Graphic Design
An Annotated Reader

This reader examines graphic design as an institution, exploring different moments and movements that shape the practice of design: ideation, creation, practice, product. The reader is the result of a graphic design process taking place under the conditions of an institution, and a research project’s inquiry into institutionality as a surface and style. How do schools of graphic design emerge? How does graphic design institute its schools of style and laws of form? How do schools, associations, patriarchs, and communities imprint themselves on the process and practice of graphic design, and the designer?

The layout and design of the reader articulate an identity that is based on fluid instructions and prescriptions rather than fixed elements and assets. The reader is in itself a manifestation of an ongoing process that challenges the assumption of what graphic designers are supposed to deliver when an institutional process asks for material for its visual representation. Its indeterminate identity is a resistance to assumptions of what institutions are understood to be and proposes to shift the understanding of the word institution from a noun to a verb—or from a preexisting structure to an ongoing practice.

The research and design of this reader was part of a commission from the research group Institutions of a Way of Life (IXDM Lab Basel).

Institutions as a Way of Life, IXDM Lab Basel
Presented at the Annotating and Graphic Design Workshop, October 2019.