It is that time. That time of transition. That time when one must think about the meta and the micro. When one must start thinking about materials and textures. And Timelessness. And Visual Power. And designing a house that ages beautifully. Massimo Vignelli offers a manifesto:
We say all the time that we like Design to be
visually powerful. We cannot stand Design that
is weak in concept, form, color, texture or any or
all of them. We think good Design is always an
expression of creative strength bringing forward
clear concepts expressed in beautiful form and
color, where every element expresses the content
in the most forceful way.
There are infinite possibilities to achieve a
powerful expression. In graphic design, for
instance, difference of scale within the same
page can give a very strong impact. Bold type
contrasting with light type creates visually
dynamic impressions. We have used this approach
successfully in our graphic design.
In three dimensional design, manipulating light
through different textures and materials gives
infinite and effective results. Changing scale and
contrasting sizes provide an impressive array
It is essential that a design is imbued with visual
strength and unique presence to achieve its
purpose. Visual strength can be achieved also by
using delicate layouts or materials. Visual strength
is an expression of intellectual elegance and should
never be confused with just visual impact – which,
most of the time, is just an expression of visual
vulgarity and obtrusiveness.
Visual power is, in any event, a subject which
deserves great attention to achieve effective design.
We are definitively against any fashion of design
and any design fashion. We despise the culture of
obsolescence, the culture of waste, the cult of the
ephemeral. We detest the demand of temporary
solutions, the waste of energies and capital for the
sake of novelty.
We are for a Design that lasts, that responds to
people’s needs and to people’s wants. We are
for a Design that is committed to a society that
demands long lasting values. A society that earns
the benefit of commodities and deserves respect
We like the use of primary shapes and primary
colors because their formal values are timeless.
We like a typography that transcends subjectivity
and searches for objective values, a typography
that is beyond times – that doesn’t follow trends,
that reflects its content in an appropriate manner.
We like economy of design because it avoids
wasteful exercises, it respects investment and lasts
longer. We strive for a Design that is centered on
the message rather than visual titillation. We like
Design that is clear, simple and enduring. And that
is what timelessness means in Design.