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Open Manifesto

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Open Manifesto is an independent, self-funded and self published journal of critical writing on graphic design culture. It is the first, and currently the only, journal of its kind based in Australia and was founded in 2003 by award-winning graphic designer, Kevin Finn. It is printed in one colour.


Open Manifesto sits at the intersection between visual communications, media, politics, culture, economics and social issues. Each issue of Open Manifesto is devoted to a specific theme and seeks to explore the wider relationship graphic design has with society; how design influences society and how society influences design.


Open Manifesto is an egalitarian publication and avoids singling out individual contributors to feature on the journal cover, preferring to list all contributors together—and in alphabetical order—regardless of fame or notoriety. Open Manifesto also includes opinions from students, professionals and academics alike, and encourages contributions from outside the field of graphic design.


Open Manifesto is produced in between regular studio work and each issue takes approximately eight to 12 months to complete. Kevin Finn also acknowledges he is not a professional editor, journalist or writer and concedes that mistakes inevitably creep into each publication. However, with every new issue and with some help of his father, Finn works hard to accurately publish the material submitted by contributors and seeks to produce the best publication possible, and in a manner that continues to respect contributors submissions and the journal’s content.


Open Manifesto is also founded on one of Finn’s beliefs: there is wisdom in learning.



Open Manifesto began as a humble idea in Ireland in the mid 90s, but it took a further eight years to develop into a fully fledged publication. The first issue was published in 2004 in Sydney, Australia, where founder Kevin Finn was then based.

In 2007, Finn relocated to the remote town of Kununurra, Western Australia, where the publication was absorbed into his independent design company—TheSumOf—as a studio project and an important research stream for his practice.

In early 2010, TheSumOf relocated to Brisbane, Australia, where Open Manifesto is now produced.