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Design Thoughts

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This article’s supposed to be design thoughts, but it seems like about 3/4 of the material was about typography, so most of the response will be about that. The Vignelli Canon was interesting as a view into the thoughts and design practices of an important designer.

One particularly interesting point that Vignelli brought up a few times was the importance of white space in design. For instance, he mentioned that it’s “the white that makes the black sing”, and that it’s “the white space that makes the layout sing”. I agree completely that white space is one of the most important parts of design, and not just in visual design. “White space” in audio—that is, periods with no sound—can be just as important as the parts with sound. I put some examples of that in my audio reflection post last week. One particular example of fantastic use of white space is in the FedEx logo:

The white space between the E and the x makes an arrow, which is very fitting for a delivery company like FedEx. One thing I wasn’t entirely in agreement with in the booklet was Vignelli’s comment about only really needing about half a dozen fonts. While I agree that there is definitely a lot that can be done with just a handful of fonts, fonts themselves can be incredibly important for a design. Sometimes a font outside of the basic six that he gave can add a lot.

That actually brings me to the other article and the video, both of which were about typography in titles. The designers put a ton of work into the choice of font for their titles, which I think is work well spent. Stranger Things‘ title wouldn’t have been quite the same with one of those six standard fonts, would it? I was also amazed by just how many typefaces and logos Benguiat worked on. There are just so many wildly different companies and organisations that use logos designed by him. The video was also interesting in that it showed how much work goes into title design. I figured that it might take a while to make a title sequence, but I never would’ve guessed it’d take over a year sometimes. I especially liked the title sequence for After Hours. While he was speaking about it, I was trying to read the names that came up, but it always transitioned right before I finished reading their names. It definitely encouraged the frantic pace that it was meant to invoke.

Very interesting readings/video this week! I think it’ll make me think twice about the design process behind things that I see in everyday life.

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