Before reading The Vignelli Canon, I had no formal exposure to elements of graphic design. However, the booklet covers many topics that I had considered previously, such as font, layout, and text size. At first, I thought Vignelli was being pretentious. His attitude on page 11 seemed condescending towards those who enjoy design without a deep understanding. However, I slowly changed my mind as I read. After finishing the booklet, I think Vignelli is really humorous and has a deep respect for the principles of design.
The first section of the book was a bit harder to understand than the second, but I still enjoyed it. It talked more about theoretical principles of design, such as attention to detail, clarity of meaning, timelessness, and responsibilities to the designer, the design, the client, and the consumers. I found the second section more interesting because the meaning was more obvious. It concerned the physical elements of design. It was fascinating to learn about the “golden rectangle,” with a ratio of 2×3. Vignelli’s explanation of grids was absolutely enthralling, to the point that now I am finding myself imagining the grids on every published work I see. I found it interesting to look at examples as well as how those examples were laid out on the page.
The lines that resonated most strongly with me were on page 72:
Some people who talk loud and tend to scream trying to persuade you, love to increase the size and weight of type to make their message louder… in a world where everybody screams, silence is noticeable. White space provides the silence. That is the essence of our typography.
I want to incorporate this idea into my work in the future, whether in Noir 106, my digital art class, or in future projects. I think this is a sentiment that is relevant no matter what the project is, and I will certainly use it to the best of my ability as I continue looking at design this week.