The Vignelli Canon

I read The Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli. Which talks about various aspects of graphic design. I liked it a lot and it provided me with many details on what techniques to utilize to become a better graphic designer. Some of the topics he covers is semantics, pragmatics, discipline, and visual power. I will explain some of his topics in this post.

Semantics provides the real bases for correct inception of projects, regardless of what they may be. It also indicates the most appropriate form for a particular subject that we can interpret or transform according to our intentions.

Pragmatics has to do with people understanding our designs. Any artifact should stand by itself in all its clarity. Also design should be forceful and we like design to be intellectually elegant.

Discipline is an attitude that provides us with the capacity of controlling our creative work so that it has continuity of intent throughout rather than fragmentation. Details are important because the end result is the some of all the small details.

Appropriateness directs us to the right kind of media, materials, expression, color, and texture.

Ambiguity is the possibility for our design to be read or looked at in different ways.

Visual Power is how we present designs. Difference of scale within the same page can give a very strong impact and bold type contrasting with light types create visually dynamic impressions.

Timelessness – we want design techniques especially our typography to transcend subjectivity and search for objective values. Also our typography should reflect our content in an appropriate manner.

Responsibility as designer – we have three levels of responsibility. One – to ourselves, two – to the client, and three – to the public at large.

The author also goes over topics like grids, margins columns, etc. The book is a good place to start for new graphic designers. It taught me a lot and it will help me understand graphic design and what I should focus on.

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