“Creativity needs the support of knowledge”

Quote from The Vigneilli Canon. Full quote is “Creativity needs the support of knowledge to be able to perform at its best.” This basically sums up what I gathered from the reading. If I’m going to make good work, I need to understand a few things.

Click to Read!

Click to Read!

Vignelli was incredibly detailed in his writing. He went into specifics on his chosen topics and opinions on said topics.

To be completely honest, I didn’t know what half the subjects he was talking about were before I read this. For example, In the beginning of his piece he states that the most important aspects of design in his opinion are semantic, syntactic and pragmatic.

Semantics is basically searching for the meaning behind your design. Could be the company who hired you, or the person. It’s important to really understand who you’re working for and what they’re trying to express. It’s basically the whole art needs meaning concept that was touched upon last week with photography, but explored deeper.

Vignelli himself called design without semantics “shallow and meaningless.” I don’t know if I’d go as far as to call it that, but I definitely see what he means.

Syntax in reference to Design, is basically the rules. This I was familiar with.  Paper size, optimal DPI, border space, etc etc. This is what I had been focusing on with my projects for quite a while. In my post last week, I described how I’d been putting more thought into my potential grade rather then the meaning behind my pieces.
Reading this kind of emphasized the idea that yeah the rules are important, but it’s only a single part of  a larger pie that makes a great piece.

The last section in the beginning, Pragmatics, was something that I hadn’t considered prior to this. The overall understanding of my audience. Quote time again!

“We design things which we think are semantically correct and syntactically consistent but if, at the point of fruition, no one understands the result, or the meaning of all that effort, the entire work is useless.”

Again with his rather extreme and to the point claims. But again, he has a point. Anything created that your intended audience does not understand is basically useless. It’s important to really know what you’re doing before you start something. You have to plan things out.

As for the rest of the reading, Vignelli went on to discuss more of the technical parts of Design in detail. Things like texture, scale and color were all explored. But everything seemed to reference back to the first three. It really shows just how important they are.

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