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Born on-line – currently growing off-line – in September of 2002, Speak Up is an author-based, reader-supported community devoted to graphic design open to conversation and dialogue. It stresses and questions the importance of the profession in our culture. Speak Up challenges those who practice inside the field, in hope of more accountability for their actions and in light of the responsibility we all have as communicators. Its mission is to further the graphic design profession from within with the goal of creating a stronger and clearer sense of what our role is as professionals endowed with the duty of creating social, cultural, political and/or economical communications based on our ability and obligation to do so in a visually clear and comprehensible manner.
Through interviews, discussions, reviews and supported by openness, honesty and immediacy, Speak Up strives to distinguish exceptional practices in graphic design that exemplify the importance and relevance of the profession as well as shed light on those that deteriorate it. By talking amongst ourselves (an activity continuously regarded as ineffective) it is possible to ascertain the significance and relevance of those practicing under the umbrella of graphic design.
Shaped by its authors, readers and random contributors Speak Up has grown into one of the most dynamic communities within graphic design. With its emphasis on an open dialogue it has managed to capture the attention and interest of the profession but more importantly has provided a forum and given a voice to otherwise unheard graphic designers.
Speak Up moves, grows and shifts in parallel with graphic design, rendering the participation of those within its most valuable advantage. It would not exist if it weren’t for the graphic designers who choose to express their opinion and make their voices heard. In that sense, Speak Up embodies consistently and sinuously the ever-evolving profession that shapes the world’s visual environment.
Authors: Armin Vit, Marian Bantjes, Bryony Gomez-Palacio, Bradley Gutting, M. Kingsley, Tan Le, Kevin Lo, Debbie Millman, Peter Scherrer, Gunnar Swanson. Jason A. Tselentis, David Weinberger, Graham Wood