The Vignelli Canon

In Vignelli’s booklet, he describes in detail about design and what it means to “design”. He talks about different design elements ranging from grids and rulers to color and texture. His training helps you take an advanced look into the world of design, but he proposes three important aspects that shape this world.

First, he describes Semantics, which is the actual meaning behind each design he completes. There needs to be a story or a background for this design piece. Semantics is the real base, and needs to be understood fully in order to truly create something worthwhile.

Next, he critically talks about Syntactics, which was a new word for me. I looked it up and it means relating to the rules of syntax. This aspect encompasses text and lines of design. This needs to be consistent for any design piece to develop since grids are the backbone of design.

Lastly, Vignelli discusses Pragmatics, which is the final understanding of each design. People want to be able to see a design visually and understand its meaning and the idea behind its creation.

All of these three aspects accurately encourage me to start with a purpose of each design I create. I want people to be able to know what I was thinking when I added that symbol or line. Vignelli’s concepts prove that any person can design with a meaningful mind and coherent ideas.

—SALTY SKINN

 

Digital Storytelling

When I think of the word storytelling, I think of my elementary school days. Distinctly in 1st grade, my teacher read stories while playing his guitar on Fridays. Every Friday, my fellow students and I would eagerly gather around him as he played and told a different story each time. He would strum his guitar and tell us stories that secretly correlated with some subject that was being taught at the time. I also recall asking my mom to recite me stories before bed when I was having difficulty falling asleep. She would tell me stories involving animals running around with their families, and I was so invested as she spoke, but then I’d eventually go to sleep and vaguely reminisce the ending in the morning. When telling someone else about this word, I would describe it as reading a made-up or true story that is very engaging and realistic. Children love storytelling; or “story-time” because of how authentic these stories seem.

The word digital is a word I relate to technology. It is on a screen and usually moves. Digital words, pictures, and video changes constantly, which is part of the reason why it is called digital, since it isn’t stationary like text in a book or magazine.

Hearing both phrases put together into digital storytelling, I think of exploring online stories and through the web. The term is definitely broader then the original storytelling phrase, mainly because the web is so wide and contains lots of stories that we can look at. Also, digital storytelling gives me a futuristic image of a teacher broadcasted on a flat screen reading stories to kids in a classroom.

—SALTY SKINN