking vote • 

    learn to play an instrument • get good sleep, real rest • take more pictures, look at them, edit, and order them • take a 20 min epsom bath • good design considers audience, safety, & accessibility • have a routine • contemplate clarity, texture, light, aroma, sound, time, falling, flying • hit the workout you know you like a little bit and more often • figure out how you want to work • ask yourself what success means to you • pick a vacation, plan it and go • teach something regularly • go ways you are not used to going • what happened right before? right after? • learn something so challenging it’s uncomfortable for a while and do it anyway • find out what is more interesting about someone than the obvious • tell someone something genuinely nice about them • probably do things sooner than later, but always follow your gut • 

    having a smart, well-trained dog while kids are little is fantastic • some argue both cats and prayers are necessary, so far so good • forgive yourself when you forgive someone else, set them free in your mind, with blessings • don’t hold back in design, business, or relationships • try to hear the message • plan for contingencies • care for a tree • try to keep your feet, teeth and eyes in good shape • digital worker, arise and walk! • play big • care for elders and old things • take the stairs when possible • read fiction and non-fiction •

    fight for the good ideas using strategy • have a line you don’t cross, even for money • say something • play with materials to get insights from their functions • keep up with code • use your powers for good • give yourself leeway, build it in • feel breezes, sunlight, sap, flowers • it’s all made up • why not you? • stay sharp • let LOVE guide you

    • Esmeralda Ensaldo

      Miranda, appreciate your healthy designer manifesto! definitely a good reminder of noticing what’s around us.

  2. Adrika Hoque

    Designer’s Manifesto

    • A designer must first and foremost love the act of play.
    • A designer must strive to do no harm.
    • Innovation and ideation must not come at a cost to humanity.
    • A designer must never put out work they despise.
    • Storytelling is at the forefront of any project.
    • A designer must design for humans – not corporations.
    • A designer must understand the lasting impacts of their work.
    • A designer must notice everything around them and analyze the visual and conceptual word.
    • A designer challenges expectations and norms set by society.
    • A designer must dedicate at least 10% of their time to community outreach or pro bono work.
    • A designer must embrace changing industry fields and technology.
    • A designer must not be afraid of being replaced and take pride in the value they offer.
    • A designer must branch out and try new mediums or techniques.
    • Effective communication is a requirement.
    • Designer’s must validate their designs with research and analysis.
    • Designer’s must never feel inferior or less than any other profession.
    • Designer’s must expand their knowledge through books, workshops, and classes frequently.
    • Designer’s must organize and streamline their workflow.
    • Designer’s must be able to take and give constructive criticism.
    • Designer’s must also know when not to listen to someone’s constructive criticism.
  3. Luke El Dib

    The Mindful Manifesto

    the mindful designer

    • will always be challenged enough to be engaged, but not overwhelmed
    • recognizes that the world we live in is borne of all of our decisions
    • has an ideal to reach for, far out in the distance – so far it might never become reality – and make decisions that brings them closer to it
    • will learn the “rules of design”, to break them effectively
    • will have broken every rule, to prepare them to make their own
    • make use of the opportunities available to them
    • collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
    • always voice their concerns
    • don’t do unto others what they wouldn’t want done to them
    • must become the best ambassador for what they choose to represent, both personally and professionally
    • must assume they know nothing with certainty. but without fear of voicing what they perceive to be true
    • must find peers who will speak out, and avoid those who will nod at every turn
    • mustn’t forget their place in humanity, the value they can offer it, and the harm poor decisions can cause
    • must be principled, and will know they have done so after times of hardship
    • must sacrifice personal gain over the wellbeing of their fellow man or woman
    • recognizes their own ignorance, and embraces the freedom granted to them by the unknown
    • must take risks on others’ talents
    • must embrace new mediums and technologies, without abandoning the ones that came before them
    • will abstain from chasing emblems of the times in their work, and pursue “timelessness” in everything
    • will find constructive feedback in any response
    • will strive for perfection, and accept that they cannot attain it
  4. Avar He Zapata

