The Designer as Producer

Through the essay called The Designer as Producer written by Ellen Lupton. Lupton suggests “designer as producer” rather than “designer as author”. When the first time I read the essay, I noticed that the essay has touched what I usually think. I am curious about what should be a graphic designer. Now a days, there are lots of process to create visual communication’s works such as photography or illustration and it makes me think how should great graphic designer make works. If the great graphic designer must skilled all of the process, it looks like art director for me.

Lupton says new tools such as software for word processing or desk-top publishing change the task of graphic designers and designers have to do broad kinds of works. Lupton also argue that “such is the rub of de-specialization.” After I read this fact, I thought the good graphic designer have to be specialized something not all of them. The good designers is not slave of technology, they are masters.

The essay touched about materials as well. These kind of new technologies are useful indeed  but designers have to keep remind physical materials. According to the essay, “Whether the product of our work is printed or emitted from a screen, designers deal with the human, material response to information.” Graphic designers must consider about physical materials in order to communicate with people. In the essay, the German critic Walter Benjamin argue that the field of literary form, equipped craft words into texts are known well by the expert writer but the physical life of the work is not. The producer have to consider about where will the work be seen?, who will see it? and etc. Therefore I thought it is really important thing for designers as well. They must ask about What? When? Who? How? Where?. It does not have to be only focus on the creating just beautiful images.


V&A Disobedient Objects.

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I visited to V&A to see the exhibition called Disobedient Objects. This exhibition is focuses on the period from the late 1970s to the present. The exhibits in there were not made by commercial designers. Their works made with limited resources since under duress look like rough but  I could feel their power and uprightness to change the world and I thought this is the design for self, not for other.


I found a gas mask made by plastic bottle. This object is for protecting such as own eyes or norse from tear gas as real gas mask. I also could see the illustration that how to make the gas mask which can understand how to make it easily. That works can be used for the people like in the protestant or strike. It doesn’t take a lot of cost and because of the illustration, it can be made easily. I felt kind of the counter power from this work. By the way, I’m making the zine about nuclear power and my position is in disagree with using nuclear power. I may say the zine content is gonna be like counter for the nuclear. I thought using cheap and easy material can explain counter feeling because of the plastic gas mask. I think visiting the exhibition Disobedient Object was good experience for me.