My first thought after reading this is that Massimo Vignelli is a firm believer in Keep it Simple Stupid and I appreciate him for that. He knows what works and is sticking to it.
Vignelli shows his passion for design very quickly in this article when he sets the three most important parts of design as Semantic, Syntactic, and Pragmatic. He wants to know the true meaning behind whatever it is he is designing rather than just throwing somethings together that may make partial sense but not truly encompass the original meaning. He does not want any designer to throw junk into the market and kins it to visual pollution. Syntactics are important as they are the basic structure of design being put together in the correct way in order to create an appealing result. I think the most telling of his passion is the fact that if a design is not understood it is worthless. I can see why these three things are what he thinks most important because if you do not do understand the subject fully and complete a design in the correct way then what it ultimately communicates is pointless. If the final product does not communicate the meaning to both the sender and the receiver the designer did not hold up his/her responsibility.
In regards to the tangibles I found Vognelli’s view on typograhy very interesting and do no necessarily agree with it. While I believe that the commonly used simple type faces can be utilized most often to the best result, I do think typefaces that are less common have a definite important place in design. I was interested in learning the different appropriate type sizes for heading and subheadings as it was not something I have ever learned. I think what I learned most in regards to text is that White Space is what makes or breaks a design. It needs to be a the correct balance between elements and whitespace, knowing the correct balance comes with practice and a naturally good eye.
I was shocked how little Vignelli mentioned color, as I think choosing the correct color scheme can be one of the most important things when designing something. I understand using color as a signifier but do think that only using the primary colors is very restrictive in what can be accomplished is a design. I appreciate Vignelli’s KISS approach, however I think that keeping it simple can only go so far and then you need to add a few more interesting elements into design.