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Open Manifesto


An exercise by N.B.

{15th of December 2008}


Let’s say you have had your company’s visual identity redesigned and you are wondering how you might present it to your colleagues. Why not use this four-part guide (outlined on the following pages)? Simply fill in the blanks. You can refer to the example ‘answers’ provided for guidance but the idea is to write your own, specific to your identity. This guide is suitable for all kinds of organisation, in every scenario.



First section

Content—One paragraph only / Blanks to fill—1.


Part 1: The introduction—we are what we are striving for.

Conveying our ideals, ambition and personality is essential: creating a shared understanding of what we stand for unites us and gives us something to rally behind. The way we now express ourselves as an organisation reflects the progress we have made. Our new visual identity shows that we are thinking about where we are going next and makes visible the frequency with which we are setting new goals. It aims to signal that what we are striving for is not an empty declaration, and it won’t be as long as we ensure that our (choose one of the following: performance / service / products, etc) [insert your answer] deliver(s) on the promises that our new identity is making.



Second section 

Content—Four paragraphs / Blanks to fill—5.



Part 2: Our opportunity—embrace change, it is an everyday occurrence.

Progress always brings change. It is inevitable. And with change come fresh challenges and steep learning curves but also exciting new opportunities. Organisations need to change because the world in which we function does. We live in times of extraordinary transformation: economic, technological, cultural and environmental.


The definition of culture is the way we do things. Up to now, our culture has been a reflection of our activity (name a particular field / sector / capacity / region / location, etc; or with another company (name it); or related to a scale of operations (be specific), for example: ‘close to home’)  [insert your answer] and it has served us well in helping us to make an impact (select one of the following: on the local market / on the global market / with our peers, etc. Or: in a sector / field / region / location (be specific), etc.) [insert your answer]. On this secure foundation we are now planning our next move.


(The rest of this article is available, in print, in Open Manifesto #5)


Nick Bell founded his own design practice in 1988 (known as ‘UNA London designers’ from 1998 to 2004) and continues as director of Nick Bell Design today. He is well known for his achievements in exhibition design and for his accomplished creative directorship of Eye magazine.


His exhibition design for clients such as the Science Museum, Imperial War Museum, The Welcome Trust, V&A, Tate and the British Council has won him a stream of accolades such as three D&AD Yellow Pencils, three Design Week Awards and one Art Directors Club of Europe Gold Award since 2000.


In 1992 the American magazine Emigre devoted an entire issue to his design, critical thinking and teaching methodology. In 2008 he delivered a D&AD President’s Lecture and was appointed Visiting Professor of Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art.