Philosophy of design

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Philosophy of design is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. The field is defined by an interest in a set of problems, or an interest in central or foundational concerns in design. In addition to these central problems for design as a whole, many philosophers of design consider these problems as they apply to particular disciplines (e.g. philosophy of art). Although most practitioners are philosophers, several prominent designers and artists have contributed to the field. Graphic design has seen many changes and influences. But foundations remain the same. Society heavily pressures graphic design to assimilate to the era. The history or foundation for graphic design has influence from what was depicted to the author during that time. The foundation of letters, that can be designed specifically for communication.[1]

The History

The field requires more depth, in a sense graphic design needs to find itself, all while evolving at the same time. It's debatable how the background of graphic design needs to be shared.[2] There's the discussion of different designers, and their notable works. Portrayals of how the physical art has changed and been inspired by past all while embracing the future.

Graphic Design as a field is young. There is not enough information about how it came to be. There is subtle information about society accepting messages being put in front of them. There’s not enough information given to design students about where the concept for graphic design comes from, or at least an understanding about the original forms of communications that used more than words, or why typography has such a large impact.


Its foundations builds upon itself, improving from previous works. The notion that the paintings in caves created graphic designing, allowing in the use of the first type of letters, art, and form of communication. Each sub-concept and understanding of said concepts come from inspiration of previous concepts that collectively gives one concept on how to give people a message with words, and/or graphics.

Graphic Design gained its commercial popularity during the Industrial Revolution. A time when companies realized that people needed to see the product before buying it. Whether it was for drafting into the military or rallying the people together for a campaign, the government and business owners decided that giving people an image of what to expect from them became a brilliant idea. Thus beginning graphic design providing images for the public from businesses via attractive graphics and lettering.[3]

The central problem with graphic design and its foundations is figuring out how to give design students the accurate knowledge of their field.[4] Beyond just how to create the work, but what inspires it. How the concept for what they’re designing has been applied before, its effects on society and society’s influence on the development of the concept and graphic design.

Philosophers of design, or philosophers relevant to the philosophical study of design


Darell, Richard. “Bit Rebels.” Text/html. Bit Rebels, June 9, 2009.

Triggs, Teal. “Designing Graphic Design History.” Research-article, April 3, 2012.

Golec. “Graphic Design Histories.” The MIT Press 20, no. 4 (2004).

“An Introduction to the History of Graphic Design.” A Short Introduction to Graphic Design History, n.d.