I loved the Vignelli Canon. It captures all the traits and elements that I believe creatives in any field already possess, but really gives instruction on how to consciously incorporate them in every project.

In this day and age, people want everything to come to them immediately, whether that being results, knowledge, or enlightenment. On social media, we scroll past posts that will take up too much time to read or understand, because we crave immediate entertainment and gratification.

Artists especially want to complete masterpieces in a day, because in this extremely capitalistic society artists are valued by the amount of work they are able to produce and not the quality of that work.

This goes against everything Vignelli wrote and understood about how to create meaningful and long-lasting art. You can be the most gifted creative thinker and designer in the world, but even for them it still takes time and practice to hone their skills.

A naturally gifted basketball player who never practices can and will be outplayed by someone without natural talent who perseveres and works extremely hard to be the best they can be.

There are music artists I listen to that on average release a new album every six months, and those that release a new album every two-three years. On average the music that artists release less often is better lyrically, aesthetically, and is overall more rich and of a higher quality.

The song that came to mind when reading the Vignelli Canon was This Is America by Childish Gambino. It is a song about gun violence in America, and I feel like the catchy tune and upbeat tempo might have distracted listeners from the bigger picture the first couple of times they heard it.

The music video is full of hidden meanings and contains a lot of symbolism that Gambino actually refused to explain and discuss, thus leaving it open for multiple interpretations.

After listening to it for the past two years, I never really thought about how much time and thought Childish Gambino probably put into the song and music video. He cleverly used almost every single aspect in the Intangibles section of Vignelli’s Canon, including ambiguity, visual power, syntactics, and many others.

Here is the official music video of This Is America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYOjWnS4cMY (warning: this does show people getting shot, it is not real footage of actual shootings, but it was made to look graphically real, so if that will bother or trigger you do not watch)

This is one of the many analyses and interpretations of the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_LIP7qguYw

Overall I learned that a true masterpiece cannot be created in a day, no matter how talented you are, and no matter how popular extremely abstract and minimalist art becomes. It should take just as much, if not more time, to think and plan out your creation (how you want it to impact people, what you want it to represent, etc.) than it does to actually make it.