Written in 1963 and published in 1964 by Ken Garland along with 20 other designers, photographers and students, the manifesto was a reaction to the staunch society of 1960s Britain and called for a return to a humanist aspect of design. It lashed out against the fast-paced and often trivial productions of mainstream advertising, calling them trivial and time-consuming. It’s solution was to focus efforts of design on education and public service tasks that promoted the betterment of society.
The influence of the manifesto was quick to reach a wide audience and was picked up by The Guardian, which led to a TV appearance by Garland on a BBC news program and its subsequent publication in a variety of journals, magazines and newspapers. It was revisited and republished by a group of new authors in the year 2000 and labeled as the First Things First Manifesto 2000.