Industrial design in particular has been especially important in the creation and maintenance of class divisions. Here’s a second, much different definition of industrial design specifically: it’s the profession of creating instructions for factory workers. Design is one of the linchpins of capitalism, because it makes alienated labor possible. Starting in the mid eighteenth century, some factory owners realized that they could increase the efficiency of their operations by allowing customers to order their wares from catalogs and samples rather than selling them directly off the shelf in stores. But first they had to solve an unprecedented problem: customers buying from a catalog would expect their goods to look just like the picture, or else they’d return the goods and probably start buying from a competitor. This meant that factory output would have to be made almost perfectly uniform, which had never been done before.