Michael Beirut has an amazing essay over at Design Observer about working within the sometimes seemingly oppressive limits of modernism under Vignelli and how that impacted him as a graphic designer, for better or worse. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the positive and negative effects of working under such constraints, so his essay really reverberated with me (though most of them do- he has the uncanny ability to describe in no uncertain terms exactly what everyone else has been unable to illustrate).
“Working with a limited palette of elements leaves a designer nowhere to hide. With so little on the page, what was there had to be perfect. I learned the importance of content. Seeing Massimo design a picture book was a revelation. No tricky layouts, no extraneous elements. Instead, a crisply edited collection of images, perfectly sized, carefully sequenced, and dramatically paced. Nothing there in the final product but the pictures and the story they told.”
The essay, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mentor, Or, Why Modernist Designers Are Superior,” can be read in its entirety here.