CAPS LOCK: How Capitalism Took Hold of Graphic Design, and How to Escape from It

by Ruben Pater

A thought-provoking book about the close bond between design and capitalism. Like what do we do with the fact that the word branding is inextricably intertwined with slavery? The Dutch West India Company’s “brand guidelines” included these instructions:

[A]s you purchase slaves you must mark them at the upper right arm with the silver marker CCN, which is sent along with you for that purpose.
p. 135

And now we talk about personal branding.

Fuuuck.

I’m not sure the book delivers on the “how to escape from it” promise in its subtitle, but it has me reconsidering a lot of the things I thought I knew about design, and I’m grateful for it.