    Internet Culture Manifesto

    • Toxicity and culture wars
    • Fandom Menace
    • People taking things way too personally or seriously
    • Mental Illness
    • suicide
    • Harassment/cyber bullying
    • When some people hear opposing opinions or things they do not agree with they take it as a personal insult to their own beliefs
    • Criticism is not welcome
    • People don’t know how to constructively critique anymore
    • Online discussions going a-wall
    • Fandoms are like religions now
    • Negativity sells
    • Profiting off of engagement
    • Hating is cool
    • Hot takes and minority opinions creates buzz, if not fuels anger and distaste feeling the need to fight back
    • People feel the need to be heard and prove others wrong on pointless debates
    • Some people feel “threatened” whenever they hear hate or criticism on something they like
    • Toxic positivity/negativity
    • People’s opinions change and sometimes for the better or worse
    • Negativity bias
    • Recency bias
    • Internet safety
    • The algorithm
    • People are blinded or immune to mediocrity
    • Rotten Tomatoes
    • Discourse
    • Movies, TV shows and video games
    • Anarchy
    • Divisiveness
    • Negative side of opinions or arguments are always stronger
    • People hate to be positive
    • Gen Alpha/ipad kids
    • Skibibbi Toilet/Baby Shark
    • YouTube Kids app
    • Content farms
    • Content
    • Streaming age
    • Generational differences
    • Nostalgia
    • Negative Nostalgia (“ruining childhoods,” disturbing content of well known fictional characters)
    • Rule 34
    • Fan Fictions
    • P***ograohy
    • “It ruins my childhood” or “I hate my generation”
    • “I hate everything”
    • Lost Media
    • Creepypastas
    • Analog Horror
    • Disgust, Anger, Fear, sadnesses, betrayal, no joy
    • Happiness is a weakness
    • Suffering is true peace
    • School Shootings
    • Nihilism
  5. Sonali Heath

    Slow and steady wins the race? Yea I’ve bet you’ve heard that before, but when you actually think about it makes sense. When you want to create or think of an idea you want to show for a project, you have it in your head and planned out into action but the first attempt is not the best, ok so you try again the 2nd attempt with barely any results, so you try for the third attempt but you messed that one up to and now your getting stressed out and starting to quit.

    This is it, this is the problem that stops many people from succeeding. It’s hard. I know trust me, I’ve been there before and it’s not the best feeling in the world, but you have to go through that phase to be successful. You need to fail a couple of times in order to get what you want. It’s a form of life and success, failure is needed for success to appear, it’s at a certain cost of trial and error through design that we have to deal with as creative individuals.

    • Work dont stop, grind dont stop
    • You can Get through it 
    • What you put in is what you get out
    • Patience is key
    • It’s important to receive criticism, but also give it back
    • Communication is key
    •  There is no I in team 
    • Don’t be afraid to other people, it’s ok to speak
    • Actions speak louder than words
    • Lead Ai with your creativity Not with Greed
    • Think Before you speak
    • Treat everyone how you want to treated
    • Respect goes both ways
    • practice, Practice, PRACTICE
    • Don’t look at others work focus on your own 
    • Lead with your ideas
    • Don’t doubt yourself
    • Use the Tools you have 
    • Time waits for no one
    • It’s hard to believe but it’s ok to fail 
    • Don’t be afraid to show yourself
    • Live your life to the fullest
    • Designers need to find a way to motivate each other, and check on each other when we are not at our best
    • Create your own place in the world
    • Be Confident in yourself, and don’t adle by
    • Stand up for what’s right
    • Keep up with the newest trends 
    • Technology is the Future
    • It’s always good to rest and take a break
    • Ask your fellow associates for help.  
    • Just because you receive advice doesn’t mean you always have to take it
    • Independence
    • Procrastination is leading you the wrong way
    • Heal yourself
    • Always be aware of your surroundings
    • Learn within your surroundings and adapt or look out for them

    • Miranda N.

