ZACHARY BAKER is a Graphic Designer and Craftsperson currently located in the beautiful, historic, North End of Detroit. His practice is filtered through craft identity, focusing on publication, motion, & brand identity systems. Scroll below for projects and publications.
See my crafted objects here. Feel free to reach out by email or by phone. The personal details are here.

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Designer as Craftsperson

I have always been told [by my professors, and anyone of authority] that “to design is to create for others, but to create art is to create for oneself.”

Upon exploring other practices, like quilting, and printing by hand; I have found that notion to be untrue. Pulling inspiration from the various roles of designers in Ruben Pater’s CAPS LOCK, the role of The Designer as Craftsperson functions as a common, shared role between the designer and fine artist. To accompany this new role are 4 Craft facets that help Designers with little craft knowledge navigate this new role. They are Touch & Sight, Research & Meaning, Restraint/Not, and Process & Execution.

Following the chapter structure of CAPS LOCK, I created a publication to be repeated 3 times, each channeling a Craft facet.
Note: This project is meant to be read, not merely browsed, thanks!


Publication 1

Research & Meaning

Like Sight and Touch- Meaning and Research go hand in hand.
One cannot express the meaning of what one feels...without research, without context because if you don’t say it, no one knows what’s in your head.
Meaning makes work the antithesis of emptiness.
There is tangible realness, a weight to the objects and experiences we create.


Publication 2

Touch & Sight
Touch: it’s a catalyst for sight.

There is an idea of touch that prevails in my practice of Craft- feeling paper, looking for a texture that holds ink, or buying fabric by feel, imagining the way ink might fall into the cracks.

John Berger says: “Seeing is believing”- but sight alone is not enough. It is touch that looks past interpretation, finding a deeper level of understanding.


Publication 3

Craft is explosive, kitschy, and utterly wild- and it isn't. The essence of interpreted craft is a marriage of restraint as well as a lack of one.

It’s a means for the process in which craft is made.

Craft is both a representation of the standards that carry current design thinking- and keeps it on its toes.

Together, these 3 facets- Touch & Sight, Research & Meaning, and Restraint/Not come together to form the final facet, Process & Execution.
Craft is defined by the process in which it is made, & dually, Craft is what makes design a maker’s profession. The process is the documented journey we take in the completion of a task, it’s the execution that sees all the individual parts working together.

“Craft is the power, the force, the knowledge, and wisdom behind making.”