The Vignelli Canon is a significant piece when it comes to the world of Noir. Massimo Vignelli, the booklet’s author, was an exceptional graphic designer who set the tone for design even before our new age computer design was available.
Prior to reading The Vignelli Canon, I’d had little to no experience with design. In fact, as it pertains to design, my mind had plenty of “white space” to work with.
One of my favorite quotes from the reading is this:
“The attention to details requires discipline.
There is no room for sloppiness, for carelessness,
for procrastination. Every detail is important
because the end result is the sum of all the details
involved in the creative process no matter what
we are doing. “
Attention to detail is so important in so many aspects of life. Work, marriage and school are just a few examples of real life that require exceptional attention to detail. The same goes for design, as Vignelli points out in the quote above.
Vignelli used the perfect picture to accurately portray exactly what he was talking about in the text.
Intellectual elegance is important in design, as Vignelli points out in page 14 of the text where he is talking about pragmatics. He begins this section talking about communication:
“Whatever we do, if not understood, fails to
communicate and is wasted effort.
We design things which we think are semantically
correct and syntactically consistent but if, at the
point of fruition, no one understands the result, or
the meaning of all that effort, the entire work is
This quote essentially sums up “The Vignelli Canon” entirely. Communication, in my opinion, is what it all boils down to. If there is too much or too little white space for example, the work will be poorly communicated. If the author does not understand what he/she is authoring, or if it is not authored in such a way that the reader can understand, then what we are trying to communicate is done so ineffectively. A good designer can become great by learning to effectively communicate.