Capitalism could not exist without the coins, notes, documents, graphics, interfaces, branding and advertisements; artefacts that have been (partly) created by graphic designers. Even anti-consumerist strategies such as social design and speculative design are being appropriated within capitalist societies to serve economic growth. It seems that design is locked in a system of exploitation and profit, a cycle that fosters inequality and the depletion of natural resources.
CAPS LOCK uses clear language and striking visual examples to show how graphic design and capitalism are inextricably linked. The book contains many case studies of designed objects related to capitalist societies and cultures, and also examines how the education and professional practice of (graphic) designers supports the market economy and how design practice is caught within that very system.
The content of CAPS LOCK is structured in chapters with titles of professions that designers can occupy (such as Educator; Engineer, Hacker, Futurist, Activist, etc.). This choice responds to the much-heard adage that artists and designers in contemporary society must take on different roles in order to earn a living. Each chapter is divided into coherent articles in which diverse examples of objects and design practices are relayed. The book closes with six radical design initiatives, which each in their own way oppose capitalist thought, thus hoping to counterbalance suppressive mechanisms.
552 pages, 18.4 x 11.7 cm, paperback, Valiz (Amsterdam).