Vignelli had some great advice about design that was really easy for everyone to understand. I sort of just journaled and wrote down ideas that I had as a read the canon, so some of these sentences may simply be ideas related to certain sections of the writings, whereas other parts may be full blown analyses.

I loved the part about contrast and space. When he compared white space to architectural space, it really sunk in for me just how important a balance of space and text really was. I read this canon over the course of a few days, so when I was designing my Typography Lyric poster, I thought about the white spaces. If you visit my flickr account, you will actually see two copies of the poster – one with more space and less busy than the other.

FOB Lyric Poster v2                  FOB Lyric Poster


When it comes to typography, words can express feelings that are difficult to emote sometimes. I absolutely love decorating with typography on canvas – this was one of my favorite sections of this whole canon! Although Vignelli discusses how typography is not for entertainment, I disagree.  I feel that it can speak for someone and put words to how someone is actually feeling (like me with wanderlust and travelling).  Although Vignelli says he only needs about 12 font types, I can use way more and find uses for all of them! Finding the right font is half the fun of expressing yourself! Even different font types can express different emotions! It can either make typography pop, or be bland and boring.  “White space provides the silence.” – Such profound words! I never looked at typography from this perspective before… It definitely opens my mind to new design ideas!

When he discussed the topic of scale, the photography fundamental of fill the frame came to mind. Since photography can also play a role as part of design, scaling objects is all about finding the perfect angle of said object!

Texture and lighting is also a fundamental of photography – this just goes to show that photography is design!

It’s interesting that Vignelli brings up the fact that most company logos are primary colors. I had never thought about this before, or even realized it! But if you think about it..


There are primary colors all around us, and I never gave it that much thought before..


Again, with layout – everything goes back to a balance of text and white space!


Moral of this canon: Vignelli loves design, but only when he is in full control of every aspect and detail (hence Vignelli’s “selfish” canon) , and white space is the most important thing to think about when designing anything.