Right out of the gate, I love the design of this little book. Ironic, but I do. The font looks good, and I love that there is text on one side and pictures on the other, it looks planned and clean. His thoughts are well organized and easy to read through.
I wish I had read this at the beginning of the week. Vignelli has some very great points regarding design, and I could have used them to further my assignments. Such is life, I suppose, but now I have information for assignments going forward.
In the beginning, Vignelli discusses aspects he calls “the intangibles,” which are abstract thoughts and practices. He touches lightly on 12 aspects, but I think the most important focus should be on the first three: semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics. (Consequently, Vignelli puts emphasis on the first three as well)
In language, semantic refers to the meaning behind the words. Vignelli describes design semantics as the meaning behind the design. This could entail why the company made this design, who it is targeted for, what it truly represents, and why it is important. Semantics of design help alleviate some of the ambiguity in the design, giving it context. This is especially important in our assignments, We are told to elaborate why we chose the assignments we chose; why we do them how we do them. In elaborating, we give context and meaning to an otherwise meaningless picture, for example.
Syntax in language is the order of words and phrases, and how they make meaningful ideas. Syntax is grammar and articulation. In design, syntax is how aspects of the design relate to one another. (such as how a font relates to grid lines on a map). I feel this idea is reflected in our Design Blitz. All the aspects we were to look for in the blitz entail bits and pieces working together to create a cohesive product, be it typography, a piece representing rhythm, or a minimalist piece.
The 3rd idea Vignelli presents deals with pragmatics. Pragmatics is clarity. If the design is too cluttered or too complex, it is, as Vignelli says, useless. Force is different than clarity; as designers we should strive for a forceful design that is also clear on it’s message. In this class, when we create these assignments, we should strive for beautiful and powerful designs that don’t need explaining.
Vignelli goes on to describe the tangible aspects of design, such as paper size, but they are not as relevant to us. These first three are ideas we can take with us and help make us into better storytellers as we transverse through this digital world.