The Vignelli Canon

I'm working on a catalog update and trying to make it better than last time. This time around I'm using a grid. In reading up on the subject I went back to look at The Vignelli Canon. I found the quote below to be ironic and informing. For one, I'm using a standard 8.5" x 11"  size (folded and saddle stitched) for this project. Secondly, when I was in design school there was very little mention of the differences between American and International sizes in relation to the Golden Rectangle. A good reason to go back and think about paper sizes and their relation to the grid.

Vignelli on paper dimensions:

"There are two basic paper size systems in the world: the international A sizes, and the American sizes.
The international Standard paper sizes, called the A series, is based on a golden rectangle, the divine proportion. It is extremely handsome and practical as well. It is adopted by many countries around the world and is based on the German DIN metric Standards. The United States uses a basic letter size (8 1/2 x 11”) of ugly proportions, and results in complete chaos with an endless amount of paper sizes. It is a by-product of the culture of free enterprise, competition and waste. Just another example of the misinterpretations of freedom." (emphasis mine)

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. A political statement that exemplifies the rift between european Modernism and the role of capitalism in the post modern break from those ideals. Philosophy aside, I don't use a grid all the time. In fact there are many occasions where I don't think a grid is the right approach for a given project.  But it sure cleans things up when I do use them.

Grids are like vitamins. One a day keeps the chaos away.