Manifestos summarise the beliefs and views of a particular individual or groups of people and are written for a number of reasons to serve different purposes. They can be a platform for controversial and misunderstood members of society to clarify their opinions and express their message without limitation. They can be created to unite those who share similar views and to provide others with a new perspective. A manifesto can also be a voice of reason, written by those who are considered influential in their field to lay down a set of rules against which others can make references.
A manifesto can be written by anyone, but how influential it might become is often determined by the importance of the group or individual that has created it. Ten Principles of Good Design is an example of an influential manifesto. This is largely due to how respected the writer, Dieter Rams, is as an industrial designer. The conclusive list is often referred to as the Ten Commandments because other designers use it to guide their work in a similar way to how devoted christians are guided by the Decalogue. Whether a certain design is aesthetically pleasing or not is often debatable according to the taste of a particular individual. However, Rams' years of experience and credentials in the design industry authorises him to define good design, which goes beyond the aesthetics of design. The list demands that to be considered good, the design makes a product function as intended without unnecessary frivolity, is innovative and timeless, against other criteria.
In contrast to this list of good design, thirty years later, Nigel Bents proposed a manifesto in the form of pictures that demonstrate what bad design looks like as 'an example for all to see and none to emulate'. Being that Bents, a lecturer at Chelsea College of Art and Design and at Kingston School of Art and Design, is a professional in the graphic design industry he is in a position to specify what bad design is 'to the...
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