Thoughts on Vignelli Canon

As I read Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli, I realize that it is fairly complex. Many things go into the process of creating a design.

Vignelli mentions that he focuses on the three main concepts: semantic, syntactic and pragmatic. For semantic, he explains that understanding the purpose and the intention before creating a design. This goes along with one of the ten concepts, “Form, Function, Message”. This concept involves careful thinking prior to designing.

Syntactic involves symmetry and consistent patterns that make the design clear. He uses the New York Subway System map. I think this is a great example because it shows order and meticulous patterns.

For pragmatic, Vignelli explains that when you design, you should strive for a clear and simplistic approach because “confused, complicated designs reveal an equally confused and complicated mind” (p. 14). This reminds me of minimalism, and how sometimes, less is more. and the more simple a design, the better it is to look at. An example I looked at is this information website by Lachlan Bailey. The layout is sleek and very minimal.

One of my favorite concepts that Vignelli talks about is Timelessness. I completely agree that when designing a logo or sign, you want to make it stand out. The goal should be to make the design memorable.

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