Week Five: “The Vignelli Canon” Reflection

“The Vignelli Canon” listed many important aspects of design. Before reading this, I figured design would be complex, but there are really a lot of factors that go behind design. I paid more attention to the intangible factors. With semantics, we search for the meaning of what we are designing and we must then understand all of the design’s aspects; every choice should be deliberate and tactical. It should be quite obvious that in this profession one should pay close attention to detail and how they relate to one another (syntactics). Dealing with pragmatics, I liked how the reading stated that design should be forceful and timeless, meaning that the message should be made clear and that the design should transcend time due to its’ content (make the content somewhat universal). Continuity over fragmentations is something to strive for when working on a design and goes into the idea of discipline; not being careless. When reading, I was not completely sure if I understood appropriateness as it relates to design other than choosing a proper medium to express the idea through. One part that grabbed my attention was the importance of having ambiguity and avoiding being vague. With the design being seen as ambiguous, there is vast room for interpretations and meanings and this allows for more depth as a way to enrich the design or message of itself. I liked reading how design can be seen as a creative process with its own rules and a designer should not be afraid to test out different possibilities. With intellectual elegance, the photo of the menorah design was very nice tomenorah look at and it did embody the elegance idea for me. As I mentioned earlier, the idea of timelessness to a design is very important since the message should appeal to others born of a different generation; an effective message is one that can reach or possibly inspire a vast amount of people of our time frame and beyond it. To do this, the designer should steer away from creating something that is a 100% of our current time frame because that trend may not be relevant and therefore not understood in the future. In this way, the message held before may become lost. The designer has 3 responsibilities (which I will think about as I start to create my own designs): to themselves and the message of the design, to the client and their problem at hand, and to the public at large. Also, with equity, I read the section of it and interpreted it as one making a design for a certain company, but not completely altering their logo, but just enhancing it by making few changes. The section on tangibles seemed very basic and went into the idea of paying close attention to detail and that every detail accounts for something within the design. Certain typefaces can be associated with a particular company and that is something I never seemed to think about prior to the reading. The one part of this section I quickly wrote down during note taking was that “in a world where everybody screams, silence is noticeable” and this dealt with typography. I clung to this idea most because I like to search for the message or importance of something rather than being shown it in an obvious manner, such as having larger text. Even the idea of white space being powerful was something that caught my attention; one example was that white space could create tension between texts. This is probably a very true statement that maybe subconsciously we can recognize. Being in control of scale and color can show a designer who pays close attention to detail. With the color section, it was interesting to note that it can serve as an identifier and that red, blue, or yellow were the recommended colors to use. Lastly, identity and diversity bring life to a design, so being unique will work in a designer’s favor. With my own designs, I hope to create work that no one has seen yet and for my viewers to be inspired by the message I’m trying to convey.

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