The Vignelli Cannon

One of the things I covet most in any work that I do is ease of use and understanding.  It’s the first thing that will turn me away from someone else’s work, so it’s the first thing I consider in mine.  I like what Vignelli said on this point, and concur in whole.  When I was younger, I used to clutter my writing with big words that made me feel smart when I used them.  As I got older, and a bit less pretentious, I started to value simplicity and accessibility in my work.  I think the Einstein quote “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” is pretty relevant in this situation.  If it’s not easily understood, you’ve failed.

Another point that really resonated with me was listening to what the thing wants to be.  It’s painfully obvious when someone designs something with a per-conceived notion of what a thing should be when it’s done, then doesn’t adjust their work as it develops.  It can become unnatural, cumbersome, and downright weird.  I believe there needs to be a flexibility when you’re creating something.  You need to be dynamic in your plan as your work takes shape to keep it from being too rigid and generic.  I think this can also be a double edged sword though, as things can tend to creep out of control too.

I liked the part about designing away from fashions and trends as well.  I think that ends up being hollow and pandering.  It also stifles innovation, it’s safe, it’s not as creative, it doesn’t feel genuine.  When the class first started I talked about my problems with the modern horror genre, and I consider catering to trends and fashions to be part of the cookie cutter horror formula.

I’ve only just had the revelation that I can use different type-faces for things.  I end up following Vignelli’s advice by accident because I’m still squeamish when it comes to the crazier ones.  For most of my life it was TimesNewRoman4life son!  I am definitely gaining an appreciation for the style that’s added by varying the fonts for different sections of text, and I will take to heart the advice to keep it simple.