Vignelli Canon

The three primary elements of design in Vignelli’s opinion that are expressed in his book are semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic. Semantic is the meaning behind the design. Syntactics includes the overall structure, grid, typefaces, text, headlines, illustrations, etc. Pragmatics is the idea of a simple design that requires minimal explanation.

The quote “creativity needs the support of knowledge in order to perform” resonated with me. In everything I do, I need a baseline of knowledge to perform any action. The more knowledge I have, the more equipped I am to complete a task at a high level. Then once I have a knowledge of something, I can incorporate creativity to enhance the outcome. This quote relates to our week of photography. Photography requires creativity, but first you must have a knowledge of how to take a quality photo.

In addition to creating a design, discipline and appropriateness is necessary. Discipline is a set of self imposed rules or parameters that we abide to while creating works of design art. Appropriateness refers to the specifics or works for a particular problem. Ambiguity is the idea of a design having more than one meaning and being interpreted in different ways.

I learned a lot from reading his booklet. I had never read anything similar to this in terms of content and information. However Vignelli could have been more detailed in his descriptions of certain concepts and ideas. I feel as if he presumed his readers had a background knowledge of this content so as a result he did not to be super clear. There were some points in the booklet when I became lost and was not able to follow what was said.