Thursday, January 17, 2008

Discipline by Massimo Vignelli

"This is the most important virtue for a designer to possess. Discipline is the god of design that governs every aspect of a project, be it two-, three-, or four-dimensional. 'God is in the details,' said Mies van der Rohe. And he was right.

Discipline serves the designer from the project's concept, guiding the designer throughout the whole process. Without it, it is total anarchy, total randomness, pure chaos. Discipline is the attitude that helps us discern right from wrong and guides us to achieve consistency of language in whatever we do. Discipline is what helps us navigate through the social context in which we operate. Discipline is what makes us responsible towards ourselves, toward our clients, toward the society in which we live. It is through discipline that we are able to improve ourselves, mentally and physically; to offer the best of ourselves to everything around us, including every project on which we work.

Discipline is the process of achieving the best. Disciple has a plurality of expression that can take many forms, but its consistency and linguistic accuracy reveal themselves in all their glory. Think of the sublime architecture of Mies van der Rohe or the magnificent expressions of a Frank Gehry building. So different, but so similar in their consistency of discipline. Graphic design suffers when discipline has been abandoned in favor of the random and shallow expression of a troubled ego. Otherwise, graphic design offers the platform for beautiful expressions of intelligent articulation, of a basic discipline, a basic concept weaving its logic and discipline throughout. Form, color, scale, and logic are the tools of discipline in design. Articulating them is a joy. Discipline is the supreme state of mind, the master of passion, and the governing structure of nature.

There is no design without discipline. There is no discipline without intelligence."

-excerpt from Vignelli: From A to Z

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