The Vignelli Canon

If there’s one thing that I learned from reading the Vignelli Canon (of course, there are more), it’s that aesthetically pleasing things are generally balanced and set to grids, be they imaginary or otherwise. In previous graphic design classes, it was a concept I’d heard of numerous times. While I understand that this aesthetic value can become incredibly subjective, in theory it holds true for most individuals. In regards to who we find attractive or the items we’re likely to buy, our brains tend to shift toward things that are symmetrical or, in some cases, ornate.

Regardless of having met the concept before, I don’t practice or study the rules or visual art very often, if at all, so reading through this booklet refreshed my memory. That said, I also agree with the notion that design is about creative power. The idea is to put forth an idea, a concept, a notion– something– and make sure that it is clearly displayed and respected. To do this, one must find or create the balance between white space and text, textures and colors.

Going back to my point about symmetry, I believe it’s ultimately important that whatever you’re doing, it’s purposeful, powerful, and intelligent. Whether it’s simple or not doesn’t matter unless you choose that it should. It’s complexity can be through the roof, off the charts, or down to earth. The important thing would be to make sure that there’s a reason for your work existing. That it serves a purpose or that it conveys something. To say that it is arbitrary betrays the notion of your efforts.

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