massimo vignelli

Massimo Vignelli on intellectual elegance

MV: When I talk about elegance, I mean intellectual elegance. Elegance of the mind.

DM: How would you define elegance of the mind?

MV: I would define intellectual elegance as a mind that is continually refining itself with education and knowledge. Intellectual elegance is the opposite of intellectual vulgarity. We all know vulgarity very well. Elegance is the opposite.

How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, by Debbie Millman. Via Brain Pickings.

A responsible solution

In graphic design the issue of responsibility assumes particular importance as a form of economic awareness toward the most appropriate solution to a given problem. Too often we see printed works produced in a lavish manner just to satisfy the ego of designers or clients. It is important that an economically appropriate solution is used and is one that takes in proper consideration all the facets of the problem.

As much as this may seem obvious it is one of the most overlooked issues by both designers and clients. Responsibility is another form of discipline. As designers, we have three levels of responsibility: One – to ourselves, the integrity of the project and all its components. Two – to the Client, to solve the problem in a way that is economically sound and efficient. Three – to the public at large, the consumer, the user of the final design. 

On each one of these levels we should be ready to commit ourselves to reach the most appropriate solution, the one that solves the problem without compromises for the benefit of everyone. In the end, a design should stand by itself, without excuses, explanations, apologies. It should represent the fulfillment of a successful process in all its beauty. A responsible solution.

– Massimo Vignelli

I left Italy because the ceiling was too low. It turns out NYC has no ceiling!

– Massimo Vignelli