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You are here: Home / Type & typography / Design, Culture & Reality

Design, Culture & Reality

John Dowling ATypI 2016 • Warsaw, Poland NiNA

The educational module (or lack of) for teaching design (Graphic) often leads to a speculative approach that seeks to represent the realities of working in industry. Hypothetical situations are introduced to mimic ‘real-life’ briefs, but there is nothing ‘real’ about this approach. Students are in a situation where they cannot test their work; there is no audience, no client, and no user. Therefore learning is limited to opinion and taste. Increasingly students are drawn to work that does not align itself to commerciality in the traditional sense, but work that impacts on cultural, social and societal levels. Work that improves peoples lives, if only marginal, has more moral capital. Typography is both fundamental and universal to mass knowledge consumption, there is no class divide, no economic margin, no racial partition, no division based on faith or creed. It is through typography that we access the written word. And it is through typography that we can give our students a voice. This paper seeks to challenge and inform, in the hope that by raising questions rather than giving answers, we as educators can address how and why we teach design, along with the moral obligations that come with it.

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