The great Massimo Vignelli published a canon on his work principles and practices that should not be missed (if you have by some chance missed it already).
Massimo Vignelli is famous for his work on the New York Subway system signage and map in the 70's, IBM and American Airlines.
This document is 96 pages in length and covers a wide range of items you should be considering while working of a design project.
The canon is broken down into two parts. The following subjects are covered in Part One, The Intangibles: Semantics ,Syntactics, Pragmatics, Discipline, Appropriateness, Ambiguity, Design is One, Visual Power, Intellectual Elegance, Timelessness, Responsibility, and Equity.
In the next section Part Two, The Tangibles you get information covering; Paper Sizes, Grids, Margins, Columns and Modules, A Company Letterhead, Grids for Books, Typefaces, The Basic Ones, Flush left, centered, justified, Type Size Relationships, Rulers, Contrasting Type Sizes, Scale, Texture, Color, Layouts, Sequence, Binding, Indentity and Diversity, White Space, A collection of experiences and the Conclusion.
The canon is a great document that give you a much greater understanding of how one of our greatest designers work. "If you want to achieve greatness as a designer you must study the great designers" is a philosophy that I instill.
To download the nearly 4 MB .pdf canon that covers Vignelli's ideas over the years click here.