graphic designer massimo vignelli has died aged 83
may 27, 2014
graphic designer massimo vignelli has died aged 83


graphic designer massimo vignelli has died aged 83
 
 
 
 
 
 
the italian graphic designer massimo vignelli, passed away tuesday morning the 27th of may, 2014; he was 83. vignelli was one of the field’s true greats and had become synonymous with modern graphic design.
 
 
his identities for international brands undeniably shaped how the world looks today. vignelli‘s iconic wayfinding system for new york’s subway means his presence will continue to be felt, in what had become his home city, for much more time to come.
 
 
massimo vignelli, born in milan in 1931, studied architecture in milan and venice. he and his wife lella, both designers, first ran a successful design firm in milan, before moving to new york in 1966 to start a US branch of unimark international. in 1971, they founded vignelli associates where they worked together on graphic and industrial design projects. much of vignelli’s  work saw him bring visual order to chaos and making things ‘beautiful’ as he explained…
 
 
‘the life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against ugliness. I think that it is my responsibility to make the work better than it is. that is my number one priority. the second priority is to decrease the amount of vulgarity around by replacing the vulgarity with things that are more refined. my life is a continual struggle, a continuous battle against vulgarity taking over.’ – massimo vignelli
 
 
 
 
 
 

trailer for kathy brew & roberto guerra’s documentary about massimo vignelli and his wife lella
 
 
 
 
among the many talented designers to work at vignelli associates was pentagram partner michael beirut, who has written a touching piece about his mentor and friend »
 
 
here is our interview with massimo from 2006 »
 
 
 
NY_subway_sigange
wayfinding system for new york subway, 1972
 
 
 
 
ny_map_system_1972
section of vignelli’s diagrammatic map for new york subway, 1972
 

united colors of benetton identity, 1995
aa_logo
american airlines identity, 1967
calendar

stendig calendar, 1967

 
 
 
 interview with debbie millman from 2012

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library