Thursday, February 28, 2008

ChangeThis Manifesto

In this election season in Malaysia, we see manifestos flying left & right as the powers that be or just wannabe attempt to communicate/sell their unique brand/political point of view to the rakyat. Is it just me or do most if not ALL the design & layout of the contesting parties' manifesto statement documents look tired, dated, so "last century" and not very inspiring visually? eg. download > BN (5.2Mb), DAP (0.4Mb), Keadilan (2.6Mb), PAS (15Mb). Last minute rush jobs? Can't afford to hire art directors/graphic designers? What does that say about the understanding or appreciation for good design among those who walks in the corridors of power in Malaysia? Does it even matter? What do you think?

But wait-a-minute, manifestos aren't just churned out by political parties. ChangeThis is creating a new kind of media that uses existing tools (eg. Adobe PDFs) on a mission to spread important ideas ("manifestos") and change minds. What strikes me is their consistent use of a simple grid that accommodates the wide variety of ideas, each with a simple functional & attractive design & layout. Even if some are just text-based, it still looks good and compelling. You can download some of the best examples below. Good ideas presented with good layout & design.

The Elongating Tail of Brand Communication
This topic touched on by Kay Khoo during kakireka's 1st smalltalk in Nov2007. Now you can find out more about the web 2.0 mass media cultural revolution and how it affects brand
communication today.
> Download (695Kb)

Build Your Brand in Bits & Bytes
Welcome to the Me Millennium. The World Wide Web is an indispensa
ble tool for communicating your value as a professional, expressing your differentiation, networking and performing career research. Not only will you be researching opportunities online, others will be researching you.
> Download (263Kb)

One-Minute Site
The end of the corporate website as usual. How to get rid of this model that doesn╩╝t work and prevents you from getting what you were promised from the Web. Missions 1--Kill the homepage. 2--Avoid brochure site model. 3--Stop worshipping technology.
> Download (478Kb)

Calling All Designers - Learn to Write!
User experience isn’t just visual design. It’s time we designers stop thinking of ourselves as merely pixel people, and start thinking of ourselves as the creators of experiences. And when it comes to experience on the web, there’s no better way to create it than to write, and write well.
> Download (652Kb)

The Personal MBA
Mastering Business Without Spending a Fortune. Business schools don’t have a monopoly on worldly wisdom. If you care more about increasing your effectiveness at work than a diploma and a few lines on your resume, the Personal MBA is for you.
> Download (747Kb)

ChangeThis Manifesto
The original manifesto of manifestos. Sometimes it seems as though our disagreements over everything, from politics to business to the designated hitter rule - are more serious and more divisive than ever before.
> Download (198Kb)

As you can see, I love well-designed Adobe PDF documents. This format gives designers the total ease & freedom of laying out design elements for print, with some basic interactivity & accessibility that rivals a website or interactive cd-rom format. But without all the technical fuss &
steep learning curve for its production. Future article will have examples of cutting-edge PDF documents with multimedia...

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