Vignettes have been around less than two years and we've already seen several sub-themes arise.
Size variations - The earliest vigs out of Japan in late 2004 were 6x6, reportedly inspired by discussion on a Japanese-language forum. As the idea spread, though, more and more people started using the 8x8 base as the standard, as the increased size gave more room for details. This is still a common size, though more and more 16x16 scenes are showing up (again, perhaps with Japanese builders leading the way). I've chosen to call these larger scenes Vignette-Like-Creations, or VLC's. Other sizes (including non-square shapes) appear as well, though less often.
Vignette series - Soon after vignettes hit the English-language forums in October 2004, series of thematically connected vigs appeared, including Nathan Wells' Precarious Moments guy (precursor to Joe Vig?) and series king Steve Bishop's King Hall Experience. Sometimes a series can illustrate a story, as in Shane Larson's Christmas Carol.
Combined vigs - On February 28, 2005, Nelson Yrizarry took the vignette series further with the first combined vig. In his Chateau de Vignette a series of individual vignettes connect together to make a larger scene. Other examples include Nathan Wells' Saloon, Patrick Yrizarry's Knights of the Round Table and Bloody Jay's Monty Python scenes.
Joe Vig - Introduced on March 16, 2005 (hey, his birthday is next week) by Nelson Yrizarry and Nathan Wells, Joe Vig grew out of discussions also including Mike Crowley and Patrick Yrizarry. Joe is the quintessential oblivious minifig who has become the unofficial mascot of vig building. Now Joe has also been exported to Japan as well.
V-pods - The newest trend to hit is the v-pod. First created by Sugegasa a little before March 1, 2006, a v-pod is a whole vignette that can pack away into an x-pod case. This trend has quickly crossed the ocean, with American builders quickly picking up on the Japanese innovation.
What's next? I'm sure other trends will evolve in the world of vignettes in the months and years ahead. Nathan Cunningham recently posted Cruel and Unusual, a combined vig in which the scenes stack vertically. Will we see more of these (hmm, a whole vignette multi-story apartment complex would be very cool)?
Or will some other innovative building style take off? Only time will tell. Or will some other innovative building style take off? Only time will tell. No matter what the development, VignetteBricks will be there.