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.