Michael B. Hardt
Design Consultant Diplom Designer  Professor for Visual

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    Aesthetics, semiotics and visual communication  
  We all talk about aesthetics. But what does it mean? The German philosopher Baumgarten introduced the Greek word "aesthetica" into our languages first in 1735 and published a book with this title in 1748. The idea was to establish a science of the sensual perception.

The idea was to set rules how an artist should create his work and how the viewers should react on it. This made some sense in those days when art had the function to imitate nature (ars imitatur naturam), but latest after Hegel's ideas to define the theory of expression, the discussion should have stopped.

While aesthetics did not develop from a philosophy into a science (as planned), the philosophy of Semiotics had a renaissance in the 60ies of the last century and developed dynamically into a science. The research results within Semiotics give evidence that this is the appropriate scientific background of visual communication.

Visual Communication Design is not another word for Graphic Design. The difference between both directions is as big as the difference between literature and linguistics.

Result of a research concerning the theoretical background of Visual Communication Design. First presentation in Bergen in March 2005.

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