Using clear language and many visual examples, CAPS LOCK shows how capitalism and graphic design are inextricably linked. Author and designer Ruben Pater uses practical examples and various design roles that unravel the link between market forces and design. CAPS LOCK argues that capitalism would not exist without, for example, the bank notes, documents, interfaces, branding and advertising that we use on a daily basis; all (partly) brought to life by graphic designers. The result, according to Pater, is that design is enclosed within a system of exploitation and profit, a cycle that further fuels inequality and the depletion of human and natural resources. The book presents contrasts to this, with six radical design initiatives.
With CAPS LOCK, Ruben Pater has succeeded in making an unmistakeable statement about the communication profession on a global scale. CAPS LOCK unravels the systems behind communication design that drive economic growth, and harm society and the planet. It is admirable that he seemingly effortlessly takes on the roles of both investigative designer and that of interviewer, author, editor and curator. With beautiful execution and a clear layout. An impressive publication that, with an air of activism, questions the status quo and challenges the future of communication. CAPS LOCK is mandatory reading for all (graphic) design students, but certainly also for experienced designers and professional colleagues.