thoughts + ideas

– the vignelli canon –

Who else is posting multiple times a day to keep up with this curriculum?


Let me first say that when I initially saw “The Vignelli Canon,” I thought this would be a manual for Canon cameras. I’m not proud of it, but hopefully others could relate. Anyways, this little book is only 49 pages long which is nice, but despite it’s lack in length it still proved to be rather helpful in terms of graphic design.

Every section was filled with useful tips and guidelines that even I and my fiancé struggle with on a regular basis. For example, the topic of “intellectual elegance” stuck out to me the most. I admit, I had to read the section a couple times to understand the meaning behind it, but I think a lot of my graphic works lacks what Vignelli considers elegant. They do not have much depth where it makes you second guess whether the design is real or not. Granted sometimes you need to have a simplified design where one can immediately determine what is happening…but I much would prefer to keep people wondering.

Another section that had me second guessing myself was “flush left, centered, justified.” I almost always prefer my fonts to be justified; maybe it’s the itty bit of perfectionism in me but to see everything line up is what I aim for. Vignelli prefers using centered for what essentially seems like everything and says that justified is contrived.

I do appreciate all of the suggested sizes, grids, rulers, and scales he provides. It is difficult to figure out what sizes for what template or using a grid to ensure symmetry in a design.

Overall, I honestly saved this link and sent it to my fiancé to read over. It’s a small book, but surely enough to help you grasp the basics of graphic design. What were your thoughts on the book if you’ve read it?


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