Cogent Design Philosophy in Three Easy Branches

Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potterjpeg

Philosophic types maintain that there are three branches of inquiry not including your questions regarding your neighbor’s sexual orientation. (And that isn’t your business anyway.)

  • metaphysics: What is the nature of reality? (includes ontology & cosmology)
  • epistemology: What is the nature of knowledge?
  • axiology: What is the nature of values? (includes ethics & aesthetics)
Real world examples:

Graphic Design Movement Style:

  • metaphysics: What are the characteristics of this movement? How is this movement associated with other trends? In what ways are divisions between this movement and other styles arbitrary and/or helpful?
  • epistemology: Why do we perceive this movement as functioning in a certain way?
  • axiology: Why do value or degrade this movement? What is the basis of your opinion?

Design Examples:

  • metaphysics:
    • ontology: Is the design of [Paula Scher / Nicolas Jenson / Ben Lovejoy / You] implied by the existence of the universe?
    • cosmology: Why does the [Kyle Cooper’s typography / any discipline / movement / maker] even exist?
  • epistemology: What does “postmodern design” mean?
  • axiology:
    • ethics: Is it immoral to create designs with degraded typography?
    • aesthetics: Why does the work of [Kyle Cooper / Wolfgang Weingart / Whoever] look so ugly? Is it my own cultural bias?

Velveteen Rabbit Examples: (much, much worse)

  • metaphysics: What is real? Is decrepitude requisite?
  • epistemology: How does one know if they are real?
  • axiology: Why to we value becoming real when it implies death?
For bonus points, tie Velveteen Rabbit and Graphic Design philosophies together in your next paper. There, wasn’t that easy?

A typographic, designological, visulicious extravaganza!

Posted in Amusement, Course Related, Design History, Design Theory