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A holistic multi-objective optimization design technique for controller tuning is presented. This approach gives control engineers greater flexibility to select a controller that matches their specifications. Furthermore, for a given controller it is simple to analyze the tradeoff achieved between conflicting objectives. By using the multi-objective design technique it is also possible to perform a global comparison between different control strategies in a simple and robust way. This approach thereby enables an analysis to be made of whether a preference for a certain control technique is justified. This proposal is evaluated and validated in a nonlinear multiple-input multiple-output system using two control strategies: a classical proportional-integral-derivative control scheme and a feedback state controller.