      Sonali,:D Great List. Especially “Create your own place in the world.” <3

  6. Tonisha


    1. It’s ok to make mistakes; you’ll get wiser
    2. Be open minded with other’s opinion and critique
    3. Breathe when things are getting out of control.
    4. Listen, Process before speaking.
    5. Be patient
    6. Be kind
    7. Be responsible for the choices you make
    8. Congratulate
    9. Connect and share; nothing in this world belongs to you alone.
    10. Take breaks to clear your mind
    11. If you’re late, what’s the point rushing – grab that coffee anyway!
    12. Don’t be pressured to follow society.
  7. Nick

    Competitive/Different Designer Manifesto:

    1. Make something better then others
    2. Be different
    3. Be creative
    4. Pay attention a little more to the gaming community
    5. Never be afraid to trying something new
    6. Free content
    7. Competitive modes
    8. Tournaments
    9. Ranked system
    10. Keep things challenging
    11. Work together with your team
    12. Build skill
    13. Practice makes perfect
    14. Study other games
    15. Creating rewards
    16. Implement rules that are transparent and fair
    17. Keep away cheats/hacks
    18. Make difficulties higher
    19. Make something 10 times better then the last
    20. Never give up
  8. Edd Mendez


    • Thinking my idea
    • Taking notes during class
    • Trying to sketch perfectly
    • Illustrate in software
    • Organize my work and stuff
    • Need more time
    • Trying to be intelligent
    • Keep practicing
    • Learning about how animation work
    • Studying to create the computer design like HTML
    • How to design some characters
    • Writing the assignment list that when is due
    • Getting exercise
    • Cleaning the my home
    • Trying to get a better skills
    • Being creative
    • Try not to be nervous or afraid
    • Needs to work together with my group
    • Tries to get better grade
    • Never give up until the end

  9. Jenna Spevack

    Malika’s Designer Manifesto:

    • Embrace Imperfections
    • Challenge Conventions
    • Embrace Chaos
    • Inspire Change
    • Don’t Compare
    • Evoke Emotions
    • Embrace the Unknown
    • Take your Time
  10. Andre Sadhu

    Every Designer’s Essential Manifesto

    • Be true to yourself and what you stand for
    • Embrace helpfulness and reject negativity
    • Never apologize for being authentic
    • Connect with other like minded individuals
    • Be open to criticism for future improvements
    • Be considerate to others even if they may have a different viewpoint than yours
    • Inspire and be inspired
    • Use your position to be a voice for others
    • Think inside and outside of the box
    • Improvise when appropriate
    • Maintain consistency and don’t be sporadic
    • Push limits
    • Be open to experimenting and trying new things
    • Don’t compare yourself to others
    • Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments
    • Have fun
  11. Marieme Ly

    A designer’s Manifesto

    • Never steal someone else’s work
    • Always use criticism as a way to improve
    • Never harass or bully other artists
    • Storytelling is key to any artwork
    • Designers should always communicate with each other
    • Always pace your work and time
    • Always try to use new design techniques
    • Never be afraid to take risks
    • Never claim to be superior or inferior to another profession
    • Always be organized
    • Always learn from other artists you look up to
    • Always learn to take and give criticism 
    • Adapt to new design technology
    • Never let anybody put you down for your art
    • Never procrastinate
    • Always practice
    • Never feel pressured to societal norms 
    • Always be kind and patient with others
  12. Esmeralda Ensaldo

    Designer Manifesto 

    • Design for good 
    • Be conscious about the impact/power your design will have on others
    • Know your values and speak out if someone asks to go against these for the mere purpose of selling
    • Research 
    • Know your audience’s needs and restrictions
    • Make your work as accessible as possible
    • Make objective creative decisions 
    • Give credit if using work from others and/or to anyone who participated in your design
    • Write down all your ideas, no matter how small
    • Don’t overthink it, you’ll get it right in the process
    • Embrace your work 
    • Take risks
    • Challenges are part of the process
    • Be willing to learn from others 
    • Manage your time 
    • Explore different approaches 
    • Inspire 
    • Be respectful and empathetic
    • Trust your knowledge 
    • There is no perfection 
    • Just get started
  13. Rian D

    A Designer’s Manifesto

    • Rian D

      • Write Ideas Down
      • Take Your Time
      • DO Research
      • Ask Questions
      • Test Ideas
      • Embrace Struggles
      • Take Mental Breaks
      • Draw Inspiration
      • Share Ideas
      • Create a Plan/Routine
      • Don’t overthink it
      • Be Yourself
      • Embrace failure
      • Learn from mistakes
      • Trial and Error
      • Step out of Your Comfort Zone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *